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Be the Change You Want to See in the World

photo source:thetruthsoflife.com

This is a quote from Mahatma Gandhi. It sounds good, but what does it mean? How do I “do this?” I’ll give you my take on what this means, how to implement it, and how it will benefit your life and the whole world.  The Whole World? Really? Sounds dramatic doesn’t it. Well it is true! I’ve experienced it helping me and the people in my life.  The key is to stay focused on it, and it will help you too!

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A Relationship Gem: How to Revive a Relationship

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Creative Commons License photo credit: tiffa130

A popular article here on my blog is “Relationship Gold” where I talk about the power and importance of kindness in a healthy and happy relationship.  Equally important is the relationship gem of Being Present. This has the power to revive a weak relationship and keep a good one healthy. If any of your relationships are in need of some help, then please read on.

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A Powerful Way to Strengthen Your Relationship

Relationship

photo by Katie Tegtmeyer

A Nagging Question

It’s difficult to know someone completely and it’s impossible to read minds, at least for most of us. So what do we do when we have questions that are important to growing a relationship, but scary to ask? Do we ask the source? Unfortunately, many of us seek out the answer from our safety zone of confidants or from the web or worse yet, we simply make assumptions. And we all know how effective these methods are. We don’t get the right answer and we’re left still feeling the anxiety of not knowing the answers.

A Better Way

If you want to grow and strengthen your relationship, the thing to do is ask your burning questions directly of that person. How do you do this when you have fears? How do you do this and not damage the relationship? The answer is to ask from a place of compassion and not judgment. The benefits of doing this will be a relief of anxiety, and clarity about how to move forward with your relationship.

Tips to Asking Scary Questions.

1. Compassion. Let the person know that you care about them very much and that your goal is to grow and strengthen the relationship. Be sincere and kind. Make sure that you are feeling that compassion in your heart. If what you are really feeling is judgment, that will come across so be aware of that.

2. Humility. Consider starting with showing your vulnerabilities. (see example below) You may share your fears about how you would feel if the relationship doesn’t continue to grow. Put things in terms of “I feel….” and refrain from “You” statements such as “You make me feel….”

3. Be Direct. Specific questions call for specific answers. Vague questions will get you vague answers. If you want to start out with a softer, more vague question, you’ll want to be sure to use follow up questions that are more specific until you get the answers that you are looking for.

4. Tell Me More. Ask follow up questions, but try using questions like “Tell me more” and “when you say X, what does that mean to you?” If you get an answer and you “think” you know what they mean, ask another question to be sure.

5. Confirm. When you think you have the answer, confirm your understanding. “So what you’re saying is that X, Y, and Z. Is that right?” This gives the other person the benefit of knowing that you were really listening to them and it also gives that person the opportunity to clarify anything that you misunderstood.

6. Thanks. Whether the answer is what you wanted to hear or not, express gratitude to the person for taking the time to answer your questions. Again, be sure to thank that person from a sincere feeling of compassion. Even if the answer means the end of your relationship, at least you have been set free by it, free to move onto relationships that are better for you.

7. Decide. Once you have your answer, you’ll either feel relief or a letdown. If you are relieved, you can now drink in the bliss that comes from asking tough questions that make that relationship stronger. If you are left feeling anxiety or let down, you have some thinking to do. Is the answer something you can live with? Is it something you and the other person can work on together? Or is it something that is unacceptable to you? If that is the case, then you are faced with the decision of moving on from that relationship. If that is the case, realize that you are better off than yesterday when your body and mind were consumed with worry about it. Today, having clarified the situation, you can now move your life forward in a direction that is better suited for you. It’s not always easy to see today, but down the line you will look back and see it as a blessing that opened up doors of possibility for you.

An Example

Let’s say you’ve been in a serious relationship for a year and you’re moving towards marriage. You love this person very much, but you are concerned about how they handle their finances. You’ve spent the last few years digging out of debt, and you want to ensure that within the marriage that you’ll be able to be a strong team financially. Your conversation might start something like this:

“Sally, I’m so happy that I met you. This has been the best year, and I’m looking forward to spending my life with you. At the same time, I want to make sure that we start our marriage out on a strong footing so that we can avoid as much conflict as possible. So I was hoping we could discuss some of the important aspects of marriage. I’d love for us to share with each other where we stand on certain things. One of those things is finances and how we would partner in that regard. You know that in my past I had a lot of debt that I worked hard to eliminate and I want to make sure that we can agree on how we’ll handle things going forward. It’s not always easy for me, but here is where I stand financially. XYZ. I was hoping that you would share with me where you stand right now. And maybe we could come up with a plan for how we would work together if we get married. How does that sound to you?”

Sometimes, if questions are really uncomfortable, such as finances, you might even want to involve a neutral third party expert to guide you both through more complex situations.

What If You Do Get “Punished” for Asking Questions

If you ask questions with all the above tips in mind, and you get a strong negative reaction, you need to listen to your intuition. It may be that your question touched a nerve and that person needs time to come around before being able to talk about the subject. Or it may be that their reaction provides the clear indication that it is time to move on from this relationship because of chronic toxicity. If it’s a relationship with a family member that you don’t want to cut off from, but that person is hurtful towards you and your question was aimed at reducing that hurt, you may need to establish boundaries with that person to keep from being treated poorly, but which also allow you to maintain some relationship with that person. Approach it from a place of both compassion for the other person and strength for taking care of your needs, and then listen to what your intuition tells you.

Please Share!

What’s the scariest question you were glad you asked? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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Do You Know How to Really Forgive Someone?

The Problem with Not Forgiving

Most people have at least one person in their life that they harbor anger against for some reason or another. For some the anger is due to a serious hurt, whether physical or emotional, such as assault or abuse. For others the anger stems from less important issues, but the anger is just as real and just as debilitating. For instance the resentment that can build up in a relationship over many years over many small and large differences. For some, maybe it is a co-worker that angers you, they ask too much of you, they sabotage you, or they just annoy you.

Why do we hold onto anger? At it’s root, it’s because we want to hurt that person back. The problem with this strategy is that it doesn’t hurt the intended. It only hurts us. Think about it. Can you be happy when you are angry? Have you ever noticed that you have more accidents the more angry you are? So how do you get rid of this anger? By forgiving.

The Problem with Forgiving

If forgiving is the answer to releasing your anger, why don’t we do it? Well, because forgiving someone is hard! Another reason is that we don’t know how to do it properly. And then there is the fear that by forgiving someone we are inviting them to hurt us again or that we are saying what they did was ok.

How to Really Forgive Someone

1)Examine Your Anger – Take some time to understand your anger. It’s easy to say, “Well I just hate that person” or “That person drives me crazy.” For some the reason for the anger is very clear as in the case of assault, for instance. But other times, the root of our anger is not so clear. Why does this person “bug you?” Why do you get angry at your boss? Why do you flip out when your spouse parks the car “the wrong way.” The reason it is important to understand your anger is that if you identify clearly what the root is, then you can go about finding a possible solution. This doesn’t work in all cases. But try this first anyway. Then ask yourself what can YOU do to make the situation better? If it’s about trying to change a person, the only way to really impact a person is to love them, praise them and continually discover and focus on the good in that person. This takes time, but try it!! It really works. If it’s an intolerable situation and you can’t ignore it, find a way to not be around this person.

2) “Thank You for This Experience.”
Have you ever noticed how good can spring up from bad experiences? Just like after a forest fire the first thing you see is lots of little green plants starting to grow. What did you learn about your inner strength from your negative experience? What did you learn about yourself that has made you a stronger person? This doesn’t make wrongs against you right. But it puts you back in the position of power, not victimhood. Remember, you have survived. Build on that! And little by little explore where you see small bits of green sprouting up in your life. Focus on that, have gratitude for that good, and you will be in the process of forgiving.

3) Relationship Resentment -Let it Go: Advice from the book “Follow Your Heart” by Andrew Matthews (one of my favorite books) is brilliant. In his book he talks about how we make up rules for how others should behave. If they don’t behave that way, we make them “guilty” and we hold a grudge. But does it change the situation? No. All it does it “ruin our lives!” He uses humor to make a good point, “When a seagull craps on your head, do you resent the seagull?” Do you resent the weather when it rains? So why resent people?

Whatever the “guilty party” got wrong, it is history. The question is, “Do you want your life to work or don’t you.” And he also takes on the hard situations too. For instance, he a friend who found forgiveness after having his 3 teenage daughters murdered. It wasn’t easy, but in the end he realized that only he had control over how he moved forward with his life. He didn’t want his life to be miserable so he “let go of anger” for his “own sake and his own survival.”

4) Meditate on Compassion: Imagine your antagonist as a baby. What has been their life? Why do they act in ways that hurt you or others? If you can find a small place of compassion, of understanding, then perhaps in seeing them as a victim of their circumstances, you may find a place of peace about what happened. Buddhism says: “for the victimizer is, truly, the most unfortunate of all.”  Buddhism urges us to focus on loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity as “a means for avoiding resentment in the first place.”

The Dalia Lama lives a life of forgiveness in action. The book, “The Wisdom of Forgiveness” gives an account his life in this regard. Again this doesn’t make crimes committed right. This doesn’t mean that you should necessarily befriend a person who hurt you or that you should take your guard down in protecting yourself from a dangerous person. But if you can find a place where you can wish for their healing, you will find your own healing. If this doesn’t work, move onto #5.

5) Turn it over to God: Put your trust in God that God will take care of this situation in the long run. God will provide you strength. God will bring justice in the end. And hopefully God will heal the offender too. Take comfort in God’s love for you. If you have trouble understanding “why God let’s bad things happen” take a look at my post on Christianity and scroll down to the heading “Why Do We Have to Suffer.”

6) If you don’t believe in God, then at least know that in science all things eventually come to equilibrium. And so, turn it over to the universe. Turn it over to your friends’ and family’s love for you. Allow yourself to be comforted and strengthened by their love.

7) Write it Down. Take all these suggestions and journal about your feelings and then write down the answers to the questions: How will I forgive? What will I gain by forgiving? What is the good in all this? What have I learned? How will my life be better by forgiving?

What Have You Got to Lose? – Only Peace

Who are you holding resentment against? Who are you angry at? Who do you hate? Do you want release from this heavy yoke around your heart? Do you want peace and happiness? Try forgiveness… for your sake. Take it slow. It is a process. Over time you can watch your anger melt. The Dalai Lama is said to have the heart health of a 20 year old according to his doctors. Why is that? Perhaps it just might be that he holds no anger. Imagine what it could do for you!

Please share your comments, experiences, and tips on Forgiveness! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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The Secret Law of Attraction and Relationships

The Law of Attraction Can Help Your Relationship

Are you frustrated with one or more of your relationships in your life? Do you find yourself continually frustrated? Do you want to have a better relationship with your mate, your parent, your child, your coworker? The good news is if you want to improve your relationships, The Law of Attraction can help you.

What Is The Secret Law of Attraction?

The Law of Attraction states that what ever your mind envisions will be attracted into your life. Thoughts become things. Thoughts have a frequency that can be high or low. And the higher the frequency or vibration energy you have around that vision, the stronger it will be attracted into your life. It doesn’t matter if the energy is positive or negative. What matters is the strength of that energy.

couch potatoThought Vibration in Action

Here are a couple examples, one positive and one negative, but both with high energy.

Negative Energy Example: Suzy-Q keeps thinking about her husband “I hate how John overeats and never gets off the couch.” In her mind she hold a picture of her overweight husband on the couch eating. And as she sees this picture in her mind, she feels a lot of anger and resentment. John has felt the anger and resentment, and their relationship has suffered.What result does Suzy-Q keep manifesting? Yep, you got it. John sitting on the couch eating and gaining more weight. The Law of Attraction has been at work in her relationship, but she hasn’t used it to her benefit.

Positive Energy Example:  Paul has spent years judging his wife Amy, much the same way as Suzy-Q has judged her husband John, with similar results. But Paul is ready to use The Law of Attraction to benefit his relationship, so he tries a new approach. Paul starts with gratitude. He thinks about what he appreciates in his wife. She is kind. She cooks great meals. She cares for him when he is sick. Paul is proud of her intellectual capabilities. They share an interest in current events and like to discuss them.

Replacing the Negatives: Paul starts replacing his old negative thoughts with positive thoughts about Amy. Paul begins to thank Amy for everything she does. Paul compliments her on her skills and best qualities. He tells her he loves her.

A Change Begins: Amy starts to feel good about herself. She starts to feel warmth and love for Paul again, where before she felt ashamed and depressed. Now when Paul asks Amy to join him on his evening walk, she wants to go. She wants to be with Paul. She wants to look better for Paul. Their relationship is strengthened and Amy becomes a little healthier over time from walking and eating better because she feels better about herself. A couple during Sunset - Love is in the air!

Improved Relationship: Paul and Amy’s relationship improves because Paul made a conscious decision to envision a better relationship. He focused on gratitude and took action on making the positive changes that he could control. By taking his emotional energy away from the negatives and placing that emotional energy on the things that were positive he was able to improve the quality of his relationship.

How to Use The Law of Attraction to Improve Your Relationship

  1. Decide that you want a better relationship. This is not the same as deciding you want to change the other person.
  2. What are your current thought patterns and pictures you hold in your mind regarding your relationship?
  3. What do you appreciate in the other person? What are their strenghts, skills, and other qualities that you like?
  4. Begin to think about those more positive qualities and do it with strong emotion.
  5. What action can YOU take that will improve this relationship? (showing gratitude-how?, being kind, finding humor, loving unconditionally, compromising more)
  6. Begin to take action.
  7. Journal your results.
  8. Create a plan that will keep you on course for the long term. Set up ways to remember. (plan in your calendar, set alarm on your PDA, wear a rubber band around wrist, whatever works)
  9. Stick with it. However long it took for your relationship to get “bad” allow at least that much time to make it “good” again. Take it slow. Recognize progress no matter how slow, and pretty soon you’ll see great results multipy.

Conclusion

It’s not easy, but it’s not hard either. Even if you stick with your old patterns, you are using energy to do that. You’ve got nothing to lose by shifting that energy in a positive direction, using The Law of Attraction to improve your relationship. If you want change, this is the most powerful way to make it happen. Take your time and enjoy.

Resources for Further Reading and Viewing

Books:


Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting of More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t Want


The Secret


Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World & Your Invisible Power (2 Books in 1)

DVDs


The Secret (Extended Edition)


What the Bleep Do We Know!?

Course:

The Law of Attraction Pro

 

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