Thursday, November 14, 2013 – Day 7: Love Believes the Best
I am going to take a lot of today’s post directly from this particular section in The Love Dare. The way it is explained is fabulous and it is so easy to understand. I also feel it is so relevant and so true. I really found it to be eye-opening and know that I will personally benefit from this section.
It started off by mentioning that there is a room deep within your heart called the Appreciation Room. It’s the place you go when you think positive and encouraging thoughts about your spouse or significant other. On the walls, kind words and phrases describing attributes you like about your significant other are sprawled all over the walls. When you stop and read the words written, your appreciation deepens for them. These words and phrases may have first been put there at the beginning of your relationship…all of the initial things that first drew you to them, or the things you started to learn and discover about them that made you fall in love with them.
But, as time passes, you may not spend as much time in that room anymore…and adding new words and phrases to that wall rarely, if ever, happens. There is another room, lurking right around the corner, called the Depreciation Room.
These walls are covered with things that we don’t like about our spouse. It highlights all of their little nuances, all of the things that bother and irritate us about them. Oftentimes they got there after problems, hurt, frustration or upset about expectations that are never met. The walls are covered with their weaknesses and failings, all of the things they have said to us that hurt us or the things that they did to wrong us. This room houses ammunition for a fight that could ensue and frustration, emptiness, and bitterness fester here. In this room, people fall out of love. Marriages die in this room, divorces are planned. The longer you spend in this room, the more you see your significant other as flawed, your marriage as a waste.
Yet, while we are aware that there is a room right down the hall that houses things we love and appreciate about our significant other, it seems that we forget those things the more we spend time in the Depreciation Room. When we act in love, we realize that the Depreciation Room exists, however, we choose not to spend our time there. We need to keep the door to that room closed.
When we love someone, we choose to see the best in them. We afford for mistakes and errors. We choose to give the benefit of the doubt. When we act in love, we try to overshadow any of the negatives with focusing on the positives. We need to learn to settle ourselves into the Appreciation Room. It is so vital that we focus on the positives, on all of the wonderful qualities that our significant other does possess. The more we focus on these qualities, the stronger our relationship will become and the happier we will be with our relationship.
I know just how much this can really impact a relationship, or really anything in life. If you choose to focus on the negative, your whole outlook on life will be gloomy or dismal. But if you focus on positive things and stay optimistic about things, you will feel a more positive and create a better reality as a result. I think at times I was looking for Scott’s faults, versus looking at all of his positives and the things I truly appreciate about him. It can be a dark hole and slippery slope. Once you start looking for and allowing those negatives to creep in, that becomes all you think about and focus on. The more I started to think about all the things I wasn’t happy with, the more I started to forget about all of the things that I was happy with. (The more I started to think about all of the things I didn’t like about him, the more I started to forget about all of the things that I did like about him)
The dare for day 7:
The dare: Get 2 sheets of paper. On the first, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse. Then do the same with negative things on the second. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day. At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the list and thank your spouse for demonstrating this characteristic.
I chose to thank Scott for how he always makes me feel like I can just be myself. He never judges me or tries to change me in any way. He has always been so supportive of me and accepting of me. That is one thing that I truly appreciate and value about him. It means the world to me.
The questions for pondering: Which list was easier to make? What did this reveal about your thoughts? What attribute did you thank your spouse for having?
I honestly felt that I started to think of the negatives first. Which is NOT good. I also noticed that as I started writing down the negative things, I started feeling some upset, bitterness, or anger start to rise in me. Which is exactly the point that is being made. The more you think about the negatives and all of the things that your significant other does that you DON’T like, the more you get sucked into that negative thinking. It is so important to keep your focus on the positive things. When you do that, you view your significant other in a much more positive way. I definitely will need to constantly keep my mind focused on the things I appreciate about Scott, versus the things that frustrate me about him.
Day 7 down, 33 to go!