"Celebration," according to dictionary.com,
means, "To observe an occasion with appropriate ceremony or festivity." When
we first begin a relationship with someone, we celebrate him or her
Every time the phone rings, our heart jumps with joyous celebration. A night
or day on the town with them becomes a celebration of time well invested.
Each passing day we get to know them with deeper understanding, we celebrate
their wondrous qualities. These qualities endear them to us, and we
eventually make a decision to keep them in our lives permanently, because
they have so many fundamentally important attributes we hold dear.
During this time, we overlook certain things that seem trivial. If something
bothers us, it's quickly forgotten and forgiven. We focus on all of the
positive things we find both fascinating and alluring in our new
But, as if the ball dropped for the final moments at midnight on Times
Square, the lid blows open to a new era of the relationship. Suddenly you
stop celebrating, take a step back, and say, "Hey! That really irritates me
Soon we begin to focus more on the negative qualities and forget about all
the wonderful characteristics that made us love this person. Forgiveness and
moving on becomes a thing of the past.
The more we focus on the negative, the less we remember the positive and an
ugly cycle begins. The stage is set for the downfall and complete demise of
the relationship. Suddenly it is all about what the other person did or
didn't do. Statements like, 'you never...,' 'you always…' and many other
negative superlatives become the main source of communication.
At first, the receiving partner may try to accommodate the complaining
partner (and both may switch the end they are on.) Eventually, however, they
give up trying to please the other, feeling as if nothing they do will ever
be met with satisfaction. They stop trying.
The erosion of the relationship reaches critical mass, and neither party
wants to invest time with the other. This, of course, leads to problems that
are even more serious. What happened? This was the perfect person, not too
long ago and it seems as if, suddenly they have pulled a Mr. Hyde on you.
To help you understand what happened, let me use a common example. When you
purchase your first home, excitement can alter your judgment. In order to
insure you're getting a good deal, you scrutinize the house very thoroughly,
hiring outside inspectors for better judgment. Once everything checks out,
the deal is sealed and you move in.
After a few years new paint is needed, there is a problem with the plumbing
and a leak in your roof you can't find the root of. Other factors in your
life are adding to your frustration as well. The downfall of the economy has
started rumors of layoffs in your company and your car is on the fritz.
You come home from a frustrating day at the office and boom, the dishwasher
is broken and suddenly the house that you loved with so much passion has
become a liability. You begin to list all the negatives about your home and
forget about all the wonderful times you've spent there.
What changed? You forgot to look at the positive and the celebration has
ended. That's what has happened in your relationship. You have forgotten all
the wonderful times and have begun to focus on the negative. I call this
"garbage in, garbage out" or "negativity in, negativity out.
Just as with the house, at first you are cautious not to end up in a bad
relationship, even recruiting friends for inspection. Once you settle in and
the hormones that course through the veins of those "in love" fade. (It's
really "in chemical," but that's another article). The cracks start showing
and your focus shifts from the positive to the negative, until eventually,
you can't see beyond the negative.
But, you can you get the love, passion and esteem back you once held for the
person in your life, by beginning the celebration again. I'm not saying you
have to Pollyanna out, and your problems don't need to be addressed, but
take a poem I wrote as an example: "It's surprising how when you accept
people for what they are and who they are, they become exactly what you had
hoped they would be."
That is to say, if you start slowly focusing on the positive attributes
about your partner again, it will soften your heart. Compromise and
solutions will then begin to replace bitter anger and hurt. To start the
process, begin making a list of all the wonderful things that drew you to
this person in the beginning. Write all of them down and go over the list.
Try not to respond with statements like, 'Yeah, but they aren't like that
anymore.' That's not the point of this exercise.
The point is to reach out beyond the justice you feel you are entitled to,
and straight into the mercy that is necessary to help you understand the
flaws, and come to a point of sincere emotional availability. This will help
both of you reach the end of the argument and begin genuine communication
that leads to results.
Another exercise you can partake in is something I call Soul Gazing. Soul
Gazing can take a couple on the brink of implosion and put perspective,
understanding and compassion back into the mix. I have seen couples who had
been fighting for years say, 'Wow! I felt his pain.' Or 'I understand her
needs,' because of this exercise.
It's an uncomplicated method of gazing into your partner's eyes, which
really are the windows to the soul. The exercise takes about 15 minutes to
complete, but if you're a beginner, I suggest 2-3 minutes.
To begin, one person, usually the man needs to be on the bottom, and the
other needs to sit on top, with their legs wrapped around the back of their
partner. Use a pillow or soft cushion so the person on the bottom won't end
up with a sore rump. Take each other's hands and clasp them together, and
without talking or turning away, gaze into each other's eyes. Focus on
thinking only about your partner, and empty your mind of all negativity.
Visualize them the way you remember them in the beginning, positive and
Try doing this exercise at least three times a week and re-read your list of
positive affirmations you wrote, at least every other day and, watch your
relationship turn around. If you want the love you deserve, my last piece of
advice is to really understand that love is a gift, and not a right. It's is
a decision, not a feeling.
If you make the choice to make your relationship work, it will stand the
test of time and you can have the enduring and deep love you deserve. Begin
the celebration of each other's souls again and let the joy enter your
lives, enveloping you for a lifetime.
Jaci Rae author of:
Winning Points with the Woman in Your Life One Touchdown at a Time