This month I was drawing a blank on my creative writing of what happens for me with clients, so I am just “freewriting” to see where it goes.

March was my birthday. It was good and bad. I see that life is a lot like that, depending on where you place your focus. If I look at aging and what didn’t go my way on my birthday, then I judge my day as bad, but if I focus on what went well and the gratitude of being alive another year, then it was a good day. And this reminds me of some of the homework I give couples.

1. This idea is from my friend Marty Fermer. Way back when, he drew hearts on three by three sticky-notes and in the center he wrote 95%. The ninety-five percent is designed to represent the part of the relationship that works and thus the part to be focused on. In most relationships it seems like 5% never works well, but if you focus on it, then it seems larger that the true experience. The goal is to just get your mind to focus on what works by appreciating what is good in the relationship – the sticky-note being a daily reminder.

2. Another suggestion I have for couples is to give each other daily appreciations (thank you Barbara Musser). The idea here is to focus on the good thoughts you have had about your sweetie throughout the day and then appreciate them verbally before you go to sleep – again to focus on what works in the relationship. If you do this, then that which does not work begins to be smaller in your daily awareness.

If you do these two simple things then it is easier for your sweetie to let go of the little resentments and prickles they get throughout a day. Each withheld feeling or thought adds to the resentment box (which you pour all over your sweetie when upset). It takes about 2.987654 appreciations per day to undo a resentment, so remember to not take your sweetie for granted and appreciate them in any way and all ways that you can so they can let go of their resentments and be closer and more loving back your direction.

Thanks again to my amazing clients (and friends) that keep reminding me why I do what I do.

Sincerely,

Russell

Copyright © 2005 Russell Wilkie, MFT

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