How Thoughts Can Transform Relationships
It is important to have kind thoughts towards our loved ones, whether it be our partner, child, parent, sibling or friend. These thoughts are the prerequisite for a loving, fulfilling and dynamic relationship.
A mother came to see me in counseling because of her relationship with her twenty year old son. According to her, he was distant and cold towards her and was making so many mistakes with his life that she couldn’t even count. “He never does anything right and I feel ashamed at how he is turning out. He is in college studying art, but I doubt that he’ll amount to anything,” the distraught mother wailed on and on. “I’m always very loving towards him when I see him, so I don’t know why he doesn’t want to be around me.”
I asked this mother how many times a day she thought about her problems with her son. She replied that she could hardly stop thinking about them. Then I asked her how many times she thought about his strengths and beauty. She became very quiet and said, “I don’t do that, but I always tell him that I love him when I see him and wonder why he doesn’t visit me more often.” I suggested to this woman that her thoughts were actually keeping her son from her. On some level her son was sensing all of his mother’s negative thoughts about him, even though she was trying to be loving when she actually saw him.
I gave the mother a homework assignment of writing down in a journal all the positive things she could think about her son and add to this every day. When the negative thoughts started, she was to reach for this journal and read it over. I also asked her to write to her son and tell him these positive thoughts. Over time the son must have sensed a change in his mother for he started visiting her again. Her positive thoughts toward him had opened the door for a different kind of relationship in which the son felt valued. He in turn was able to value his mother and they could begin to heal the hurts between them.
This may sound too simple to some of you. And yet our thoughts are very powerful. They set up an energy that goes before us in each relationship. Kind, positive thoughts toward one another open the door for a kind, positive relationship. Negative, fearful thoughts draw negative, fearful behaviors into our relationships.
A man came to see me in counseling complaining that his wife no longer wanted to have sex with him. I asked him to describe her to me. “Well, she is over weight after giving birth to our son one year ago. Her hair doesn’t look good and her skin is sagging. She wears baggy clothes. She’s just not very attractive,” the man concluded. I asked him when was the last time he thought of his wife as beautiful. He told me it had been many years since he’s had thoughts like that, mostly now he just sees his wife as sort of drab and plain. It seemed pretty clear to me why this woman was not interested in making love to her husband. His thoughts about her were pushing her away.
Almost my entire work with this man was to help him discover his wife’s beauty, both inside and out. As he consciously started thinking positive thoughts about her beauty he was able to express this to her and she in turn opened up more to him. As he was able to feel her beauty she began to care more about her appearance. This couple went on to have a more fulfilling relationship, sexually and in all ways.
I can tell when Barry has been thinking positive thoughts about me. He just has a certain look in his face, a smile and twinkle in his eye that draws me to him like a magnet. Sometimes he expresses these thoughts in words and I love to hear them. Sometimes just his smile is enough. Our thoughts are so much more powerful than we think. Our hope is that you will pay closer attention to your thoughts about your loved ones, make them more loving, and watch the amazing results.