Where is Your Focus?

The words, “I am glid to be here,” are on a poster board in my office at Charis Counseling Center. It is a wonderful tool to help couples work through issues born out of negativity. One spouse is complaining because he is a night owl and his wife likes to wake up early to watch the sunrise. Another one talks about how her spouse leaves his laundry on the floor and does not put the tooth paste cap back on the tube.

There is a verse in the Song of Songs that talks about the little foxes spoiling the vineyard. These are the little things that build up to an explosion of anger and bitterness. When I hear couples beginning to air their complaints I bring out my board and I ask a simple question….”what do you notice?”

Inevitably each will say, “You spelled “glid” wrong. Shouldn’t it be “glad’?” “But wait, I’ll respond. Five words: “I am to be here” are all spelled correctly.” It comes down to where your focus is. Every day we will experience “glids” in relationships as well as the “I am to be here” moments. Here are some steps to retrain our brains to notice our spouse doing something right and catching him/her doing it!

  1. If you send your spouse to the store with a list of ten items and when he returns he has bought nine things correctly but one item is a different brand than you anticipated, where do you focus? Learn to praise your spouse for the nine that are right and be thankful you did not have to drive to the store, find a parking place, go through the store, wait in a check-out line and then fight traffic going home. Give your spouse a big kiss for all that work!
  2. When you see that pesky sock on the floor lying beside the laundry basket instead of in it, say this to yourself-“I would rather have a mess with my spouse by my side than a clean home all by myself. It would be so lonely.”
  3. Use humor. When something “glid” happens look at one another and say, “That was a glid moment! Oh well, sure do love you!” And laugh….together. Laughter is a good medicine in so many ways.
  4. Grace is a beautiful word. All of us want to be extended grace. Be the person who embraces grace and lowers expectations.
  5. Be grateful. 

Relationships are hard work. But sometimes a little shift in focus can go a long way.

So, where is your focus today?

I hope it is on the “I am to be here” moments!

Sandra Stanford

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