One of the biggest reasons for relationship failure is the lack of practicing relationship mindfulness. Mindfulness in general is being fully present. While that sounds like a very abstract idea, it most certainly is not. It is extremely important in relationships. Without it, two people are nothing more than two ships just passing in the night. Paying attention and being fully present is the best way to capture mindfulness. Being very aware of what is happening at the moment without judging it is the essence of mindfulness. When you and your partner are mindful of each other, there is a connection that fully energizes, empowers, and soothes both.
Gratitude is most certainly another part of being mindful. Albert Einstein once said, “There are two kinds of people- those who believe that nothing is a miracle, and those that believe that everything is a miracle.” In essence, it’s all about your perceptions of what is around you. You can choose to focus on negativity, or you can choose to focus on positivity, but you can’t practice gratitude while holding on to negativity.
When we look back at what brought two people together, regardless of the circumstances, those two people focused on each other. They were very present with each other. They were practicing relationship mindfulness without realizing exactly what they were doing. Sometimes it was even to the exclusion of others. They didn’t worry about overanalyzing their situation. Eckhart Tolle said, “In today’s rush, we all think too much – seek too much – want too much – and forget about the joy of just being.” Once that takes place, the relationship becomes nothing more than a convenience. It loses its power to transcend.
Many times, there are difficulties in relationships because the partners are not fully present. One or both are distracted by someone or something else. The best gift we can give to others is to be fully present when we are interacting with each other. It makes your partner feel like she/he is the most important person on earth. It empowers your relationship. Certainly, there are difficult times in all relationships, but being present is key to working through the most difficult of times. Chuck Yeager had a great quotation that speaks to both the literal and figurative parts of life, “Just before you break through the sound barrier, the cockpit shakes the most.” The key to breaking through is to practice relationship mindfulness.
“In the end, just three things matter: How well we have lived. How well we have loved. How well we have learned to let go” ~Jack Kornfield. For a better, more fulfilling connection with your partner practice relationship mindfulness.
Until next time, this is Dr. Andrew telling you to “Be kind to yourself.”