Introducing a new series for the first 14 days of February “14 Days of Remembering to Love” in which I provide love prompts each day until Valentine’s Day.
I often get caught in this misconception that the happiness of my marriage depends on my spouse. That I can do my part, but if he doesn’t do his, well then . . . no progress can be made. This idea often stifles plans for marital improvement before they’re even begun. After all, It’s his responsibility to fill my love tank, right?
Well, partially wrong. The truth is I can do A LOT to add to the happiness of my marriage. I can do A LOT to fill up my own love tank or put it in a place where it can be filled more readily.
The power of positive thinking.
Last year, I read the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. As I was reading the chapter on Nurturing Fondness and Admiration, Gottman lists a series of questions to help you remember your fondness for your spouse. I don’t quite remember what those questions were (library book), but I remember very clearly this wave of love wash over me as I pondered each one.
Rich was at work, he wasn’t even in the house and yet I found myself with an overflowing love tank simply by thinking on fond memories together and the reasons I was grateful for him in my life.
According to science, this is no surprise.
“Scientific evidence shows that your thoughts produce emotions and feelings. Your feelings trigger chemicals in your brain that cause physiological responses in your body: . . . affirmations allow you to take control, harnessing your thoughts, making them work for you, not against you — allowing you to ”re-wire” your brain and end your loop of misery.
To change your life, you’ve got to change what you focus on, change what it means to you, and change what you’re doing about it.” – Sam Page
In an article from Berkeley called “How to Trick Your Brain for Happiness,” Psychologist Rick Hansen says, “The key to it is a controlled use of attention. Attention is like a spotlight . . .” You can either choose to shine that spotlight on your spouse’s positive aspects and positive memories with them or on the negative.
So, in preparation for Valentine’s Day, I want to try to harness this power of positive thought for all of us towards our spouses. I’m going to play Cupid, striking a love arrow straight to your heart, overwhelming your senses with love.
Each day for the first fourteen days of February, I’ll be providing you with a love prompt and then answering it myself. Here is a list of the prompts:
I’d love for you all to play along. In fact, I’ll make it easy for you. Here is a PDF you can download for free with all the prompts and space to answer them in. You can print it off, answer them and give them to your spouse for Valentine’s Day. What a great present, right?!
^^^^ Click here for the free printable ^^^^
Here’s what it looks like:
I hope you guys enjoy answering these prompts as much as I have. As I’ve answered the questions, I’ve been all tingly with love for Rich- remembering past fond memories and focusing on his best qualities. Let me know how it goes!