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Abundant Thinking In Relationships

Abundant Thinking in Relationships

Introduction

There’s no place like home! That line is from one of my favorite movies, The Wizard of OZ. However, we don’t have to go over the rainbow to discover the abundance right in front of us.

In a previous post, Abundant Thinking At Work, I focused on how abundant thinking can impact us, the people we work with, and our workplace. This article focuses on how abundant thinking impacts our closest relationships and how we can positively leverage this thinking to affect these relationships.

Other posts in this series include:

Abundant Thinking in Relationships

What is Abundance In Relationships

Why is abundance in relationships necessary? After a challenging conversation with your significant other, have you ever heard yourself telling yourself a story about what you FELT happened? Then with time, you either asked or saw through the other’s action that what you FELT happened was not the case. 

Abundant thinking in relationships can be considered the capacity to reserve judgment. Or, as one writer talks about. We can think of our feelings toward our significant other almost as a bank account, with each negative interaction representing a withdrawal and each positive interaction a deposit.

When we hold a spirit of abundance, we have a high ability or capacity to withhold judgment altogether or our ability to assign positive intent to challenging situations. We are willing to put a positive spin on challenging interactions, giving our loved ones the benefit of the doubt.  

What is Scarcity Thinking in Relationships

Scarcity thinking finds its way into our relationships as win/lose scenarios. In a given situation, someone has to be right, and someone has to be wrong. Someone has to win, and someone has to lose. It is a zero-sum game.

We feel that giving the benefit of the doubt opens us to being taken advantage of. We think that showing vulnerability is the same as showing weakness. We equate challenging discussions as a game rather than an opportunity to learn, grow and discover more about each other. As a game, someone has to win. We may as well be the one who wins, right?

Treating learning opportunities and opportunities to experience true authenticity as being the equivalent of a contest is a loss. It is a loss for us and our relationship. It is a moment of scarcity. Understanding the true opportunity we have at that moment requires us to shift our mindset to one of abundance.

Shifting to an Abundant Mindset

Having an abundant mindset in a relationship can require that we stop keeping a scorecard on our relationship. Unless there are severe issues of one-sidedness, we most likely have what we need to survive. To thrive may mean recognizing that we have what we need and allowing our mindset to shift toward greater abundance. 

Each person in a relationship brings certain strengths and experiences to the relationship. Exploring those strengths and calling them out where we see them can not only helps us to satisfy our internal scorecard but offers the opportunity to work on aspects of our relationship collaboratively 

Celebrate what you bring to your relationship. It isn’t always pretty, appropriate, or appreciated. But we all bring something to our relationships. Sometimes it’s strength in an area where our significant others don’t have strength. Other times it is a level of complementary thinking that lets us know neither one of us is crazy and that we are all in this together. Whatever it is, celebrate it so that you can enjoy more of it.

Be Authentically You

Being the best version of ourselves requires us to be authentic. We can’t pretend to be someone else and have the best parts of us emerge. If we find ourselves being smaller than we are to keep the peace, stop it. As the Marianne Williamson poem goes, “ . . Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.” (Our Deepest Fear)

“If you are wearing a mask or taking on roles to fit in, you end up feeling alone and disconnected from others. You are a fantastic individual.  But if you’re hiding behind the armor and masks the ego said were needed to be accepted, then no one else will see how wonderful you are.”(TerriKozlowski.com)

We all have a place in this world, and for our coexistence to be the best it can be, we need to be the most authentic version of ourselves. When we are that version of ourselves, we provide abundant gifts to others who surround us.

Practice Gratitude in Your Relationship

We should express gratitude in every aspect of our lives, especially in our relationships. So many of us speak only of our frustrations, omissions, and perceived slights. But how often do we acknowledge the gifts and talents that our significant others bring to our relationships? How often do we show that we truly appreciate them? “When you focus on all you have to be thankful for, you are teaching your egoic mind to concentrate on what you already have rather than what you lack. This way of thinking will assist you in attracting the things you desire.” (apolloniaponti.com)

Another way to practice abundant thinking in relationships is to record our gratitude. If you journal, recording moments of gratitude can affirm the value of yourself and your significant other. I’ve tried keeping a gratitude journal. But, I find it easier and more consistent to think about three things I am grateful for at bedtime. Many of those then make it into my daily journal the next day.

Believe In a Positive Outcome

Sometimes thinking positively is more than a small challenge. With so many situations changing around us, staying positive becomes more difficult with the variety and number of disruptions and potentially negative interactions we encounter. However, with each of these situations, we have a choice in how we react. We can choose to react from a place of abundance or resilience, or we can choose to react from a place of scarcity and trauma.

Positivity is different from toxic positivity. In fact, toxic positivity is not really positivity at all. Psychology Today defines it as, “Toxic positivity is the act of avoiding, suppressing, or rejecting negative emotions or experiences. This may take the form of denying your own emotions or someone else denying your emotions, insisting on positive thinking instead.” (psychologytoday.com)

When we have friends in need, and we offer trite phrases like, “tomorrow is another day,” “at least you have a job,” or “at least you have your health,” we are not offering positivity. To truly offer positivity requires listening, empathizing with our friends, and maybe saying nothing. In real listening and being present in their pain, we may offer the most help.

Negative thinking is a habit. We can choose to shift our thinking. “We are not born to think negatively. We allow it to be there, just like fear. Fear is an illusion we create. You have to become more mindful of your thoughts and patterns and shift these around. Hear them and literally shift these thoughts to something better.” (apolloniaponti.com)

Abundant Thinking in Relationships

Reframing in Relationships

Focus on what is good instead of what is not. We can tend to focus on all things about our significant other that we would like to change instead of all the blessings that they bring to our lives. This is a focus on a glass being half full. In an earlier paragraph, we covered showing gratitude. Combining reframing with a regular practice of gratitude can be a powerful personal practice for your relationships.

“For instance, if you wish your partner watched sports less, try to instead focus on the fact that your partner has healthy passions (as opposed to unhealthy behaviors like excessive drinking). Not to mention, his or her time focused on sports provides you with opportunities for solo time or outings with your friends during Sunday football games. When you can reframe a challenge or perceived shortcoming into an opportunity for yourself, you start to see the “glass half full” and experience life through the lens of abundance.” (centerforsharedinsight.com)

Forgiveness Releases Abundance

Forgiveness is for us. “The ability to forgive someone shows that we have inner strength.  The statement, I forgive you, is simple but invokes powerful emotions from our egoic minds.  We’ve all been hurt, and we’ve all hurt others.  So, we have been on both sides.  The need to ask another for forgiveness is just as hard as forgiving someone who hurts us.  But when we do, when we forgive someone, it’s the most significant recognition that we are healing.” (terrikozlowski.com)

Forgiveness allows our hearts to heal. Have you ever carried around a negative memory of someone, knowing that they knew exactly how they hurt us and believing that they simply didn’t care about us and our needs? We may be right. However, they may not care because they don’t know they’ve hurt us. There is a saying that “unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Not forgiving someone simply results in our heart is burdened by the pain of holding on to a memory or the feeling of that memory long past that feeling serving us. It may have never served us. But holding on to it certainly does not serve us.  It is not practicing abundant thinking in relationships. 

Forgiveness permits others to grow. We have wonderful minds that can picture a vision and align our thoughts and actions toward that vision. Our minds can also freeze a perspective or feeling about someone close to us. They did something we are upset about, and now we will not let them live beyond that memory. Then, we become upset that they are not striving to do more when we’ve also become a barrier to their ability to change and take a new path or set of behaviors.

Conclusion

There’s no place like home. There actually isn’t any other place where we should spend more time and energy ensuring that we show up as the most abundant versions of ourselves. 

What will you do today to practice thinking abundantly in your relationship today?

Consider leaving a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

Peace.

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