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Tuesday
Nov032009

1.3 The Story


Something Good

 
It takes a trained eye to spy something good.

 
A sloppy gaze can easily find the broken, annoying, worn out things. Noticing the ache in your shoulders comes easily. Awareness of your pain free joints does not. Who starts a conversation with what is working well?
 
"Hey, my car started this morning!"
 
"Our teenage son was friendly at dinner."
 
"My husband came home last night after work!"
 
Yet those circumstances are part of our experience too. It takes effort to see them, to acknowledge them and to be grateful for them.
 
One of the regular parts of the marriage group we lead is called "Brag Time." In it, we invite people to tell the gang something they love about their spouse. It is sweeter than candy but withour the calories. I have noticed that some couples cannot muster the words to appreciate this person beside them. I can almost see their gratitude door rusted shut. They listen for the first few weeks, as others tell stories about how their partner let them sleep in, or built a new fence, or took the cranky kids to the park.
 
Then, like the Tin Man, the oil of love and a little motion creaks it open, and they too have a new heart.
 
Sometimes people arrive at marriage group in a fractious condition. They have spent the better part of the day chasing toddlers, or placating customers. But here they are now in a comfortable chair, with the person they eagerly chose to spend the rest of their life with. Then after a few minutes of listening to the everyday kindnesses of other ordinary marriages, they smile. The stress of the commute loses its grip. There is room for contentment, even more when they push aside the cobwebby complaints.
 
What person starts a conversation with what is working well? A trained one.