Two Tools to Transform Relationships

How many of us often find ourselves looking backward in our lives? Stuck in past hurts? Longing for how things “used to be”? Upset that our dreams haven’t played out just as we had imagined?

A while ago, I found myself in that very place. I looked around my life and felt like it wasn’t all that I’d hoped it would be. My marriage needed work; my life needed work. It was in this moment of discomfort that I was finally motivated to do something differently (pain is a great incentive!) and start living the life I had always dreamed of.

In my marriage, we had tried many normal routes to get “on the same page.” We had a profound love for each other, and yet kept feeling like we were both not fully getting what we needed out of the relationship. We talked about things and re-hashed arguments, trying to come to a resolution that would transform our marriage.

It wasn’t until we discovered two important tools that we were able to miraculously not only heal our marriage, but create a new relationship beyond our wildest dreams.

Two Tools to Transform Relationships

Tool #1 – Create gratitude

We’ve all been told to count our blessings. I had been doing this my whole life, but it wasn’t until one afternoon where I really discovered the power that lies in gratitude.

One afternoon, standing alone in my living room, in the midst of being completely fed up with my current life, I made a discovery. I really “got” that I could CREATE gratitude; not as a response to a “blessing” or a natural reaction to something going well, but in the depths of worry and frustration, I could create gratitude out of nothing.

When I realized this, it was like taking off blinders. It was as though my life was being viewed through dark lenses looking for the light. Discovering my ability to CREATE gratitude for my life from nothing was like taking off the dark lenses and seeing light everywhere.

Things I had taken for granted in my search for “what I needed” appeared all around me. Literally everywhere. I realized that I had so much more beauty in my life than I knew. This simple shift in my perspective rescued my hope in my marriage. It gave me the “why” to fight for. Choosing gratitude stopped me from disregarding all the glory around me just because something wasn’t just as I wanted it to be.

I started seeing the flip side of my frustrations. For example, the fact that my husband isn’t very outwardly expressive had been a source of frustration in the past. When I created gratitude for this quality of his, I became clear that this was in fact an asset in our lives. His strong, steady temperament has helped level me out and provided stability during difficult times.

This discovery of my power to create gratitude has greatly and permanently shifted my experience of life. It has given me the juicy fruit of life. It has me yearning every day to experience that flood of excitement and breathlessness that comes from creating gratitude for my life just the way it is. It is like my morning coffee. I can’t get enough.

I also use this discovery of mine to instruct my children. We all want our children to be happy. But, it is impossible to provide happiness for someone else. It is so easy to live in a world of “not enough” only to discover that there is “never enough”.

Living an abundant life isn’t an outward experience or something you have to work to obtain; it’s an inward creation that is available to everyone at any time. Now, I can share with my children that the key to happiness in life is being grateful for what you already have. The example of living in gratitude is a gift I CAN give my children.

Sigua Family

Once you’ve mastered creating gratitude, you can find happiness regardless of life’s circumstances. You create and live in contentment, and then every blessing is icing on the cake. What a powerful place to live from rather than waiting for the world to give you contentment!

Tool #2 Embrace that there is NOTHING to fix

My husband and I had been dating since I was a teenager, so there were various past frustrations and moments that kept finding their way into our current relationship. We thought we just needed to talk them through enough times to move past them. But, every time a conflict arose, along came those old dialogues and hurts.

The breakthrough for our marriage came when we realized that there was nothing to fix. (In fact, you cannot fix the past – it’s impossible!) We discovered that the only reason the past still lived in our present marriage was because we kept bringing it up!

The realization that we could just break up with the past – with our past selves, with our past relationship, with past hurts and disappointments – was revolutionary for us.

We spoke our experiences to each other one last time, really got what that experience was like for the other person, offered apologies and forgiveness, and then declared it dead. Those old conversations no longer show up in our present marriage.

When we were able to breakup with our past, what was left was just two people who deeply loved each other. Once you break from the past you’ll be able to realize that your dream life is closer than you think. It opened space to rediscover each other NOW. It created the opportunity to get to know each other again and to see each other for who we are and not for our past mistakes. This was the saving grace and the transformation that has catapulted into an unshakable union.

We get to live in the joy of experiencing each other anew, even after 16 years! It is refreshing and hopeful and lovely.

Transforming Relationships

I share our personal story in the hopes that these discoveries of ours could be helpful to many other marriages. But, I also want to encourage ANYONE whose life is stuck with something from the past.

These tools can transform situations where you are stuck by simply tuning into “NOW”.

If you feel like you’ve been walking through life facing backward – still stuck on wounds of the past or longing for things that have caused you to disregard the present – you can simply turn around.

Face life from the direction it was meant to be lived – fully engaged in the present, facing the future.

First, discover your own power to create gratitude – and then abundance – in your life.

Then, break up with the past and create possibilities for your future. This is the beginning of creating that dream life you’ve always wanted!

Your fellow Life Reclaimist,

Kara Sigua



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