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After these realizations, I pondered this short list of what I thought was wrong with Will. I saw a picture in my mind of myself looking at a beautiful shiny crisp apple. I had a magnifying glass held up to a small brown spot on the very bottom of the apple, so that all I could see was the brown spot. I couldn’t see the beautiful apple.

As I pondered this vision of me only seeing what was wrong in my relationship, I realized that what I needed was to look at the whole of the relationship. To look with a grateful heart for all the good that was there.

At that point, I decided to make another list of everything I was grateful for about Will. It was a long, long list.

The next morning I woke up with a warm sweet feeling of love for Will. I wasn’t mad at him anymore. I felt calm and peaceful. There was no need to continue the discussion from the previous night about what was wrong. I knew that we still had some issues to work out, but I felt confident that we would work them out. (And we did.)

I knew he was committed to the relationship and now I knew I was too. I felt full – full of gratitude and appreciation. Right then all I wanted to do was be in the love – feel it, share it, experience it to its fullest. I just wanted to laugh and play and enjoy our time together before I had to go back home.

This was a defining moment in our relationship. It is one of those experiences that I continue to go back to as a reminder of this exquisite lesson. It was a turning point in my life and a powerful demonstration of the effectiveness of gratitude. Without gratitude I never would have seen all the good I was turning my back on.

More important, without gratitude, I would not have been able to dissolve the anger and frustration. My heart would have been hard and unavailable for love. Gratitude opened my heart to receive more love. It brought me into the present moment that has no time for misery, but urgently must seize the moment for love and pleasure, for the good and joy of life.

Gratitude doesn’t sweep away the problems in a relationship.

Gratitude puts them into perspective. It gives you clarity about what is important. That is the key.

There are many sticky issues that surface in a relationship. Gratitude levels the playing field so that you don’t blow these issues out of proportion or take them too seriously.

When you focus your attention on the problems you tend to forget about all the wonderful things you have together, all the good qualities that originally attracted you to your mate.

Gratitude is to a relationship as protein is to your body. Just as your body must have protein to be strong and healthy, so your relationship’s health and strength requires gratitude and appreciation.

Gratitude opens your heart and connects you to the love, which is the strongest, most potent energy on the planet. Gratitude is truly the magic potion that keeps any long-term love relationship as strong as rock and sizzling with chemistry.

Do you have the magic potion of gratitude in your relationship with others? And do you have it for yourself?

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