Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Thursday, December 21, 2017

7 Strategies to Survive the Holidays When You’re Hurting

Filed under: Health & Wellness,Holidays,Personal Growth,Relationships — Larry James @ 10:30 am
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Bob Hollander, JD, LCSW-C and Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, Guest Authors

• My wife is having an affair. It hurts.

• I wonder if we’ll make it to next Christmas. I’m so sad. This could be our last holiday together.

• I want to divorce my husband, but I have to wait until after the holidays. The anxiety is killing me.

• This is the first year since we split. Everything’s changed. It’ll never be the same.

• My kids are going to be with my ex for the holiday. I feel so lonely.

• As a relationship therapist, these are the kinds of things I hear from individuals and couples in my practice.

• The holidays can be incredibly painful when you’re hurting.

In your mind’s eye, you picture everyone else having a jolly time – cheerful and excited; enjoying the holiday season; decorating; cooking; singing; giving and receiving gifts. Yet you are suffering. You feel so alone. You may have sad or anxious thoughts, such as:

• There is nothing to celebrate this year.

• I’m so depressed; I just want to stay in bed.

• I don’t want to decorate.

• I’d like to go to sleep and wake up when it’s all over.

• I’m going to skip the holidays this year.

• I’m so isolated.

I want you to know that although you feel alone, you are not. There are many people who feel sad, depressed, or anxious this time of year.

When life is on the upswing, the holidays may bring added joy and happiness. But when that’s not the case, the holidays may highlight your unhappiness and distress, especially if you are facing the loss or potential loss of a significant relationship.

After all, the holidays are not really about the gifts, the songs, or the pretty decorations. They are about the relationships we have, the people we are giving to or receiving from. They are about sharing the songs and the decorations with others, about eating the latkes or drinking the eggnog together.

I recall one of the times I hurt during the holidays. I grew up in Baltimore. My dad was a cardiovascular surgeon who specialized in emergency medicine. Several years after my parents’ divorce, my dad was offered an opportunity to develop an emergency trauma center at the University of Oklahoma, similar to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. I understood why he couldn’t pass up this opportunity, though it meant he would live 1,334 miles away. He left. As a going-away gift, I gave him an album with pictures of me and my siblings.

It was hard that first year. I went out to visit in December. He and my stepmother hadn’t made any close friends. So, for the holidays they had an “orphan’s dinner.” They rounded up people they worked with and neighbors who didn’t have family locally and invited them to bring a dish to the dinner – and they had to dress like orphans. It was actually fun and we had a very nice time. It’s one of the memories that has stayed with me. I admired the creativity. Instead of focusing on their loneliness, they created a new tradition, which went on for years.

If you are hurting because your relationships are not on solid ground this year, you have some choices to make. You have some control.

Here are seven strategies to survive the holidays when you are hurting:

1. Accept Your Feelings

Sit with your feelings and acknowledge them. Even the most intense feelings will lessen over time. After unthinkable losses, people are more resilient than they imagine. In my practice, I’ve journeyed with people for 25 years through tremendous hurts and losses, through the most painful periods in their lives. I’ve had my own share of pain and losses, too. We can’t imagine surviving them until we do. And then we thrive once again.

2. Be Kind to Yourself

At difficult times, we are more likely to think negatively, to criticize or berate ourselves. Thoughts start with, “If only I had …”; “I wish I would have …”; “I’m worthless because …”; “I’m a failure because …” Validate your feelings; they’re real. But don’t stop there. Work on changing your thoughts to more positive ones.

Ask yourself, “If my child or best friend was saying these things, what would I tell them?” Tell those things to yourself. Love and embrace yourself and your inner child.

No to stress! 3. Take the Stress Off

Often, we put pressure on ourselves, especially when it comes to cooking and gifts. Do you:

•  Think you should make every dish instead of asking others to bring something?
•  Believe all the dishes and desserts should be homemade from scratch?
•  Obsess about getting the “perfect gift”?
•  Spend more money than you can realistically afford?
•  Wrap every gift meticulously?
•  Go overboard on cleaning and decorating?
•  Feel you have to attend every function you’re invited to?

Take the pressure off. These are things you can control. Buy some ready-made food. Ask others to bring a dish or dessert. Get the “good enough” gift. Do less decorating, wrapping, cleaning. Or say, “I wish I could host this year, but I can’t.”

When you are hurting, reach out to friends or family for support, even if you have to push yourself.

4. Connect with Others

When you are hurting, reach out to friends or family for support, even if you have to push yourself. Feeling connected to others is often what soothes our pain. Go to some of the events you’re invited to, even if you stay for only a short time. Remind yourself the holidays are about sharing with others.

5. Start New Traditions

The one thing we can count on is life always changes. Eventually, all traditions end. Kids grow up, marriages end, a family member passes away, and your children start their own families. Traditions feel good because they are familiar. They reassure us that the world is safe, that there is something we can count on. Many of us don’t like change, but none of us can escape the fact all traditions change eventually.

6. Help Others

One of the best ways to not feel isolated is to volunteer where others need help. Work in a soup kitchen, serving meals to people who are poor or homeless. Find a charitable or religious organization in your community and attend an event to pitch in. Volunteer at a hospital.

These acts of kindness not only help the community, they serve to remind you that you are not alone and there are people who have suffered (or are suffering) more than you. This is not meant to invalidate your own suffering, but to remind yourself that pain is a part of life – and it will pass. Helping others may give you a different perspective on your suffering and make you feel more connected.

7. Practice Self-Care

When you don’t have anyone there to care for you, you must care for yourself. Being alone won’t last forever, even if it feels that way. Some suggestions:

•  Cook your favorite meal.
•  Try not to overeat.
•  Get seven to eight hours of sleep.
•  Meditate or listen to soothing music.
•  Stay away from alcohol; it’s a depressant.
•  Don’t use drugs to cover up the hurt. You may only create another problem for yourself and your family.
•  Treat yourself to something special that you wouldn’t ordinarily do – a show, a pedicure, a spa day.
•  Explore nature. Bundle up and go for a walk. Breathe in the cold air. Practice mindfulness.

Now it’s your turn. What are you going to do to survive the holidays? If you need help, coaches are here to support you.

“What’s difficult in life is to stay centered when somebody does or says something that tempts us to close our hearts because their heart was closed. That is hard. But that is also how we grow. We go through those circumstances in order to evolve into people who can hold to our loving center no matter what the world throws us.” ~ Marianne Williamson

BONUS Article:  Rx for the Holiday Blues!

© Copyright 2017 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, therapist in Owings Mills, Maryland. You can visit Relationships Work online at: http://www.RelationshipsWork.com. Follow them on Facebook.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ comment Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How to Keep Holiday Harmony with Your In-Laws

Filed under: Holidays,Relationships — Larry James @ 10:30 am
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Bob Hollander, JD, LCSW-C and Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, Guest Authors

HolidayHarmony.jpgGoing home for the holidays? Many people do. If you are close to your in-laws, consider yourself lucky and enjoy your holiday season. For the rest of you, keep reading. There are ways to minimize difficulties with in-laws if you and your partner prepare upfront.

Many couples in our practice are doing just that – talking with each other about how to manage and reduce the stress around visiting each other’s families. It’s especially complicated when there are blended families. The best defense is a good offense. So, set time aside for you and your partner to create some holiday harmony.

Here are 5 steps to keep holiday harmony with your in-laws.

1.  Have Realistic Expectations.  Anticipate the issues that will arise and plan for them. You can predict who is going to be the backseat parent, who will talk your ear off without asking you one question about yourself, who will comment on how you are dressed, or worse yet, how much weight you’ve gained, who will gossip about other family members in the room.

The good part about being able to predict this, is that you can anticipate and prepare responses up front, instead of being caught off guard and reacting emotionally to things that you should have known were going to happen.

2.  Plan Your Responses.

  • Pick your battles: Sometimes the best response is “no response” – walk away, go to the bathroom, or bite your tongue.
  • Acknowledge and redirect: When your mother-in-law tells you how to discipline your son, say “I understand that’s how you see it.” This acknowledges you’ve heard her, and shuts down the conversation. Then move on to another topic.
  • Assert yourself: When appropriate, be authentic and direct. If your husband’s grandmother says, “I liked your hair long. Why did you cut it,” you can say, “I appreciate your opinion; my husband loves the new style.”

3.  Don’t Take It Personally.  I remember a quote from Wayne Dyer that I have often thought of at times when I felt someone was judging me: “What you think of me is none of my business.” Keep that thought in your back pocket and use it.

Remember, we can’t pick our families and we certainly can’t pick our in-laws. Marriage is a package deal and that’s what we sign up for. Whatever they think about you or say is more of a reflection about who they are, than of you.

4.  Stick Together.  Operate as a team. Maintain your empathy for each other and look at things from each other’s perspective. Your partner needs to not make you wrong for your feelings and reactions; you must be mindful that no matter what the baggage is, most people still love, and feel protective of, their parents and other family members.

5.  Plan Your Exit Strategy.  Decide up front when you will leave, but maintain flexibility. Remember, it is only one day, and you are doing this for your partner.

Preparing for holiday visits to family is a great way to head off difficulties; work on communication and listening skills; create a deeper sense of connection with your partner and set yourself up to have a wonderful time.

BONUS Articles: Have a Happy Holiday & a Prosperous New Year!
Rx for the Holiday Blues!

Copyright © 2015 by Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD. Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, is a licensed counselor and co-founder of Relationships Work, an innovative therapy practice and online resource center. Together with her husband, Bob, they encourage couples to consciously co-create their relationships in order to achieve a deeper, more intimate connection. You can visit Relationships Work online at: http://www.RelationshipsWork.com. Follow them on Facebook.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ comment Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Best Gift for Your Holiday Honey

Holi-DateBob Hollander, JD, LCSW-C and Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, Guest Authors

Are you wondering, what is the best gift for your honey this holiday season?

Relationships and marriages become stressed around the holidays. Too much to do and not enough time. What tends to fall to the bottom of our lists is making time to connect with our partners.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With just a little thoughtfulness, your relationship can flourish during the holidays. Several years ago Bob and I wrote about what we call “Holi-Dates.”

Holi-Date – A short, sweet date with your partner in December designed to revitalize you, your mate and your connection.

We believe Holi-Dates are the best gift for your “holiday honey.” Finding pockets of time or longer to share with each other can reduce stress, deepen your feelings of connection and turn the to-do list into something fun.

Our “Holi-Date” video will explain further. We hope it inspires you to do more connecting with your honey this season!

Some of our past favorite Holi-Dates:

• Day trip to NYC – the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, skating at Rockefeller Center and FAO Schwartz toy store
• Ice skating and hot chocolate
• Symphony of Lights in Columbia
• The Chanukah House in Baltimore
• Hampden’s Miracle on 34th Street and cherry pie at Café Hon
• Barnes & Nobles – gift buying, and dessert and coffee at Starbucks
• Watching old Christmas movies at home

BONUS Articles: Rx for the Holiday Blues!
A Gift of the Heart
This Man Is Dating Someone Although He’s Married. Sounds Disgusting, AND I’m On His Side.
10 Ideas for a Date Night In
Date Night – No Less Than Once Each Week – No Excuses!

Copyright © 2014 by Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD. Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, is a licensed counselor and co-founder of Relationships Work, an innovative therapy practice and online resource center. Together with her husband, Bob, they encourage couples to consciously co-create their relationships in order to achieve a deeper, more intimate connection. You can visit Relationships Work online at: http://www.RelationshipsWork.com. Follow them on Facebook.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Seasons Greetings from the “Valley of the Sun,” Scottsdale, AZ!

In the desert, we do Christmas differently. The winter grass is growing, the palms are swaying in the breeze. We decorate our houses and the cacti in our desert yards with chile pepper lights while wearing our t-shirts and shorts. We also drive around town looking at the Christmas lights in our convertibles with the top down.

HappyHolidays3White Christmas? It’s rare, at least in Scottsdale. Snow is something we don’t see much of around here. During December the temperature will seldom dip below 35 degrees. The average temperature on Christmas day is 65 degrees.

We experienced a 15 minute snow storm, with the wind blowing hard, about 8 years ago, however it melted as soon as it hit the ground. Some say that was the first heavy snowfall in nearly 30 years. If we must have snow, we can drive two 1/2 hours north to Flagstaff and go skiing. I love this place!

snowballheartThere couldn’t be a better time to tell you how very much you are Loved.

During this Holiday Season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible. It is in this spirit we say . . . Thank you for your continued support of our work in the relationships and wedding ceremonies areas.

We wish you a Happy Holiday Season and a New Year full of great relationships, health, happiness, prosperity and other good stuff!

May the Christmas Spirit of Love, forgiveness, prosperity and generosity be with you through this holiday season. My prayers and hopes for you in the coming years are that you will draw closer to God’s Divine Light and that His Love and His Grace will be evident in and through your life.

As part of my Holiday gift to you, please enjoy a heartwarming story called, “The Selfish Giant,” read by Og Mandino.

I wish you a blessed Christmas or a Happy Holiday. . . your choice, to people of all faiths and Spiritual persuasions! And. . . have a very Prosperous New Year!

Now. . . go give someone you love a big “Holiday Hug!” Or. . . kiss someone under the mistletoe! Or both!

More about Christmas! Read, “Rx for the “Holiday Blues.”

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Be Grateful for Everything!

Filed under: Holidays,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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We set aside November as a special time to be grateful and to be thankful for all our blessings! I’m thinking that it might be a great idea to pause for a few seconds every day to think about something for which we are grateful. Gratitude inspires kindness and connection.

I am most grateful for the power of choice. Every day we make thousands of choices about our thoughts, our feelings and our actions. Each choice brings with it it’s own consequences. Some are good and some not so good. I am grateful for the wisdom to make the right choices.

Happy-Thanksgiving4No matter what happens today, choose gratitude. If everything goes your way, choose gratitude. If everything looks as though it is falling apart, choose gratitude. Gratitude is the most powerful choice that you can make. Gratitude changes us so that we more deeply realize the abundance that is available to us.

Albert Schweitzer called gratitude “The secret to life.” He said, “The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live. He has penetrated the whole master of life: giving thanks for everything.”

Wouldn’t this be a better world and wouldn’t our relationships all be better if we could train our minds to be grateful for our blessings instead of focusing on our disappointments?

Resolve to make gratitude a daily habit. Gratitude is a muscle that needs to be exercised everyday, so give yourself a personal workout challenge. Experts say that it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit. Let’s all form the habit of gratitude by going 21 days without criticizing, condemning or complaining. It may be tough, and you CAN do it if you truly put your mind to it.

MaxineThanksgivingThis Thanksgiving, may you celebrate in your own personal way and create a holiday you can be grateful for in the years to come. May you be grateful for all the ups and downs that shape who you are and who you are becoming.

It is my hope that you will start a tradition of meaningful celebration, whether it is an intimate dinner for two, a lively and spirited gathering of the whole family, a day of celebrating yourself, or a time to serve others.

Right now, think of something or someone you are grateful for. Take a moment to recognize what you can appreciate, speaking your gratitude out loud, letting the people you care about know how you feel. Send them an e-mail or better yet, give them a call.

My friend, Wes Hopper, publishes a complimentary “Gratitude Newsletter” each month. Check it out at: http://www.DailyGratitude.com.

Read “A Prayer of Thanksgiving!”

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2007 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday, America!

GodBlessAmericaHope you have a S A F E and Happy Independence Day!

Independence Day which is commonly known as the Fourth of July in the United States, is a federal holiday which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Thus it is that auspicious day when United States declared itself independent from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Since then until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with the celebration taking grandeur look which is well complemented with parades, fireworks, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, family reunions, barbecues and political gatherings and speeches.

Be patriotic and hoist the colors! Repeat the “Pledge of Allegiance” to the Flag!

Since then until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with the celebration taking grandeur look which is well complemented with parades, fireworks, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, family reunions, barbecues and political gatherings and speeches.
Read more at http://www.theholidayspot.com/july4/index.htm#JSGCxZZEoIza3wgH.99

When you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world.

July4thFor links that will provide you with information about this grrreat country of ours, click here then click on the links below!

The History of America’s Flag Day

America’s Pledge of Allegiance History

The Pledge of Allegiance

Enjoy!

Speak UP for America! Send at least one friend the link to this page:
http://www.CelebrateLove.wordpress.com

Help create and sustain the American Spirit!

“I love you, America!” – Larry James

BONUS Articles: Facts About US History
25 Fascinating Facts About America

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Gratitude,Holidays,Prayer,Spirituality — Larry James @ 8:30 am

Be thankful for your relationships.

All of them.

PrayerThanksgivingSeems to me that there may be only two prayers worthy of praying. One prayer is to know God better. The other prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving.

Pray a prayer of self-discovery and one of gratitude, and know God is listening.

It is useless and wastes God’s time — and our mental energy — to pray for things. God has given us the ability to choose. Our greatest power is choice. To use this power to choose to pray for things that God has already given us the power to create may not be an effective use of our time.

I can imagine God being amused. I can hear him saying, “Why don’t they get it? I have given them everything and yet they insist upon asking me for the same things, over and over again.”

childprayingIt may not seem logical that you should only pray a prayer of thanksgiving. If you are someone who has always used your prayers for asking, this may sound strange to you. This, to some, may appear to be an arrogant way to speak to God. Hardly.

“If the only prayer you ever said was, ‘Thank you.’ that would be enough.” – Meister Eckhart

God will view your prayers with greater reverence when you acknowledge that you have already been given the power to choose. Stop asking God to give you a great relationship. Instead, choose to thank God for a love relationship that transcends your own imagination, then do whatever you can to help it turn out that way.

It’s up to you to do. Take whatever steps are necessary to accomplish what you want. Do at least one thing everyday towards accomplishing what you have thanked God for. Make a call, attend a seminar; do whatever it takes.

“Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, author, “Codependent No More

Thank God every day for guidance. Listen to the still small voice within. When you respond to what you “hear,” the rewards are often more than you ever expected. Listen to your heart. It always tells you the truth.

In the past we have asked for a great relationship, never received it, and never bothered to do anything differently and wondered why God didn’t answer our prayer. Hopefully, we have learned that lesson by now. That’s like asking God for a great job and never going to look for one. Excuse me! I don’t believe that’s what God had in mind. We must be thankful and do something.

Being thankful for the relationships you already have is one of the keys to attracting the relationships you want. Cultivate the practice of affirmative prayer. An attitude of gratitude is faith in action. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that what you are thankful for, you will experience. What you focus on, manifests.

A grateful prayer begins the creation process. Let go of the “wanting” of it and focus on what it feels like to have what you desire.

Someone once said, “Pray without ceasing.” God hears your quiet thoughts too. Another good reason for keeping your thoughts focused on what you desire. Thinking positive is a good thing. Caution: Negative prayer (or thought) works too.

“I pray every night and I don’t ask for much.  I just say, ‘Thank you.'” ~ Prince. American Musician, 1958 – 2016

Saying a prayer of thanksgiving has you focus on the good things that are happening to you and the good things that are about to happen to you. That alone may be a good enough reason to only pray a prayer of thanksgiving. It creates a thirst for more of the good that God says is already yours. Think about it. You get what you really believe.

Is it true that when something bad happens we tend to not want to take responsibility that the bad we see is what we created? Not taking responsibility means we try to find someone outside of ourselves to blame. When we ask God for things and the things don’t come, who do we blame? When we blame God for not answering prayer, our love for God becomes conditional. There is no room for blame in an unconditional love relationship.

gratitude“Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, author, “Codependent No More

How can we justify loving Him conditionally when we, in our self-serving arrogance, resist believing that our misfortune is our own fault?

God always answers prayer. Always. It may not be the answer you want but he always answers.

Can we look at ourselves in the mirror, take complete responsibility for our relationships and all areas of our lives, and know that we do have choice and we do create our own reality? As within, so without. Consider saying ‘yes’ to prayers of self-discovery and thanksgiving and experience the miracle of good that God has already given to you. Then get busy and do something different. Change your thinking and your behavior and you will change your life!

“Gratitude is a wonderful way to experience this world through peace, freedom, and joy. When we recognize the limitless good contained in every moment, we begin to know the grace that flows through life. Acknowledging all experiences as being helpful in some way, does immeasurable good to correcting wayward thoughts and feelings. Thankfulness helps release our hold upon old energy that limits and binds us.” ~ Harold W. Becker

Pray to know God. Thank Him for being there for you. Be grateful for the gift of constant and faithful devotion He has given to help you get to know Him better. Pray to thank God for His abundance. Let Him know how grateful you are for the relationships in your life. Offer thanks for your present circumstance, regardless of what you think or feel about it. Thank Him for the lessons of good you learn from the things you often call bad. Thank Him for the tears of joy and the tears of sadness.

Be grateful for your abiltity to create an attitude of receptivity. Thank Him for more love, courage and understanding. Express gratitude for the everyday miracles that occur that you often take for granted. Be grateful for the power of choice. Thank God for creating the possibility of unconditional love and for the self-discipline to stay on that path. Thank Him for the opportunity to express gratitude. Be thankful for all that God has freely given.

Now. . . receive it!

Whatever you want in your relationships. . . wants you! Thank God for that, too!

“To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do.” – Oswald Chambers

Read a special thought and prayer about gratitude from Rev. Richard Rogers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Your thoughts?

GratefulHeartCLoveLOGOCopyright © 2007, 2012 & 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Your Thanksgiving Inventory

What are you thankful for?

Be thankful for your relationships.

All of them.

thankscopiaSeems to me that there may be only two prayers worthy of praying. One prayer is to know God better. The other prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving.

Pray a prayer of self-discovery and one of gratitude, and know God is listening.

It is useless and wastes God’s time — and our mental energy — to pray for things. God has given us the ability to choose. Our greatest power is choice. To use this power to choose to pray for things that God has already given us the power to create may not be an effective use of our time.

I can imagine God being amused. I can hear him saying, “Why don’t they get it? I have given them everything and yet they insist upon asking me for the same things, over and over again.”

It may not seem logical that you should only pray a prayer of thanksgiving. If you are someone who has always used your prayers for asking, this may sound strange to you. This, to some, may appear to be an arrogant way to speak to God. Hardly.

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is, ‘Thank you,’ it would be enough.” – Meister Eckhart

God will view your prayers with greater reverence when you acknowledge that you have already been given the power to choose. Stop asking God to give you a great relationship. Instead, choose to thank God for a love relationship that transcends your own imagination, then do whatever you can to help it turn out that way.

It’s up to you to do. Take whatever steps are necessary to accomplish what you want. Do at least one thing everyday towards accomplishing what you have thanked God for. Make a call, attend a seminar; do whatever it takes.

Thank God every day for guidance. Listen to the still small voice within. When you respond to what you “hear,” the rewards are often more than you ever expected. Listen to your heart. It always tells you the truth.

In the past we have asked for a great relationship, never received it, and never bothered to do anything differently and wondered why God didn’t answer our prayer. Hopefully, we have learned that lesson by now. That’s like asking God for a great job and never going to look for one. Excuse me! I don’t believe that’s what God had in mind. We must be thankful and do something.

Being thankful for the relationships you already have is one of the keys to attracting the relationships you want. Cultivate the practice of affirmative prayer. An attitude of gratitude is faith in action. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that what you are thankful for, you will experience. What you focus on, manifests.

“Stay in a state of gratitude and awe. You can’t feel stressed and appreciative at the same time.” – Dr Wayne Dyer

A grateful prayer begins the creation process. Let go of the “wanting” of it and focus on what it feels like to have what you desire.

Someone once said, “Pray without ceasing.” God hears your quiet thoughts too. Another good reason for keeping your thoughts focused on what you desire. Thinking positive is a good thing. Caution: Negative prayer (or thought) works too.

Saying a prayer of thanksgiving has you focus on the good things that are happening to you and the good things that are about to happen to you. That alone may be a good enough reason to only pray a prayer of thanksgiving. It creates a thirst for more of the good that God says is already yours. Think about it. You get what you really believe.

Is it true that when something bad happens we tend to not want to take responsibility that the bad we see is what we created? Not taking responsibility means we try to find someone outside of ourselves to blame. When we ask God for things and the things don’t come, who do we blame? When we blame God for not answering prayer, our love for God becomes conditional. There is no room for blame in an unconditional love relationship.

“Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, author, “Codependent No More

How can we justify loving Him conditionally when we, in our self-serving arrogance, resist believing that our misfortune is our own fault?

God always answers prayer. Always. It may not be the answer you want but he always answers.

Can we look at ourselves in the mirror, take complete responsibility for our relationships and all areas of our lives, and know that we do have choice and we do create our own reality? As within, so without. Consider saying ‘yes’ to prayers of self-discovery and thanksgiving and experience the miracle of good that God has already given to you. Then get busy and do something different. Change your thinking and your behavior and you will change your life!

Pray to know God. Thank Him for being there for you. Be grateful for the gift of constant and faithful devotion He has given to help you get to know Him better. Pray to thank God for His abundance. Let Him know how grateful you are for the relationships in your life. Offer thanks for your present circumstance, regardless of what you think or feel about it. Thank Him for the lessons of good you learn from the things you often call bad. Thank Him for the tears of joy and the tears of sadness.

Be grateful for your abiltity to create an attitude of receptivity. Thank Him for more love, courage and understanding. Express gratitude for the everyday miracles that occur that you often take for granted. Be grateful for the power of choice. Thank God for creating the possibility of unconditional love and for the self-discipline to stay on that path. Thank Him for the opportunity to express gratitude. Be thankful for all that God has freely given.

Now. . . receive it!

Whatever you want in your relationships. . . wants you! Thank God for that, too!

“To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do.” – Oswald Chambers

heart6

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” There are more than 750 pages of great relationship information on Larry’s Website. Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/

Monday, May 25, 2009

It’s Memorial Day!

Filed under: Holidays — Larry James @ 12:01 am
Tags:

MemorialDayMemorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. To many people, especially the nation’s thousands of combat veterans, this day, which has a history stretching back all the way to the Civil War, is an important reminder of those who died in the service of their country.

More about Memorial Day!

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Have a Happy Holiday & a Prosperous New Year!

Filed under: Holidays,Relationships — Larry James @ 12:01 am

During this season of celebration, are you are experiencing a dip in your mood just when it’s the season to celebrate thankfulness and to be jolly? The hustle and bustle got you down? Are you overwhelmed with the busyness of the season?

Are you dreading the holidays? Feeling behind before you even begin preparations? Wish you could hibernate until the season’s over? Avoiding tree-trimmings and office parties? Is your attitude, “Bah-humbug!?” For your own well being, don’t boycott the holidays.

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, Ramadan, New Years eve – whatever you celebrate this season, being single doesn’t suck as much as you think. You have a choice between sitting home and wallowing in your own self pity and crying into a warm beer watching reruns of “It’s a Wonderful Life” or creating a very special holiday just for you. Embrace your situation. There is hope.

Nostalgia is often characterized as depression.

Nostalgia is a disorder of the imagination, where the mind is dwelling upon past memories and loses interest in the present situation: a mood disorder. It is a longing for pleasures, experiences, or events belonging to the past. Those memories are often brought on by an aroma, a song, an old movie, a picture, and can send you back many, many years.

Although nostalgia is not depression, it can lead to depression. For nostalgia to be normal, it must contain a depressive component that is related to the recognition that the past is irrevocable. In its pathological form, the mood contains only the elated aspects without the acceptance of loss, or what could be described as bittersweet sentiment.

Homesickness deals with the nagging thought that perhaps you made a terrible mistake in leaving the comforts of your old life, which may bring a temporary phase of loneliness and depression.

There is never any benefit in longing for what once was, but rather much joy in exploring what is. Focus on the present and think positively. This approach can help reduce some of your frustration and unhappiness as well as build your confidence to live in the spirit of the holiday season.

To really enjoy it during the holidays, you’ll first need to temper your expectations. Forget about what’s “supposed” to happen. Remember that lots of people out there are doing what’s expected, and probably running themselves a little ragged.

Read more about this and get 56 suggestions to help you dodge the perils of solitude and radiate holiday cheer. Go to: http://www.CelebrateLove.com/holidayblues.htm

Copyright © 2008 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Author Larry James presents seminars nationally for singles and couples. Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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