This is Thanksgiving week in the US and it is just about our favorite holiday because it is a time when the entire country pays attention to something we endeavor to make a daily habit. The attitude of gratitude is something that requires cultivation and is an essential part of consciously creating the life of our dreams and visions.
Something we are always grateful for is the stream of acknowledgment and appreciation we receive almost on a daily basis from our students and clients. It is a balm to our souls and lets us know that we are fulfilling our mission to help transform the way the world relates. It inspires us to keep going and to keep giving and sharing the incredible gifts with which we have been blessed for over three decades.
Recently, we received an extraordinary e-mail from one of our subscribers. It took us aback in that the kind of feedback it contained is something we might expect from our clients and students because of our close and personal interaction with them. But, this helped us to understand that we never know how our expressions in the world, even the written word, might impact others.
We share it with you here, with permission:
Hi, Paul and Layne,
I don’t know how long I have been subscribed to your Relationship Tips, but I can tell you that they have been so helpful to me that I have forwarded many of them on to my friends and family members. Your writing has been very significant in revealing my own attitudes about relationships. Because you have helped me to release my RIGHTS, I am usually able to accept whatever level of connection another person can manage. I am now comfortable with the fact that no one else has to meet my standards of communication or behavior (mostly). You have also helped me to work through some issues that seemed to have me ‘stuck’, and I was able to see those situations in a new light of freedom in my heart.
Last week, my sister, who had been absent from and out of contact with our family for 31 years, called and said she wanted to come for a visit. We were overwhelmed with joy. Our family is once again complete, and she is now meeting all of the great nieces and nephews she has never known. Most of our family friends are also welcoming her with open arms. One friend who I stopped by to see yesterday feels that there should be some form of judgment for the fact that my sister abandoned my parents all these years. It was a frustrating conversation, because this friend did not understand that holding that judgment at an unconscious level is what is keeping her own children at arms’ distance!
It was so thrilling, as my sister and I visited, and recounted some of the years we were apart, she described how she missed having someone with a shared history, someone who understood a joke that did not have to be explained, and how we had been so spiritually in tune with one another. How many times, over the last 30 years, did I long for that relationship, and sought it in others (even inappropriate others), because it had been taken from me. Even though I am happily married to a terrific man for 37 years, I knew ten years ago that this was a hole in my heart that I felt acutely, and that I was still trying to fill.
Your writings helped me to let go of that pain. I believe that was like opening a door, so this relationship could once again be alive. If only folks could know that this process you teach is about RESTORATION of any relationship that desires restoration. Thank you so much for this work that you do. I feel that you have contributed to the restoration and wholeness of my family. Please accept my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all you do in your teaching. Bless you both!
Just as Gayle touched our lives by letting us know that our writings have had profound meaning for her and her family, we all touch the lives of others in ways we may never know, for good or ill, just by the words we use, our tone of voice, or simply a look.
But, so often we fail to let the people who are important to us know that they are important to us, and in what ways specifically they are important to us and how they make our lives better and richer just by their presence.
And so it is with a profound sense of gratitude for you, dear Reader, that we wish you the blessings of the Spirit of Thanksgiving.
Fall Colors in Our Neighborhood – Photo (c) Paul Cutright