The greatest gift of our fourteen years

Today we celebrate our 14th Wedding Anniversary.  If you know either of us well, you know it’s quite a feat, and something truly worth celebrating!  If you don’t know us well, it’s worth celebrating because we are both incredibly strong-willed, opinionated individuals.  Looking back on this day fourteen years ago, I think there were probably quite a few glasses timidly held in the air with hopes and prayers and blessings that we might somehow figure out a way to live together forever.

Fourteen years later, now that we are older and wiser, we get it.

Life is hard.  Marriage is really hard.  Kids and jobs and new businesses are all hard.  When you add them all together, it’s a wonder anyone survives! 😉

Did you see what I did there?  

I immediately brought the focus to all the things that are difficult and . . . whew!  We’re so glad we scathed by, mostly unharmed.  And you were tracking with me.  Because that’s the way our brains are wired to experience our lives.  There’s a name for it.

It’s called Negativity Bias.  

This bias refers to the fact that negative experiences often have a greater impact on us than positive experiences.  In other words a moment of profound sadness is more easily remembered than a moment of happiness or joy.  It’s innate in our genetic make up to protect us from harm.  Over time our brains became wired to give more attention to avoiding negative stimuli, like a tiger running straight for you, and less attention to positive stimuli, like a moment of laughter or joy, because it kept us alive.  But in our modern lives, left unchecked, that wiring of our brains can keep us discouraged and resentful.  It can keep us remembering all the bad experiences instead of celebrating the good.  The cure?

Gratitude.

“The truth is that life offers a constant stream of challenges that collide with our hopes, plans and expectations. But beneath that stream runs a deeper current of blessings that can easily be taken for granted. Gratitude takes nothing for granted. It shines a spotlight on all that is good, amplifying its presence, all while putting ‘problems’ into perspective so we can respond more constructively, less resentfully.” ~ Margie Warrell

Over the years Scott and I have experienced some difficult circumstances, of course. 

We’ve certainly had trials and tough days.  But we are learning to focus on the positive moments of our life together.  We’re learning to point out the good and speak it out loud.  Some days we even sit together, looking through old pictures on our phones that remind us of all the joy we’ve shared over the years.  It’s amazing how much good those memories and the gratitude they produce, does for our brains.

The perspective of gratitude is the greatest gift of our fourteen years.

Learning to look back through the lens of gratitude, to remember the moments of joy, even through the struggle, makes every mile worth it.

And It’s free for the taking, you can try it today. 

You probably don’t need to make a list of the sad moments, the struggles or the heartbreak.  But start making a list of the joys.  Shine a spotlight on all that is good.

Your gift is there, waiting to be unwrapped. 

to more love,

Crystal

 

6 thoughts on “The greatest gift of our fourteen years

  1. scott/crystal
    You both have worked so hard and deserve the good fruits of your labor. You have discovered one of the keys to a successful marriage – gratitude- and that’s big. One of the most rewarding things in life for a parent is to see their children grow up and do well and love well and parent well. You two have done this in spite of some major obstacles and you’ve done it well. Mom and I are so proud of you both.
    we love you dad

  2. Crystal , I’m so proud of the way you and Scot working on your marriage ! Pray for you every day and love you very much! Dad

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