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About The Author: Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.D.

Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.D., is the top selling author of WHY MEN LEAVE,
Psychologist and psychotherapist, she offers a ezine, reading
material and a free message board where she answers questions and 
gives advice.

Infusing Spiritual And Emotional Health Into Your Relationships

Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.D. 

"The whole world is medicine What is the illness?"

There is one sure fire medicine which cures all pain and difficulty and opens the way for your greater good. It allows you to sleep well at night, wake up refreshed and filled with enthusiasm for your daily tasks. When you take this medicine obstacles evaporate and wonderful meetings with others proliferate tremendously. This medicine is abundantly available, has no side effects and can be taken in large or small doses regularly. You need no one to prescribe it. The more you take, the sweeter it is.

This medicine is the practice of thankfulness. Notice, I said "practice." Thankfulness of this kind must become more than a fleeting feeling,it must become a way of life. This way of life can also be called the way of doing and giving, of practicing "deeds of worth." Although there are endless cures for anxiety, one thing is impossible - to be depressed and grateful at the same time.

Thankfulness takes many forms, but unless it is translated into consistent action it does not have the ongoing impact we are speaking of. Thankfulness must become a verb. You must find a way to express it daily, and to become constantly aware of all you have to be grateful for. You are not then giving out of obligation, but out of a full heart. You are no longer aware of all you are lacking, but all you are receiving moment by moment.

Now we are speaking of two prongs of thankfulness practice, the practice of doing thanks, and of working with our attention. We take our attention off our usual self-centered focus and habitual complaining mind, and continually make ourselves aware of what we are receiving from the other, and what we can give in return. Most of our attention is on the giving part as well. Even if we do not feel we are receiving anything at the moment, by giving to the other wholeheartedly, we will receive a great deal in return - the joy of living with an open heart.

When an individual is not functioning well, the bottom line is that there has been a lack of gratitude - they feel unappreciated, unacknowledged, unknown for who they truly are and all they can be.

When flowers receive plenty of sun and water, they grow unabashedly. Humans are no different. The sun of gratitude goes a very long way. By doing "deeds of worth", expressing our thankfulness through actions, through giving of gifts, emotional gifts, physical gifts, service gifts, a strong emotional foundation is built - a foundation which allows ones spirit to live. These deeds must be performed consistently, much the way we brush our teeth each day. 

Here are two suggested exercises to get you under way:

1. In the morning ask yourself the following questions.  Write down the answers. What can I do to make this  day wonderful for (persons name here?) What are they needing? How can I help supply that need?

2. In the morning ask yourself what do I have to be grateful for today? Why should I be grateful for this? What else do I have to be grateful for today?

In these practices we take our focus off our expectations of the other and focus upon how we can help them to grow. This is not a matter of self-sacrifice, but a matter of becoming all we truly are. Through giving to the other, we also grow. To do this we must change our focus, giving up the tunnel vision most of us have lived with our whole life long.

No relationship or project can falter when it is based upon deep caring for the other and for our true selves. Our true selves wants to give, it wants to open its heart and sing songs. Unless our actions come  out of this foundation, no lasting well being can occur. A great psychologist "Jourard once said, "We become sick because we act in sickening ways." When our actions, however, are firmly based upon giving, and deeds of worth, this is the road to lasting health.


Article Title: 
Infusing Emotional and Spiritual Health Into Your Relationship
Author Name: Dr. Brenda Shoshanna
Contact Email Address: 
Word Count: Aproximately 400
Category: Relationships / Advice
Copyright Date: June 12, 1999
Internet Address:  
article is located in the "reading archive".

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