Can you remember the good — and only the good?

Can a relationship filled with endless miscommunications ever shift back to what it once was? What do you do if every time you pick up the phone, you hang up wondering how in the world did the conversation deteriorate like that? Stop talking? Give up? Walk away?

I had one of those conversations last night. After months of missed opportunities to connect, I found myself once again soaked in the frustration of not being able to hear or be heard. The conversation ended with, “I don’t like you.”

On that note, I hung up and made dinner. As I sat down to my plate of poached salmon and rice, I picked up my nightly source of grace prayers, A Grateful Heart by M J Ryan. I asked for the perfect prayer for the day and got this from Iyanla Vanzant:

“The ancient Africans taught that if a person is good to you, you must forever speak good of them… In order to keep the good flowing, you must speak of it. Everything we receive in life is food for our growth. If we eat from the plate, we must give thanks. Remembering, without that food, at that time, we may have starved.”

I’ve had this book for a decade. I open it every night to whatever page Spirit selects. Over thousands of meals I’ve never been led to this prayer. Spirit waited for the perfect day to hear it. I was, at long last, ready.

I swallowed Iyanla’s words whole. I was reminded of how simple it could be. Just focus on the vast good that was in the relationship. Remember and speak of when we supported one another, laughed together, cheered one another on. Remember the hope and blessings that poured through both of us in our dark times and in our joys.

I whispered “thank you” to Spirit for this perfect reminder to remember and speak of the good and let everything else dissolve in the ether. Simply let go of the hurt, the frustration, the pain. Open my fist and drop all the pain.

I know that this is possible. And I know it has blessed results. As my ex-husband lay dying in a sterile ICU room, our son and I stood beside his quivering body and made a vow. I told him that we would forever remember the good and only the good. Even as I spoke the words, I felt a release and a relief. It is such freedom to see and remember the good. And there was good. There was. And, thanks to our vow, there continues to be.

I choose today to do the same. See the good and name it and be thankful for that and let everything else fall away. I am free.

Have you done something like this? How do you shift, let go, get free?


4 Comments on “Can you remember the good — and only the good?”

  1. Patricia Caraway says:

    I needed to hear this today as I get so frustrated with my husband. I know he’s a good man – I’ve been with him over 30 years. But he drives me crazy sometimes. Reconnecting, listening, remembering what we felt all those many years ago…
    thanks for reminding me.

    • janetconner says:

      Interesting how quickly word spreads through Twitter. This is an interesting website filled with posts that might be of interest to churches. There are items here that are not in sync with my personal beliefs and preferences, but I love the concept and the way technology helps us connect. So if you’d like to see a wide range of thanksgiving prayers, go ahead and visit Church Mojo.

  2. This was a unique and powerful message to hear the day before Thanksgiving, and thank you for it! Many of us can remember the good in the moment and intend to focus on it for the future, while still harboring resentment or unfinished business from the past. There are many ways we can “open our fist and drop all the pain.” Thank you for showing us how.

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