In this episode, Lorissa encourages us to look at the quality of the thoughts we have about our most important relationships, primarily our marriages. In living out our day to day lives, it’s easy to get stuck in a series of negative thoughts and emotions that only end up hurting us and our relationship.

By managing our minds, we are capable of disrupting those negative thoughts that hold us back from experiencing the loving relationships we most strongly desire. 

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Hello mamas. Welcome to episode 45 of Made For Greatness. I am your host today. Lorissa Horn, and I cannot wait to dive into this week’s episode and to share with you what is on my heart. Now, many of you know that Sterling and I have just recently kicked off a new series in our masters program, all about transforming our marriages and focusing on our relationships with our husbands and already it is so great. It’s so amazing if you are not yet in masters, I would like to personally invite you to come and check it out. We’re about a week in right now, and we’re already hearing from our master’s members about the content, how it’s already helping them so much. We are adding in extra group coaching sessions just to focus on our marriages. So if this is an area in your life where you’re thinking, gosh, I would, I would love to invest a little bit more in my marriage and myself in my relationship with my husband.

 

This is an incredible opportunity. Come and check it out. And with that, that’s what I want to dive into. I want to kind of share some things that we are discussing within that program and, and give you a chance to kind of think about some of these things and how they apply to your life. Now, although in this episode, I am going to be focusing mostly on our relationship with our husbands. You can take what I’m about to teach you and you can apply it to any relationship in your life. Especially if you find yourself in a relationship where you’re struggling in particular, hopefully these tools can help you. I know they’ve helped me. They’ve helped me, not only in my own marriage, but sometimes when my, if I find myself in a, in a struggling relationship with one of my children, a family member coworker, I’ve been able to apply these tools and they have helped me significantly.

 

So let’s get started. First of all, I want to talk about a foundational concept. It’s something that we’ve talked. We talk about in this marriage series and in our master’s program, but it is this. And for me, this concept has been an absolute game changer in all the relationships in my life. But it is this foundational understanding that the quality of our thoughts determine the quality of our relationships. I’m going to say that again, the quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our relationships. If you look at that, if you were to like look at your life and you look at the relationships that are the strongest in your life, the relationships where you have connection with people, and you would consider it a really good relationship, I can guarantee that the quality of the thoughts that you’re having about that are really good thoughts that are generating good emotions.

 

This is what we know. We know that all of our emotions start with a thought that we’re thinking. So we have a thought, it creates an emotion, and then we act on that emotion. And so if we are having good emotions about someone is because we’re having good thoughts and want you to think about this in particular to your relationship with your husband. I want you to, I want to take all of us back to that. First time we met our husbands, maybe those first few months of being friends with him, maybe starting to date him and all those emotions that we felt at the beginning of our relationship, right? For most of us, those emotions were probably pretty intense, pretty strong, almost completely all great emotions overcome. Those were those, those early days in our relationship where we felt twitterpated we felt excitement. We felt this like rush of emotions where we thought, oh my goodness, my or not my husband at the time.

 

But like this man is so amazing. He’s so handsome. Good-Looking charming, funny, witty all of those things, right? We were only seeing all of these great qualities. We were having all of these great thoughts about him. And that was creating an incredible amount of really positive emotions, right? That is like so normal. And in the beginning phases where like this guy could do no wrong, like he’s just perfect and amazing. And all of those things, right? We were having those strong emotions because we were having such strong, positive thoughts about him. And then we know how this story goes, right. If only we could just stay in that place where we only have wonderful, amazing thoughts, right. How nice would that be? But the reality is time goes on and we realize something. We realize he’s not perfect, right? Because nobody is perfect. And we realized as human and he has flaws and he makes mistakes and he has sometimes maybe some annoying qualities or characteristics.

 

And all of a sudden we start having different thoughts about him. And sometimes we have some negative thoughts. Maybe we start, we have an argument or disagreement, or he does something. Or he says something that we don’t really like. And so all of a sudden we find ourselves having some negative thoughts and those negative thoughts cause us to have negative emotions and so on and so forth. And so really ultimately the further we get into our relationship, we, we find ourselves having positive thoughts and positive emotions and then negative thoughts and negative emotions that kind of balance themselves out. Right? And then we get married. There’s all the excitement with the marriage and the honeymoon. And we have a lot of positive thoughts about all of that stuff, but then real life kicks in and we get into the day to day and all of a sudden we’re sharing our lives.

 

Like we’re having to share our lives with they’re human being who has different opinions than us, different thoughts, different backgrounds, different paths, all of that. And here we are, we’re trying to navigate a whole new life together. We bring children into the mix, all the emotions, jobs, money, finances, and a whole wide range of a lot of emotions. Exhaustion. You know, we’ve, there’s times that we’ve say things, we hurt each other. And then that starts, you know, a series of other negative emotions. So you can kind of see where this is going. And what I want to just say is this, if we are, if we find ourselves in a place where so years down the road, after kind of all the newness wears off and we’re living day to day things with our husbands, it is very easy to get to a place where we find ourselves having a lot of negative emotions about him.

 

And it’s not just about him. I mean, we have a lot of negative emotions about a lot of things maybe going on in our lives. We might have negative emotions about our family, our children, our marriage, ourselves. We have negative emotions about ourselves, all of that. And what it comes down to is we really need to recognize what our thoughts are because this is the deal. And you’ve heard me say this before. We believe almost everything we tell ourselves. So, and this is, this is so fascinating to me, how our brain works. When we have negative thought, or we have a negative belief about our husband Benz, then our brains will start looking for all the proof of why that is true. So for example, if we just have this thought like, oh, my husband is so lazy. For example, he just he’s lazy. Then our brain will start looking for the proof of why he’s lazy.

 

Look at him. He’s just sitting around watching, or he doesn’t help her out around the house. And, and our brain will start looking for all the proof of why that is true. And every time our brain looks for the proof, it reaffirms in our brain. Yep. See, he’s lazy. Look, he’s being lazy again. And all of a sudden that thigh causes us to have a really negative emotion about our husband. Like we maybe find ourselves getting angry because we have this thought like he’s just lazy, makes us angry. Maybe we start to feel resentful. And it spirals us into a whole stream of more negative thoughts. The more negative thoughts we have, the more negative emotions we have. And so what do we do? The reality is this. If we just continue down this path, our brain is just going to continue to reaffirm the negative.

 

And the sad thing is, is that we can go days, weeks, months, even years down this negative path until we disrupt it. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today. I want to give us all some tools on how we can disrupt this negative thought pattern that just keeps us going and keeps us spinning in a place of negativity. And so that’s what I want to teach you today. I want to give you three things that we can do to really work on shifting out of the negative thoughts. Because again, as long as we’re in the negative thoughts, our brain is going to just keep scanning for them. It’s going to keep finding the proof for them. So, first of all, when you’re feeling strong, negative emotions, and when it comes to our marriages in particular, there may be a number of negative emotions.

 

There might be, especially depending on how long the negative emotions have been going on how much pain there might be from the past, how much hurt there is. There could be resentment. There could be anger. There could be frustration. There can be all sorts of emotions, hopelessness, all of it. And so what we want to do is not just, you know, we can’t, we want to kind of address each one, one at a time. You can’t address all of it at once. But what I want you to do is first of all, the first step is to get clear on the, on probably the strongest negative emotion that you might be feeling in that moment. What is it? This is how we’re going to like, kind of like put a pause button. And instead of just continuing down, almost, even in a subconscious way, we’re putting a pause on the negative emotion.

 

And we’re going to say, you know what, we’re going to just take a few minutes to get some clarity on this, to not look at these negative emotions from a place of judgment or even judging ourselves, but just from a place of curiosity and wanting to have some deeper self-awareness around all of this. So what you do is you, number one, you get clear, what is this negative emotion, but I’m feeling, am I feeling resentment? What is this? What is this emotion? Get clear with a, where do you fill it? You’ve heard me talk about this before. We want to get out of our heads a little bit into our bodies. Where do we fill that emotion? How does it show up? Like does, do we feel this emotion when we feel resentful? What does it feel like? And then we want to spend some time figuring out what is the thought that is causing us to feel resentful.

 

We want to say that it’s our husband’s actions are his behaviors. As long as we are believe that, then we can’t really we’re like helpless. We don’t really have a whole lot. We can do about that because we know that we can’t change necessarily. We can’t change our husband. We can’t change his behavior. So we feel that we’re stuck in this helpless feeling of resentment, but that is not true. The emotion of resentment is coming from a thought that we’re thinking. So we need to get clear on what is this thought? And so, for example, maybe it is the spot. My husband never helps out around the house. And that leads to an emotion of resentfulness. And I kind of want to just walk us through this model on this for just a moment when we have this thought, he never helps me around the house.

 

You feel resentful. What do we do when we feel resentful? Watch this. This is so powerful. When we feel resentful, most of the time we pull away from our husband, we maybe give him the silent treatment we maybe say, or do snarky things. We say snarky things back, we act sarcastic. Maybe we ignore him. Maybe we want to, in some way, emotionally punish him for not doing the things that we think he should be doing. All of that. And what does this end up resulting in? It ends up resulting in deeper disconnection. We start, maybe we’re angry at him for what he’s done. And then we actually act in a way where we start acting angry back, and then he starts feeling resentful and it just creates greater division. It builds a wedge, creates a wedge in our relationship and pulls us further apart. And then that leads to a spiral of even more negative emotions between the two of us.

 

Right. So let’s see what happens here. When we have this thought, my husband doesn’t help me ever. He doesn’t help around the house. What do we want to do? We want to see, okay. We want to be curious about that thought. The first thing we want to ask is this thought true? Like, is this thought true all the time? Is it true that my husband never helps around the house? Or is it maybe true that right now, I wish he was helping me more. There’s things that I would like him to be doing that he’s not doing, but is it true that he never helps? We want to get clear about this thought. We want to just kind of question it a little bit. Is this thought always true? And a lot of times we’ll be able to pause and look at it in a reflective manner and say, well, that’s not always true.

 

There’s times that my husband does help around the house. There are things that he does. He is helpful. He does support me. He does make an effort to do things. So maybe it’s not always true. Again, the moment we start asking these questions, it disrupts the negative thought and our brain starts to think, okay, well, is it possible that he does help me? And all of a sudden our brain will start looking for the things that our husband does do that is sometimes helpful. It shifts us into a different thought pattern and that can be incredibly helpful in and of itself to just get, get out of the negative rut that our brain is used to going in. When we have negative thoughts about him, the next thing we want to ask ourselves is how is it this thought hurting me or even what is this negative thought costing me.

 

So when we realize that the negative thoughts that we have about our husbands, they actually hurt us way more than it hurts him. Now, I want to show you this because a lot of times our husbands may do something or say something. We have a negative thought about them in a negative emotion. And we think that this negative thought is hurting them. Like it’s our way of getting back at them, but really it’s not these negative emotions. These negative thoughts that we’re having are actually hurting us. And you can see it when you walk through that model. When you walk through how we show up what we, how we act when we have this thought and this emotion, what we really see is the pain that it is actually causing us. So again, we want to get clear on that. What is this doing? What is this thought doing to me?

 

How is it hurting me? When I have this thought, it makes me want to pull away from my husband. It makes me want to give him the silent treatment. It makes me want to react to him in a way that I know I ultimately don’t want to react to. It causes me to show up in a way that I know that I don’t want to show up in. And what is it costing us? It’s costing us. Like it’s creating this greater wedge. It’s pulling us apart from each other is causing resentment to build on both sides. And ultimately this thought that I’m having is hurting. It’s hurting us. That is the cost. And so you want to just be aware of it again, this is the power of this work and getting like, kind of just being curious about our thoughts. And then the next thing is, is that we want to invite God into this moment, ask him in like, God, give me some clarity.

 

Show me what you see when you look at me and help me to see what you see. You have brought this man into my life. Yes, there is a reason that we’re together. What is it that you are trying to teach me in bringing us together and loving him and how am I called to love him in this moment? This is the place that we want to be able to respond to the negative emotions from a place of using our mind, our intellect and our will to respond. And this is the power of this work, because a lot of times it’s very easy when we’re feeling a negative emotion of somebody. If we perceive that we believe that someone has done something or somebody has hurt us or somebody doesn’t respect us, then our initial reaction is to want to just respond, just to respond almost in the same way to, to in a, in a way mirror, how they’re acting towards us.

 

So if they’re angry at us, then we respond back with anger, right? Or if they’re acting frustrated at us, then we get defensive and we add frustrated back. But the, but God gives us an invitation to use our intellect, to use our will and to determine how we want to manage our minds in the moment and how we want to really show up when we’re faced with negative emotions. This is a game changer. And let’s share with you kind of an example. This happened, actually, this was an example I’m going to share with my son. I have a teenage son and we’ve had a little bit of a Rocky relationship several months back. He was kind of in this phase where I just felt that he was displaying a lot of really negative emotions, kind of a negative attitude, disrespectful and angry, just kind of all of these negative emotions coming at us.

 

And initially I was responding back in a very similar way, getting frustrated, getting angry, responding from this place. And all of a sudden I realized what was happening. Our relationship was really, it was hurting greatly. I mean, he was doing things. I was responding. My husband was responding to him, all of this stuff in, in very negative ways. And it was only continuing to damage our relationship. And all of a sudden I realized, I was like, okay, Lorissa, you know what you need to do in this situation, you need to manage your mind. And so what I did was I really started walking through using these tools and thinking to myself, number one, instead of just like I kept having these last, my son is so negative and angry and disrespectful. Like those were the thoughts that I was having. And so what was happening was my brain was scanning for every little thing that he was doing and all the ways that he was disrespectful and negative and angry, and my brain was the hypersensitive to all of those behaviors.

 

And so I was just only focusing on those things. And so I started to realize, okay, when I have these thoughts that my son is disrespectful, how does that make me feel? It makes me feel disrespected. And how do I act when I feel disrespected, I get angry at him. I maybe sometimes we’ll give him the silent treatment or, you know, I’m not very patient. I’m certainly not loving all of those things. And I look at how I’m showing up when I have this thought about him. So what I did was I took some time to invite God in. And I was like, God, I’m really struggling in my relationship right now with my son. I need you right now because I’m only focusing on all the negatives. That’s all I’m seeing. And it’s really hard for me to see the positives right now. So God like, I need to have you come in and show me the goodness that you see in my son.

 

I need you to show me what maybe I can’t see right now because of where my focus has been and where my focus is. And all of a sudden in this place of prayer, God started to show me the goodness in my son. And I was able to start saying, yes, he does do these good things. And he does have these good qualities. And the moment I started to open my mind up to those things and started looking for the good in my son, my brain did what it always does. It does what it tells us what we tell it to do. So when I say to my brain, look for the good in him, my brain starts looking for the good, and then my brain starts looking for the proof of the good, oh, remember when he did this last week? Or remember when this happened or remember a couple months ago when your son said this, and then all of a sudden I start to realize, yeah, sure.

 

My son, sometimes he has negative qualities, negative traits, negative behaviors, but he also has positive ones. So I’m going to spend some time now focusing on the positive and you know what happened. It’s amazing. The more I started having positive thoughts about my son, the more I started having positive emotions about him and what to those positive emotions. When I started having these emotions, where I was like proud of him or emotions, where I felt like I felt like I loved him, like the emotions of love and pride in him. And that I see the good in him. It made me want to be close to him. It made me want it to compliment him more and highlight those good qualities that I see within him made me want to joke with him more and be happier around him and more present him. And you know, what ended up happening in the last few months, my relationship with him has significantly changed.

 

We were just together in the car the other day, talking and laughing and joking around. When he sees me at school, he’ll literally walk up to me, give me a hug and say, mom, I love you. We haven’t had that kind of relationship like months ago. That wouldn’t happen every single day. Like I’ll bless him at night and I’ll give him a big hug and I’ll be like, mom, I love you. And I’m like, I love you too. And I’m so proud of you. And it’s really like, not like nothing about him changed. What changed was the thoughts that I was having about him? What changed was the way I decided to intentionally look for the good, my brain started to find the good and I started to feel differently. And when I felt better about him, I started acting better towards him. And it created a complete shift.

 

Now this is what we can do. This is no different than in our relationships with our husbands. When we start to ask God, okay, God, show me the good in him. Help me to see the good in him. Our brain will start looking for the good, when we start like req having good thoughts. When we start to become very intentional about the quality of thoughts that we’re thinking about him, all of a sudden, we’re going to start having better emotions. Our emotions are going to like, we’re going to feel good about him. We’re going to start feeling more loving thoughts about him. And when we do, what, how do we show up in that way? Like when we think to ourselves, man, you know, I actually have a really amazing husband. He does a lot of things for me, for our family. He does a good job of taking care of us and providing for us when we start looking for that in our brain starts scanning for all the ways that he’s providing and taking care of us for all the ways that he’s present for the things, the sacrifices that he makes.

 

All of a sudden, we find ourselves going, wow, what kid look at the things he does look at all the things that maybe I have overlooked because I’ve just been so focused on the negatives that I’ve, I’ve missed, seen the positive things. And when we have those positive, loving thoughts, it leads to really positive and loving emotions. And how do we show up when we have loving emotions towards our husbands? Well, it shows up by us wanting to be closer to him wanting maybe we find ourselves wanting to be more intimate, like grabbing his hand or giving him a hug or complimenting him more or thanking him for the things that he does. Maybe we find ourselves laughing more, joking, more, being more playful, playful, looking for ways to have more fun. And all of a sudden that wedge that was there before for that wedge starts to slip away, find ourselves, instead of wanting to pull away from him, we find ourselves wanting to draw closer to him, drawing near to him.

 

And again, we can start a cycle of more positive thoughts. Now I’m not saying that just, you know, start having positive thoughts and it’s all like unicorns and butterflies. No, like we live in reality and we’re going to have a whole lot of different emotions, interactions. There’s going to be times that we’re angry. There’s times that we’re frustrated. But what I want to say is that if we find ourselves on is on a slope of like continual negative thoughts, and that’s the bulk of the thoughts that we’re having towards our husbands, we want to use our minds. We want to learn how to manage our minds in such a way that we can stop that and say, second, what is this costing me? And is it true? Like, what are the thoughts that are true about him? And God, can you show me the truth you see?

 

And my husband, when you look upon him, help me to see him, help me to have compassion for him. Maybe sometimes when my, when, when our husbands are acting in a way that we wish they weren’t maybe negative behavior in some way, this is where we can use our manage our minds in such a way to, instead of just reacting and responding with negativity, we can ask ourselves, gosh, is my husband hurting right now? Is my husband afraid right now is my husband tired? What is really going on below the surface? This is the power of managing our minds when it comes to our emotions and deciding in advance, how we want to show up and how we want to feel, because this is where we have our power. We can’t change him. We can’t change his behavior. We can’t, you know, we can’t make him change by giving him the silent treatment or making him feel guilty or nagging him all the time.

 

What is really going to change our relationships is when we did, when we decide what the quality of the thoughts were having about it. And this is where our power lies, like this is what we have control over. And so my sisters in Christ, this is what I want to leave us with today is that we can apply this, these concepts to any one in our life. How do you want to think about your husband? What do you want to focus on? We can focus on anything we want. If there’s people in our lives, for example, I, and I’ve been practicing this in all aspects of my life. If there is someone in my life, maybe not somebody super close to me, but somebody that’s an acquaintance or somebody that I know. If I have a thought about them that, oh, this person just really annoys me.

 

My brain is going to always be looking for proof of why that person annoys me. And I’m going to be hyper critical to every negative behavior that they have that annoys me. And I’m just going to latch onto that. I’m going to focus on that. So, and then, so that will, what we want to do is we want to ask ourselves, what does this thinking, this thought about this person? What is it costing me? Basically, what it’s costing me is that whenever I’m around this person, I’m just super hypercritical and I’m totally annoyed. And is this how I want to show up? When it comes to another person who is a child of God, maybe that thought about this person is really holding me back from experiencing a lot of good qualities that this person has. This is the power of this stuff. And I been working on this in my own life when it comes to people that annoy me or people that may be, I find, I just think to myself, I’ve had this slide and that person is so rude or disrespectful.

 

Then of course, as soon as I have that thought, I start looking for all the proof of it. But what if we looked at our fellow human beings, the people in our lives and realized everybody has a bad day or people have annoying habits or characteristics. And sometimes everybody has moments where they’re rude or disrespectful, but that doesn’t have to define them. And it doesn’t have to define my thoughts about them. I can choose to look at every human being and say, they are a child of God in God. Can you help me to see the good in them? Even when I find it really difficult because of my negative thought patterns, what is the good that I can see in them? And as I start looking for the good it’s going to generate good emotions in me. And when I have good emotions in me, towards someone, I act in a totally different way towards them act more loving.

 

I act more patient. I act more genuine. I act how I really like want to show up in this world from a place of wanting to love the way God is calling me to love this sisters in Christ. This is where our power lies. This is how we become, this is how we love when we choose to love from a place of taking control of our thoughts and our emotions, instead of just allowing our emotions to take control of us. When we start putting into this into practice, it radically changes and transforms our relationships. And I’m excited for all of us to put this into practice right now, whether it’s, maybe it’s not your husband, maybe your relationship with him is really great right now, but what is the relationship? What relationship in your life right now is struggling and get clear on what is it like?

 

What are the thoughts that you’re having and do some, do some thought, work on this, get curious and figure out what is it costing me? How is this thought hurting me and God? What are some other ways that you can help me see the good in this person, this my sisters in Christ. This is what I have for you today. Again, come check out masters. There’s so much more within this program that we want to offer to you and give to you. And I hope above all that. You have a blessed week and remember mama, you are Made For Greatness. Hello, mamas.