Counselor's Corner: The effect of my life


Fred Cavaiani

What do people feel when they think of you? Are you realistically aware of the effect you have on those around you? Do they think of the good feelings you helped foster in them? Or maybe they reflect on the critical experiences they felt from you, the negative comments and conversations about the differences between you. I would like to think that those I know would think of me in terms of how I have been positive and loving towards them.

Do they think of how successful you have been? Is it how wealthy you have become or how poor you have become? I would like to think status and money would not even be part of what they think of when they think of me.
Do people have hurt feelings or feelings of gratitude that they know you? Are there good memories you have celebrated with people? Are there positive loving experiences or are memories of times spent with you full of negative, critical experiences? I would like to think my acquaintances think of me by how much I have loved them and affirmed them.

As I look over my life, I am inspired by the people who seemed to always be caring and loving toward me. I am not inspired by how people wanted to force their opinions upon me, political, religious and “helpful” opinions of how I should be or think. The biggest mistakes in my life seem to be when I think negatively about others or point out what I think other people are doing incorrectly or how they should be or act. People will remember how uninspired they have been by  my words of criticism. But when I speak words of care, compassion and empathy they will remember this like they have a hidden treasure that I have given them.

I want to love people and consistently see goodness in them. I want to smile warmly at them and be joyful when I’m with them. God is very important to me but I try not to preach to others about how they should be with God. I try to talk positively about people and not criticize or condemn anyone. I see goodness everywhere. I try to listen attentively to others and be compassionate and caring. I look for the good in the world and I don’t waste time criticizing people. When people criticize me I do not become defensive or criticize them. I speak kindly, gently and lovingly about people. I want others to feel loved and accepted when they are in my presence. I believe joy is the result of being loving, and misery is the result of being angry, critical and judgemental. What I send out into the universe is what comes back and surrounds me. Take time out to reflect on what you send out to the world and you will without doubt feel joy and love coming back to you. HAVE A LOVED -FILLED DAY.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: and his website is

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