“Love others well, and don’t hide
behind a mask; love authentically.” ~ Romans 12:9
Appreciation is both an art and a science and it’s basically these 3 things:
1. Appreciating is the act of becoming sensitively aware of a person or thing. To appreciate is to become conscious of details and nuances.
2. Appreciating is the act of focusing on the positive aspects of a person or object.
3. Appreciating is the act of adding value.
All of us are in one of two cycles, we are either in a cycle of appreciation or we are in a cycle of entitlement and complaint.
Appreciation adds value and it’s creative in nature. It connects us with the person we appreciate. It’s active in expressing gratitude.
It’s a powerful healer - really, people enjoy better health who practice appreciation.
It creates beauty - both the giver and the receiver become more beautiful the more they do it! And it has a way of looping back on itself. The more you give to others the more you appreciate yourself, and the more you appreciate yourself the more it will give you a heightened ability to appreciate others!
Appreciation is a priceless gift you give to those around you - really, it costs nothing but your humility and your attention.
Verbal appreciation needs to be fresh and clear. Fresh, meaning it’s related to a recent moment, and clear, meaning it can usually be spoken in one out breath. Your appreciation is more likely to be received if you can say it with one breath.
For example, "I appreciate how you can be strong and gentle at the same time." Or, "I appreciate how you thought to add my favorite cheese crumbles to my salad last night."
People communicate differently, too. Learn how your partner likes to hear appreciation, for example some people like long, detailed, flowy appreciation. While others really like chunks of info, fast and vague, for example, “You smell good! Take me to bed!” - while others prefer, “...when I think about how you looked in that scarf last night it reminded me of the first time I realized how amazing your eyes are!”
The best gift you can give to others is the gift of yourself being fully present and aware of your, and their unique essence.
Let’s practice a little bit, shall we?
Think of someone you love...now think of something you really enjoy about that person that they may have done or said recently.
Do you have that feeling? Now, instead of giving that feeling away so fast, I want you to give it to yourself. Apply that feeling to a part of yourself that you can honestly appreciate. Now, with that same feeling of appreciation, give it to the Holy One in your innermost being. Go ahead, send it to God.
And finally, after appreciating yourself and letting energy flow between you and God, you are better equipped to give authentic appreciation to someone in your life.
For it is in the giving that we receive and in the dying to our scarcity, entitlement and complaining that we are raising to new life. God, let my life be changed as I give and receive authentic appreciation. Amen.