Sunday, January 28, 2018

Appreciation

In several previous posts, I've written about Gratitude. Appreciation is slightly different. Webster's definition of appreciation is: "a feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude." If you're like me, having the approval of others has been a major ingredient in your self-esteem. If someone didn't approve of you or your actions, it affected you deeply. Since then, I've learned the only approval anyone needs is from themselves.

Showing appreciation can make a huge difference in relationships between partners, siblings, parents, other relatives, friends, teachers, co-workers, employees, club members, and other associates. Google appreciation in relationships and you'll find a LOT of information. I found in an article by Huffington Post on 5 ways to show appreciation to your partner. I've modified the content to include everyone in your life. Here's the link to the full article if you'd like to read it:

5 Ways to Show Your Appreciation to Your Partner

1) Notice the little things. Show appreciation by saying "Thank You" even for things you may take for granted.

2) Notice the big things. Shower the person with compliments.

3) Support their passions. Offer to do something for them so they have time to pursue a passion as well as encourage them to do so. It's never too late and you're never too old (unless you are in hospice care or on life support). All it takes is consistent baby steps to make progress. Life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the journey.

4) Compliment people who are in your life. Find something... anything... to compliment them on. You may have to build trust on this one if in the past, the only time you paid a compliment, it was because you wanted something from the other person.

5) Date your partner... or friend... or sibling... or parent. You get the idea. It means a lot to the other person, especially in a time of internet to actually set a date to meet with someone. If you live long distance, hand-written letters still matter, especially for those of us who save them in a special box. If the internet goes down and the power goes out, you can pass away the time by reading them again.

I subscribe to Katie & Gay Hendricks' emails and many of their content involves restoring relationships through appreciation. Here's their website:

Katie & Gay Hendricks -- Hearts in Harmony

I even go as far as appreciating things.

Try this for 'size': hold a piece of clothing up to your chest before you put it on and after you take it off and say, "I really appreciate you being in my life and keeping me warm" (or cool if it is summer). Admire your shoes and say the same things. If you don't feel this admiration for something you wear, consider donating it.

I've written about The Broken Branch after realizing I was focusing on the one thing (the one broken branch) that I was unhappy with... the spot on my face or the strands of my hair... missing out on the whole of me that made me human as well as the whole of earth that we all live on.

Spend a few minutes every so often looking at each item on your knick-knack shelves, walls, and bookcases. Tell each that you appreciate them coming into form so you can admire their beauty. Do the same for your furniture, plants, and everything else you own. Think about the cat who appreciates a simple shoe box and the toddler who appreciates the wrapping paper more than the gifts.

Whenever you get in your car, tell the car you appreciate it for it transporting you to where you want to go (and sometimes where you don't really want to go). I often say thank you for starting on a frigid cold morning and thank you for keeping me safe. I tell it "you are beautiful" and a very special part of my life.

Yes, one day I learned that all matter is energy and a common thought pattern resulted in the manifestation of everything we have. It feels good to appreciate all that I have, even the silverware I eat with.

At one time, I got through the most difficult days by appreciating all the body parts that were functioning (and didn't hurt) instead of the parts that were 'struggling.' To reflect back on that time, I would have added to tell my body "thank you" for working so efficiently each time I succeeded in urinating, having a bowel movement, swallowing,  It is, after all, a miracle we even became a human being from the energy of a single cell. Thank you, heart, for pumping blood all through my body.

What can you appreciate today?

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