Recently I had a wonderful lesson presented to me on value and the wealth inherent in appreciation.
Someone recently completed a task for me that simplified my day no end.
It wasn’t part of their job but they had noticed I was having some difficulty with it, they knew how to do it and offered to finish it. In what seemed like no time at all they sent an email letting me know it was done. I was touched that they had taken the time in their busy day to support me so swiftly.
I started to dash off a thank you in reply – “You are a treasure.” I was just about to press send and I stopped. It didn’t feel right, it felt like just a throwaway line, an automatic response, empty; what we usually say without thinking. In effect, not truly valuing or appreciating them.
I really did appreciate and value this caring gesture. So I wrote: “I treasure you.” And sent the email off and that was that.
Then yesterday I had a discussion with a colleague about valuing and appreciating ourselves and others. We realised this is something we don’t do enough, or if we think it and feel it we often don’t express it: all the beauty of value and appreciation kept locked up inside us, trapped behind the gateway of our lips!
There are many times in my life when I have been with someone and as we talked I have felt myself appreciating something about them – maybe the way they have dressed or applied their makeup, how they have attended to a task, admired what they are good at or simply the way they are – and though I might be thinking it in my mind, the words rarely passed my lips. I have gone away thinking that something was missing and then berated myself for not saying out loud what I felt.
At times I have thought that they will know how much I appreciate them, after all I am engaging with them and obviously enjoying being with them – right? And perhaps they do know, but words have so much power and so does the withholding of them. Each choice can be felt.
At times there may have been a comparison going on: jealousy maybe, envy, a begrudgingness, “How come they do this better than me?” etc. These are thoughts I have noticed in myself also; they are not things we want to contemplate but I feel we have all been there at some time or other.
An ex-partner had great difficulty saying appreciative words to me and the withholding could be painfully felt. Some time after we parted he told me he had always been jealous of what I could do and the ease with which I related to people, and owned up that he had deliberately withheld loving and caring words.
To be honest it was a relief to hear him say that as I had always known but had not let myself feel the devastation of it, even though as I know now, we feel everything all of the time.
My colleague and I also discussed the curious phenomenon of how people block your appreciation and valuing of them – reject it and deny it as if they can’t handle the beauty and the love coming their way.
I know how true this is having done this blocking many times myself: feeling not worthy of the words that have been spoken about me. We don’t see our own inherent worth or value.
As the person doing the appreciating we feel the weight of the reaction, the rejection, equally – and yes, it hurts.
It seems to me that compliments equally hurt when they are offered as a throwaway line, “You’re a treasure” etc. Words reeled off in passing without any connection to the person; resorting, as is so easy to do, to the polite platitude.
We can feel the emptiness in these words and brush it off. Maybe we begin to trust less and less, harbouring the unexpressed hurt and perhaps this is how we end up with a culture of surface ‘compliments’ but no real valuing, no real appreciation.
In recent years, as a result of the beautiful modalities and courses Universal Medicine has to offer, and in particular the Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women, I have begun seeing and knowing my value and worth more. I have even been appreciating myself more. This has led to having so much more genuine appreciation of others.
Curiously, because of the simple action of bringing it back to me first, initially noticing the small things in myself that are so worth appreciating, it is becoming so much easier to appreciate and value others and to feel what to say that is absolutely true, spot on, full, real and which will then be accepted because the genuine-ness of it can be felt.
I have discovered that the more I connect to myself, to appreciating me and the way I am no matter what, the easier it is to express to others from a very true place; no longer a throwaway platitude but a genuine, “I noticed this about you and it is gorgeous to feel.”
An expansiveness happens in the body; it’s as if your very particles start singing and dancing, reaching out and connecting, mingling with the particles of others.
Woohoo, it’s delicious!
This morning I have looked at “I treasure you” again, realising there is so much more that could have been expressed. The things I have always felt about that person.
“I treasure you because of your warmth and your willingness and the way you notice what is needed. You go beyond what is expected of you. I really appreciate how much you care and I love the feel of you being there, the gorgeous person you are backing us up.”
Is that too much? : )
You know that the balance is shifting when instead of seeing the worst in yourself and people, you begin to see the treasure, and the more you see and feel that treasure in yourself the more there is to see and feel in you and in everyone else. And the easier it is to appreciate and to express that.
A fantastic accumulative equation.
It’s funny how the word appreciation is also used in banking terms as well. Money appreciating = an accumulation of wealth.
And it seems to me that it’s the same with us; when we value ourselves and make ‘appreciative’ deposits, we build up a bountiful fund.
No use leaving it sitting in the ‘Bank of Ourselves’ either, it absolutely needs to be taken out and shared.
Appreciation appreciates, an accumulation of true wealth.
By Jeanette, New Zealand