Appreciation is one of those words in the English language that can be very non-descript and abstract. I’ve come to realize that the spoken word is so limiting and appreciation defiantly falls into that category. So, what does appreciation mean. The dictionary defines appreciation as “recognition of the quality, value, or magnitude of people and things” which comes close but what does appreciation look like. I can say I appreciate you but do I really appreciate all of you? Do I only appreciate in you what serves me? Can I look at the “non-serving” parts of you and still appreciate them? How closely is appreciation related to love?
This subject has come up for me lately because there is a person in my life that whenever I’m near her, it’s like nails on a chalk board to me. She grates on my every last nerve! One day, my ever wise mother asked, what are her good points? I said nothing but then I thought for a moment and realized that she is everything that I don’t what to be. She is as opposite me as anyone could be so in that, I gained clarity. Clarity of myself, who I am and what I stand for. Then, I thought some more. She actually does have some qualities that I envy like here boldness. She is not afraid to ask for what she wants. I wish I could do that more often and I would never feel comfortable doing it like she does so again, clarity.
So what does all of this have to do with appreciation? I have realized through this journey that it is easy to appreciate the ones you love but it is a bit more challenging to appreciate the ones you don’t. If you stop for a moment and really look at the people around you, really appreciate them, I think you will gain a little more understanding about yourself. Really look at your loved ones and see them for who they really are. Appreciate the parts that serve you and the ones that don’t. Then, look at the people around you that may be like nails on a chalk board and appreciate them. Thank them for being in your life and showing you clarity (even if the only thing you see is that you don’t want to be anything like that person.) remember, they a there for a reason. From there, “love thy neighbor” is not a far leap. Love and appreciation are so close and so intertwined it would be hard (if not impossible) to have one without the other.
Lastly, appreciation is not necessarily a spoken word but a state of mind. If there is someone close to you that you really appreciate, tell them. It will usually help everyone feel good and, it starts in your heart first. The unspoken words are so much more powerful that anything spoken ever could be so feel it first. After that, everything else just falls into place.
Look for pain, and you will find it.
Look for love, and you will find it.

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