“When eating fruit, remember the one who planted the tree.” ~Vietnamese Proverb
Today my thoughts are about appreciation and gratitude. Do you know how it feels to be truly appreciated for your thoughts, words and/or actions? It’s a beautiful feeling, isn’t it? Now there are many people who are in the (lovely) habit of thanking others, yet there is a different quality of appreciation, a different vibrational-frequency I might say, when it’s an automatic response compared to when this is a heart-felt expression received. And we can feel the difference.
Has someone held a door open for you and sometimes you automatically said thank-you and other times you really felt the appreciation enough to look at the person directly and sincerely (maybe your hands were full or you saw the person waiting for a while to allow you to get to the door)? Or perhaps you have received these two different reactions from someone you have held the door for. Do you notice the difference? There is a warmth and kindness which is almost palpable with heart-felt appreciation even in this simple act.
Now imagine that someone does something even bigger? Like someone helps you to restore lost data on your computer or someone makes a special meal for you. You may have noticed when these bigger tasks are done for you, there is a different genuine appreciation that you feel. How about when someone does this for you regularly? Is it the same level of appreciation? Often it is not. With mindful attention, however, you can bring the energy of authentic, heart-felt appreciation to each time the task is done. This is one more reason that focus on each moment as new and meaningful is so important in relationships of all sorts. Imagine if your boss was as grateful to receive your completed reports at the end of the week after you’ve worked with her for 10 years as she was when she originally noticed your great work in your first month at your then “new job”? This would inspire more enthusiasm in your work and likely create a stronger relationship with your boss too. So mindful attention to such communication is an important skill to learn and practice.
Often, the place where people are least likely to offer appreciation and gratitude is in personal relationships. This can be with a partner, spouse, other family members and/or friends. Many times people talk about people “taking things for granted” when often the cause is usually a busy mind that appreciates at some level internally, but no longer prioritizes this appreciation in communication. Even if people continue to thank each other in such relationships, the energy of authenticity of heart-felt communication may be less apparent (and even less felt by the giver and receiver) over time. Here too, the skill of mindful communication is incredibly important and beneficial to create and to continue to nurture healthy relationships.
“Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life.” ~Rumi
These habits can be trained and practiced for healthy relationships personally and professionally. And an important detail can arise in either area which I will describe simply below.
What Happens if You Have Been Disappointed in the Relationship?
So many things happen in life that can bring about less-than-easy (disappointing) experiences. This is the nature of change in our lives. And we all know that how we respond to change is what matters most. I like to think of this with some learning I did through Eckhart Tolle’s work and my thoughts can be seen in this video for how to work through such times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMrUd9TQLhA
It does take a bit more mindful attention in such times to thank sincerely for the good actions that are still happening. Remember that good words/actions do not change just because unkind words/actions have also happened. Can you still muster up the humility to appreciate the good? Many times I could not in the past. Often even after a person has forgiven an action, the remnants of resentment can be felt in the communication that follows.
I have found this is an area that I have spent a lot of time to explore. I am amazed at how much I have grown over the years in my own Conscious awareness of my own, as well as others’ thoughts/words/actions in this way. In my life and the clients lives I work with through my practice, I do work with Brain Re-Training to help modify learned behaviours and habits in this regard. Did you know that for learning to truly take place, one often needs to experience an event, then become Consciously-aware of themselves/others to modify the learned behaviours? So this might help you if you realize you may be falling into patterns of behaviour that reflect aspects of yourself that you’d like to improve. How would you know that you would like to improve? You don’t feel so good. Simple as that. Often you might say “If only they would change and do that like this, I’d feel better.” This is often a reflection of your own Ego. And it does not represent true forgiveness either. Just something to think about as you expand your own awareness of you.
Today, I am aware that I have been blessed with so much assistance from family, friends, clients/patients and every workplace I have ever been part of – and I am truly grateful for it all. My biggest personal growth has come from the least-easy relationships I have had as these are always the true blessings for learning – and for these I am even more grateful. I am fully aware that in the world of duality and contrast that we live in, the greatest pains have also been related to my greatest loves.
More on that idea later. For now, I leave you with this beautiful quote that touches on the idea:
“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank-you for that experience.”” ~Oprah
Wishing you a beautiful day and thank-you for your Presence here and now.
firstname.lastname@example.org; 416-920-8975 Email or call/text to make an appointment for Grief Recovery or Brain Re-Training
For training on healthy communication and emotional healing through online learning see: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/hearthealthbrainhealth.com/417