I have edited this post from 2014 to offer now. The piece illustrates how appreciating can look and maybe you can get a taste how much value it adds for you and the other. Enjoy!
I attended a Thanksgiving event at a friend’s with many of her relatives. Just before I left I spoke with the sister of the host husband. The woman wearing a signature French beret of an artist, spoke about how deeply grounded she was in her art, how she loved it more than anything. In the course of the conversation she shared her life’s struggles and her worries.
I listened attentively. As is so often the case, I realized she had not been appreciated herself- enough. I reflected to her how much strength she had developed in living this life, how much she had overcome and how much she had gained. “Isn’t it great that you have persisted to reap the pay offs you have now?” I said. She sells her art and makes decent living from it. I told her how wonderful it is that she put down her expression of beauty and soothing and that people want to have that in their homes. “You contribute so much!” I told her. “Your steps to overcome obstacles have enriched the whole world! ” How she loved knowing that! Don’t we all love to remember that.
Wow, she was so moved by receiving this positive feedback, seeing the bigger picture of the Good that had flowed through her. Honestly for me appreciating her just flowed. ( I practice alot 🙂 )
What a gift you can offer others when you see the Good in them and tell them so! Think about it, don’t you enjoy being told about your Good? I know I just love being appreciated. In our current culture so many of us have been trained from early childhood to assess whether we are right or wrong, good or bad. ( We want to be Good.) This is the ground where the habit to blame ourselves is laid, or the habit to blame others. We all so want to avoid the awful feeling of being wrong ourselves. What a powerful balm to hold out innocence to those we contact! Reflect in some way that they are ok as they are, just fine in this moment. Whew– offer them relief!
In the process of walking through life looking for the Good in others, we are training ourselves to see even more Good more easily. And know what? the more we expect to see Good, the more we do, and the more and more Good stuff flows to us without effort. Talk about the win-win situation! Whooo-eee!
Bottom line: why do it? Really I find it feels fabulous to see the Good. I recommend doing it because it feels so wonderful!
In today’s world in most social circles it is relatively rare to encounter someone who sees my Good and shares their perspective. This gesture is quite special and extraordinary. Your words will mean alot to anyone with whom you share them.
Play with this and see what happens! Do YOU feel good by noticing it in others? Please share results of your experiment with me a firstname.lastname@example.org. You are brightening the world as you go! Stand up and take a bow, please!