Stop and think for a moment. Have you missed an opportunity to say something good about another person? Your spouse, your friends, your family? Have you missed an opportunity to be grateful? Gratitude and appreciation go hand in hand. And it is so easy to do. It is an automatic lift in spirit for not only the person being appreciated, but the person appreciating. When we choose to focus on what makes us feel bad, stressed, upset, whether it is about ourselves or another person or another country that negativity rebounds, compounds and exponentially increases. But the same holds true for those things that make us feel good. So what holds us back from doing that? What holds us back from giving and receiving joy and happiness? What is your excuse? What excuse could we possibly have to not want to feel joy, happiness and gratitude?
In day to day life, stop and listen to those around you. Whether your at the grocery store or in the park, grabbing a quick bite to eat or even out with friends, stop and listen. Yes, I know we’ve been taught that to eavesdrop is bad but try this as an exercise not to be nosy. See how many people you hear saying something positive about another person. We hear the story. We hear how a person wanted something different or a situation to go differently. Watch the reaction of the person they’re talking to. If you are lucky enough to hear someone speak gratefully of another or of their life you will see the positivity spread.
I am grateful to have in my life so many who have such a deep appreciation of life. These people all have one thing that so many search high and low for and that thing is gratitude. Kahlil Gibran in his book the Prophet writes;
“Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love, and if needs must have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
and a song of praise upon your lips.”
excerpt from “Love”, The Prophet
True gratitude and appreciation are the highest most perfect forms of love in our world. Not of romantic love but of pure love. It is what takes love to an all encompassing level. It is not false or pretentious.
So what’s your excuse not to find appreciation and gratitude? I’ll bet you can’t find one. Take every opportunity you get to share it. Search for it. Sometimes the littlest things are the ones that will make all the difference in someone’s day or week or life. And it will make all the difference in yours.
© Adrienne McLeod 2001