The Value of Appreciation

Having had my life changed by RA and fibromyalgia in my early 30s, I have the learned all too well the value of appreciation. What I have learned is appreciation helps us to live better lives and when chronic pain is a part of your life; a better life is on the top of your list. 

You cannot go wrong with appreciation and you don’t lose anything through appreciating people and life. If anything, it makes you a better person. Every time we make a choice to do something good, you are practicing appreciation. Appreciation, as I have been told, offers a jealous free zone. Learning to appreciate others and their ideas, contributions, and deed enhances your life in wonderful ways.

The reason I even bring up jealousy is that we cannot support and appreciate others if we are jealous of their good deeds. I mean – think about it. When someone does something good, we don’t ponder how they did such a good thing. We, instead, criticize and I am sure that we have all been guilty of that. If we take the time to look at the good deed and evaluate it, we can see what a beautiful gesture it was and we make a choice to appreciate it. Jealousy is something that we have to erase from our minds and hearts in order to appreciate and give support. 

Ignorance also plays a factor when we don’t appreciate persons and contributions. We live in a time period with technology and advancements that our grandparents could have never imagined. Because of the way the modern world works, we often don’t realize what others have done for us. When we are ignorant about the good deeds themselves, we cannot really appreciate others for their good deeds. For example, if someone emails you wishing you well, you often overlook that because another friend brought you a gift or minimize the gesture of the email. Even with our families, we have a sense of expectation that we often forgot the things they do for us. For example, if your spouse decides to drop off the kids at school today even though he or she doesn’t every morning, you are too busy pondering on how little he or she does it that we forget when it is actually done. 

In other instances, ignorance comes from a lack of understanding as we often see as we struggle with arthritis pain. It is like a callous attitude – either intentional or unintentional. Sometimes our hearts can be callous and as a result, we make a choice not to appreciate what others do for us and/or what they do for others. As you know, humans need support, appreciation and recognition and they need it now and not later. 

When you make a choice to open up your heart, it allows you to see yourself in a different light. Those who make a choice to appreciate and support others learn from others how to improve themselves. But those who are unfeeling and who do not open their minds and hearts won’t learn anything nor will they change anything about themselves.  

While we can boast about the wonders of appreciation and what it does for the human spirit, it is important to note that appreciation has to come from the heart. It is not something that someone can force you to do or can do for you. If you do not know how to appreciate from your heart, your insincere appreciation isn’t worth the time or effort. Appreciating others is about you making a choice to live a better life. None of us are too young or too old to learn and practice appreciation. 

For many of us, appreciation came after a life changing event. These types of things require us to rearrange our lives. It can be an illness, a job loss, or the loss of a loved one but it is these things that remind us how important appreciation is. By becoming aware of what is important in your life, you are looking to the future with a great sense of appreciation and in turn, you become a better person. 

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