I think we often use gratitude and appreciation interchangeably in our conversations…I appreciate your gift or Thank you for your gift. Thank you for being you or I appreciate you. I’d like to propose that they are subtly different. Gratitude is about being thankful for something while appreciation is more about valuing and seeing the worth in something.
Let’s do an experiment. Say I am grateful for today. It makes you feel good but do you even have to like it to say it. Now..say I appreciate today. Doesn’t feel it feel more encompassing and like you are valuing it and really seeing how great it is?
Gratitude and appreciation are both wonderful spiritual practices. Many teachers suggest a regular practice of writing and acknowledging what we are grateful for in journals or lists. Focusing on what we like and appreciate in our lives helps us to be more positive and not think about those aspects or areas of our lives that are not going well. (Remember the law of attraction brings more of what we are focused on so we want to stay focused on what we want in our lives…not what we don’t want.)
Let’s consider the comparison I used in the first paragraph…Thank you for being you or I appreciate you. Doesn’t I appreciate you feel more connecting and valuing the worth of the person. When I say that to someone I feel like I am really seeing who they are and acknowledging them more than when I say Thank you for being you.
There is an exercise that Abraham channeled by Esther Hicks promotes called Positive Aspects. The goal is to identify as many positive features and characteristics you can about a person or situation. This process enables you to really appreciate someone as you acknowledge all the great things about them. If you are having difficulty with someone…do this exercise and be amazed as how it can change your view.
Whenever we are appreciative we are filled with a sense of well-being and swept up by the feeling of joy. – M.J. Ryan