“Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.”
All the food we eat is to provide us nutrition and health. Various foods have various nutritive values. Have you ever realized what can be the nutrition for the well being of our soul…prayer, laughter, positivity? It is appreciation? Yes, the good words of other people either about our deeds or looks or personality or the food we cook or the way we maintain our house. The kind gentle words praising us, making us feel liked and appreciated are powerful morale boosters.
A personal experience
When we shifted to our new locality in Gurgaon I was looking for new friends. One fine day as I stood in the balcony looking around I saw a simple girl cleaning her terrace, when I looked more carefully I saw tears on her face, she looked at me and gently smiled immediately wiping her tears. I just felt bout of pain, that I still don’t know why. As we started talking I realized that she was well educated, came from a decent family was goodlooking and had 2 kids. I slowly realized during our small walks to the market that she was very low on self esteem. Always self critical always looking at others with appreciative eyes. But never did she say a word about herself. I slowly started realising that it was the criticizing husband who had really broken her. Be it height or weight or food she cooked or looks. She was never ever appreciated.She was always cornered. Her low self esteem and lacking self confidence made her a very complex person. Slowly when she started talking to others in the neighborhood, she started opening up. Few other people including me of the neighborhood started appreciating her. One day when she invited all of us for lunch we were kudos over her cooking skills. Gradually we saw tremendous change…our appreciative words gave her a confidence which was visible from the eyes. The way she walked, talked and carried herself transformed…and when after 3 years she shifted,I saw a much more confident woman. Till date we remain closest friends and she says I thank god I found you people. The under-confident, fidgety always confused woman is gone.
It made me realize the power of appreciation. It has the power to transform you. Any good word which comes towards us gives us positive vibes. It makes us realize our importance to not only ourselves but others too. This that our efforts and work are noticed.
The positive influence
Appreciation sends good vibes, it uplifts our spirit. It nourishes our very need to be acknowledged and appreciated. Look at any person who is looking depressed or feeling low… rather than giving a lecture, say a few good words. You will be able to find a difference. Even the smallest appreciation is enough to re-energize. You are in a way soothing an aching heart. Any person who is criticized deeply will be on very low self esteem and may lose all his confidence.
Its like an energy reserve
Imagine a situation when nobody looks at you, or when everyone is pulling you down. Any appreciation done in the past will help you. You may be losing confidence but the past good words will encourage you. You just have to look back and remember. Appreciation somewhere suffices your soul.
Do Not get swayed
In today’s world there may be people who would be appreciating you for their own selfish reasons. We must be balanced enough to make out who is genuine. Even after that, we must learn to be grounded and carry our good deeds and maintain our qualities.
Appreciate others as well
Rather than just looking for appreciation we must be at the giving end also. The more you appreciate, even the smallest deeds more are the people encouraged to carry them. Even when your are criticizing some one it must be coupled with a few words of appreciation.
Mutual appreciation can help in building a healthier environment and also can it work like therapy for a broken soul.
As the Dalai Lama says, “The seed of goodness is found in the soil of appreciation”.
This article is based on the article Soil for Soul by Suma Varughese in the June 2012 of Lifepositive.
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