"Appreciation is always
the appropriate response."
-- Rev. Tony Ponticello
[Classic post from 4-27-16]
Continuing with part two from yesterday's post.
Yesterday I was writing about how we can know something and yet not be fully living it, in that perhaps it has not yet become habitual in our lives, and then we find ourselves trying to help someone by sharing knowledge we think is of value in the situation they are in, only to realize that I was the one who most needed to be reminded of that very valuable teaching.
As stated yesterday, a very big part of it is understanding that reality is a fluid concept, not a static one, and that reality is individual perception and subject to change in numerous ways. Often when people say, "face reality," or "this is what is real," they are merely expressing their immediate opinion of what reality is, but there is no such thing as THE reality. Even if you are looking at something and it causes you to feel such and such, someone else right next to you may see something completely different. That is so common and clearly points to reality being unique to each person.
So, in a situation where there is interaction with another or others, what we see as the reality is only the choice of our focus at that moment. Granted, our focus may be habitual from past learning, or on autopilot, so that we are choosing by default, but we are choosing nonetheless.
We also get to choose how we feel by the choices of focus that we make. When we focus on this, we feel bad, and when we focus on that, we feel good. What this comes down to in the end is one of the best questions ever to be asked: Do you want to feel good, or bad? Happy people are only happy because they are choosing to feel good, and we get to choose in any situation.
My advice was to let the other make their own choices because we cannot choose for them, and let go of focusing on what is going wrong, or is not working, or what the other person's attitudes and drama are. That is all conditional love. If you will be this way, I will love you, and if you are that way, you will not fit into my life. Most of the love we experience in our lives is very much conditional love. As long as you fit in, there is love and when you have crossed the line, I can love you no more--in fact, I don't even want to be around you.
It is so easy to focus on what is going wrong, what is not working, the drama. Being right is conditional love, assuming it is love at all. But, being right is not conducive to a happy life. We get to choose to focus on that or we can choose otherwise. It doesn't even matter if the relationship is over, completely broken or just in a temporary state. Focusing there creates drama in our life too, along with all manner of negative feelings. And it doesn't matter if this is a romantic relationship or it is a relationship with a boss or coworker--or even a customer. They are all relationships.
Back to the advice. . . my advice was to focus on the positive aspects of the other person regardless of what is going on now. I suggested thinking what they liked best about that person, how special they are, how attractive they are, how smart they are, how creative they are, and on and on and on, making a list of all the positive aspects of them that they could think of.
I learned this from Abraham, Esther Hicks quite some time back where they suggest that we start a notebook and make lists of the positive aspects of people and situations just to feel good or to feel better even when things are going very well, but it is especially helpful when we want things to improve because they are not going so well.
Appreciation is magic. By finding these positive aspects to appreciate, it may or may not repair what is going wrong in the other, but it absolutely will do so for us. In addition, and here is the best part for me, it allows us to practice UN-conditional love. When we love someone regardless of what is going on, including cutting us loose or even worse tearing us down, we are in our fullness, complete, whole, loving. That magic may or may not transfer to the other, but chances are it will somehow positively affect them, while it is certain that it will positively affect us.
Unconditional love is something we need to remind ourselves of. I was having an issue with a client where communication was and is terrible and we have not been paid either. After giving this advice, I immediately found my buried-in-the-drawer book of positive aspects and started filling a page of all the positive aspects of the management of that business, and much more. It changed my thoughts from anger and disappointment to unconditional love. Whatever happens is okay now. It is okay. I am good.
Try this magic yourself. There's lots of drama around. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, going wrong, change to focusing on what is right, good, working, perfect. Pay attention to how you feel. When you're feeling upset, angry, disappointed, frustrated, these are signs of where your thoughts are focused. Once you decide you want to feel good instead, begin the appreciation process. Start a notebook. Change a life!
Appreciation Is The Path To Unconditional Love.
Spread Some Joy Today--by finding appreciation and expressing it.