Week 14 – The Power of Gratitude and Appreciation
The theme for the month of April is the Power of Gratitude and Appreciation, The Joy Starts Here.
Before we begin this discussion, it is important to remind ourselves about energy and vibration. Remember that EVERYTHING is vibrating and producing a rate of frequency. This frequency can actually be measured. Those of us who are consciously aware and who take actions to raise and/or keep our vibrational frequencies high, are also consciously aware of the power of words and affirmations. We are acutely aware that this is how we manifest things into our existence, by paying attention to our vibratory countenance, and making adjustments accordingly.
Words in and of themselves obviously have no power whatsoever. It is the perceiver that gives words power and meaning based on their perceptions and beliefs. For example, the word God is perceived by so many different people to mean so many different things. Or the word love, which we say is the equivalent to God, and which also ironically, means different things to different people.
We tend to use the words gratitude and appreciation interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing. We use the word gratitude almost out of habit or routine. At Thanksgiving, we often go around the table and ask the question “What are you grateful for?” Some people have a gratitude journal where you write the things you are grateful for in your life. The catch phrase for years and even today was, practice having an “attitude of gratitude.” And of course this is a great way to raise your vibration with positive emotions, but is there really a difference?
Gratitude and Appreciation.
I am grateful for… I am in appreciation of… What’s in a word?
The answer obviously depends on whom you ask the question. In preparation for this month’s theme, my cousin and I had differences of opinions on the words gratitude and appreciation. I tend to see a difference while he sees the words as synonymous. And while it may seem like splitting hairs somewhat, there is a subtle difference worth paying attention to in this sense. It boils down to what you mean when you use the two words AND most importantly, how you feel when using either of the words. If you use the word gratitude to mean overcoming a struggle or some adversity, or link your gratitude to something you’ve received, then the word has a diminishing power associated with it. If used like this we are still holding ourselves in vibrational alignment with the situation or person we expressed the gratitude towards. Which is counterintuitive to what we’re wanting to do. For example, “I’m so grateful that I have lost this weight. I used to weigh 250lbs, now I’m 185.” So gratitude in this scenario is looking back at the weight issue and feeling grateful for overcoming it. There is still some vibrational connection to the overweight experience with gratitude.
Gratitude is more externally focused while appreciation is more internal. Sort of like the difference between motivation and inspiration we discussed last month. Gratitude carries with it a “push” energy as if I am compelled to express my thanks. It is as if I “should” feel it. There is someone or something that I am feeling grateful towards. We can see this clearer with the concept of “paying it forward”. The person in front you paid for your coffee, and now you feel the right thing to do is pay for the person behind you. You feel somewhat obligated. When it could have been just as noble to simply say thank you internally, acknowledge the gesture within yourself, and if you feel inspired maybe pass that gratitude on in another way throughout your day.
On the other hand, Appreciation is a feeling that naturally springs from within. When I am in appreciation, I have a regard for the object or person and I bring it into my presence. Appreciation has no lack involved. No attachment to any outcome or overcoming of any adversity. There is simply an in the moment experience of feeling appreciation for where you stand right now. Even at 250lbs.
Appreciation and love with the same vibrational frequency. Even when we use the word appreciation from business perspective ie. real estate, jewelry etc., we can see the meaning being one of increasing in value. Real estate appreciates (most times). Jewelry can appreciate. Appreciation adds value to what is. I see you. The beauty in me recognizes the beauty in you. I recognize you and appreciate you.
Why/how it works
Simple: The Law of Reciprocity. What you reap, you sow. What you give, you get. What you put out, you receive in return. This is the way the Universe is designed. Acts of kindness, gratitude, and appreciation are what makes this world go around. Think of how absolutely great you feel when you give, or do something for someone without expectation of anything in return. I can imagine the very first person who initiates the “pay it forward” in the drive through line feels the best. Why? Because she has no attachment to the outcome, or the persons response to the giving. The purest form of giving is anonymous to anonymous.
Then again, I also recognize that words by themselves can never fully encapsulate what we truly feel. What counts is the essence of our feelings and how powerfully we feel it. What is important is the conscious and deliberate choice that we make when we feel negative emotions.
So as we walk this journey this month we will show you how gratitude and appreciation works, why it works, and how to manifest your true desires in life using these tools for spiritual liberation and self-realization.