Someone from New York City came to church yesterday. She’d been carrying around an article I wrote for two years. She wanted to meet me because the article was important to her. I can’t tell you how much her visit pleased me.
It is a wonderful thing when someone reaches out to praise an author for something they’ve written. I used enjoy the fan letters when I wrote for teenagers. But this was different because the writing came from my heart and I had a clear intention to be helpful.
In fact, hearing that my work helped someone is just about the best thing that could happen to a spiritual writer. We are dedicated to helping people and we don’t always hear from our readers. That young woman not only made my day, she made my week and a lot longer.
I felt appreciated and valued. It was quite different from having friends tell me they liked one of my blogs. This was a young woman I’d never met, from three thousand miles away, who carried my inspirational words with her all the time. She made my work seem very special.
I felt appreciated and I appreciated her. We had a great visit in a short time. I saw that exchange was like dropping a pebble of Love that rippled outward and outward. It was a bright spot in my day and I’m sure my good mood impacted others because good news travels fast.
Any honest expression of appreciation that we give or receive is a treasure that should be noticed and taken to heart. When were you last praised? Did you take the time to treasure it? Sometimes it is instructive to make notes of the praise and compliments you receive. You will brighten your life by paying attention to the appreciation others are expressing toward you. It will raise your self esteem.
On that same subject, ask yourself if you give praise easily? Or often? When was the last time you wrote a note to your favorite author? How about your favorite teacher in school? Do you tell your friends how much you appreciate them? Giving appreciation feels really good. The emotional lift comes with giving as well as receiving.
The best part of telling someone you appreciate them because of something special about them or their work, is that appreciation works both ways. Not only do you speak up and help someone see his or her own worth, your expression of appreciation is a message that goes into the Universal Mind. Spirit will find a way to return it to you. That’s the way spiritual law works.
Some people fall into the belief that there is a shortage. It’s as though there is not enough personal value to go around. They never express appreciation for anyone else. We all have known competitive people who try to make someone else bad so that they can feel good. They do not yet understand that there is no shortage of good will or personal value. Life is not a contest.
If Maxine Kaye or Carol Carnes is a good writer, that doesn’t mean I am a bad one. It means there are three good writers in this paragraph. And many more on this planet! If we start to talk about which writer is better, the conversation soon becomes nonsense! How can we compare Hemingway to Austen when they are so unique?
Life is not a contest. There is no shortage. We all have unique value and we can appreciate each other without diminishing anyone else. In fact, the fastest remedy for a competitive attitude is to begin to compliment others. He or she will quickly discover there is enough praise to go around. The praise that is given will find a way to return, pressed down and multiplied.
What do you believe would happen if you added appreciation to your spiritual practice? Are you willing to experiment?
If you want to learn to appreciate yourself, you can start by recognizing the value of others and expressing gratitude. You will see a boomerang effect very quickly. Begin to make it a habit to say thank you to others. Make it a habit to express praise for the things that others do that add value to your life.
When you attend church, don’t just praise the ministers and musicians because they do another good job. At the same time, look for those volunteers who are generally ignored. They work on set up, bringing and arranging the flowers, making coffee, on the sound system, or teaching Sunday School. These people all do valuable work and so we should praise them for a job well done. Appreciate them.
In general, begin to notice the things that people do for you and give genuine praise for their efforts. Soon, you will begin to understand that you live in a loving world and your life is touched by many wonderful people. Our civilization is built on cooperation and trust. Praise the civilized people in your world.
People who serve you and your lifestyle are important to your well being. If you are alert, you can praise their contributions and brighten their days. Often, you will find that the service you receive becomes even more enthusiastic. You and the recipient of your praise will be happier for the exchange.
The Law of Attraction is well known in New Thought circles. What you are focusing on is important. This is expressed over and over again, in every Sunday talk and in bestselling books such like The Secret. This spiritual law is also expressed in sayings such as, “What goes around comes around.”
I say, “Focus on the solution, not the problem.” You can train you mind to stop obsessing about what’s wrong and start believing that your desires are possible. Let the problem stew in its own juices. You don’t need to add to the mess. Begin by asking, “What do I want to see happen?” If you focus on the desired solution, you draw it toward you.
You can experiment and prove the Law of Attraction in your own life. Make notes of your results. During the next month, make it a game to honestly praise as many people as you can. Thank people for the way they interact with you. File a favorable report on your favorite grocery checker’s work. Tell important people in your life (such as your children) how much you appreciate them.
Open your heart and make appreciation your way of life. Don’t hold praise back for fear it won’t continue to improve. Praise what you love and watch it grow.
The people in your life want to please you and they need your approval. Make it a point to notice the good stuff. Send notes and small gifts for special service.
If you are honest with yourself, you will see that your life is smoother as you learn to use praise as a positive living tool.
What happened today that I can praise?
How many ways can I thank people this week?
Do I see the unrecognized helpers?