„Appreciate what you have“ is all over social media and part of every yoga or meditation class. It’s good advice but only half the story.
Do you ever feel guilty when you wish for more than you have? If yes, you’ve only heard half the truth. Shall we give appreciation the stage and hear its full story? Step aside, dear blame and you too, guilty conscious, and make space for the whole, abundant beauty of appreciation.
How come this valuable advice „appreciate what you have“ isn’t the full story? The problem is that this makes it sound as if appreciation was limited to being grateful for what you have. Limiting gratitude like this, it’s no wonder we feel bad when we wish for more. Let’s be very clear: If a human being has no more hopes and wishes, it’s called being depressed.
Limiting appreciation to what you already have creates a guilty consciousness.
Limiting appreciation triggers a feeling of guilt every time you want something to come into your life and then, when you think „I’m not appreciative enough about everything I already have“, it makes you feel even worse. This is so not what appreciation wants.
Now let’s get some popcorn, get comfy and enjoy the full story of appreciation that unfolds in three acts. The curtain rises elegantly with a hint of sluggishness, and the stage scenery is strangely familiar. Behold! It is your own living room and you yourself are entering the stage from the right. See yourself sitting down on your coach with a thoughtful expression on your face.
Act 1: Replace placing blame
What is it that you want to have that isn’t your reality yet? A house, a pet, a job that suits you better, a loving partner, another child? Just because you wish for something or someone to come into your life, doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate what you have.
Stop feeling bad about wanting that person or thing or opportunity. It is ok to wish for more happiness. The pursuit of happiness is a natural human quality and there is no need to have a guilty conscious.
Instead, begin to enjoy your wishes. Start being at peace with them. Replace blame with gratitude. Love yourself for being open to the possibility that your amazing life becomes even more amazing.
Without placing blame, you trigger an amazing switch in your mind.
This way you stop blaming yourself, others or life in general, that you don’t have yet, whatever it is you wish for. When you stop placing blame, you trigger an amazing switch in your mind: Suddenly you are free to love your life as it is while also being open to embrace more beauty and abundance.
Act 2: The happiest day of your life…so far!
I never say „This is the happiest day of my life.“ Saying, for example, my wedding day is the happiest day of my life, implies that afterwards, life can only get worse. That’s not how we want to live, is it? Instead, we can say „This is the happiest day of my life so far“.
By adding “so far” we appreciate that we already have a fulfilled life but also, we are very clear that we are ready for days to come that are filled with even more joy and love and kindness and amazing humans.
That’s appreciation. Appreciation is not exclusive. It doesn’t say: Appreciate all you have and feel bad about everything else you wish for. Appreciation is like love; it is all-embracing.
Act 3: Embrace it all
When you find yourself wishing for more, be grateful for having such a big heart that always has space for even more amazing, loving, magical, joyful moments. Then, add your appreciation for everything and everyone already present in your life. See, it’s not either this or that. Appreciation is addition, is union, is an embrace-it-all-attitude.
Remain open for even more awesome moments.
We now have reached to conclusion of our little tale, the magical moment just before the curtain falls is upon us and we witness our beloved main character, again in the living room, as he or she addresses the audience to inspire us with as much positivity as possible. Here goes…
Appreciation embraces everything: All that is here, all that you are now, all that you long for. Immerse yourself in the love you have for life as it is now, while remaining open to embrace whatever may come and keep tell yourself: „I am so grateful for my life. Today is the happiest day of my life so far.“
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