Gratitude vs. Appreciation
You may have read the title of this blog “Gratitude vs. Appreciation”, and thought, “What’s the difference?”, and while at one time I might have totally agreed with you, over the last year, I’ve come to understand them a little differently. As you may assume, if you looked up the words gratitude and appreciation, (which of course I did), the two definitions are almost interchangeable:
verb : Be grateful for (something).
adjective: Feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful.
However, when it comes to the feelings behind the words and how we use them, they take on new or different meanings. If you notice, often times when you feel grateful for something, it’s attached to your thoughts about a particular situation that you’ve come through, usually a negative or challenging one. Therefore, even though you’re focused on feelings of gratitude, your mind is subject to conjuring up the history, (and possibly some of the negative feelings) that correspond to the fearful thought stream you were entertaining at that time. This means that each time you feel grateful for those things, you are bringing up the energetic fear that you hold with that story, which in turn negatively effects your ability to create your desired reality.
When you shift your energy from gratitude to appreciation, there no longer need be a history attached to your feelings. When you appreciate who you are right now, you don’t need to remind yourself of any past particular experience to validate your being, you just are. The easiest way to feel genuine appreciation, in such a way where you can contrast it to gratitude, would be to look at something beautiful to you. Take some time to stare at it and really appreciate it’s beauty. When you allow yourself to feel that genuine feeling of appreciation, make a mental note so that you know how to lead yourself to that place more consciously in the future.
Applying this concept of appreciation to your body, your work, your loved ones or any aspect of your life where you want to see improved conditions will positively impact your efforts. That said, if you are spending your days bouncing between gratitude and appreciation, then yippy, skippy for you… SERIOUSLY! As this type of energy will no doubt bring you lots of happy experiences. However, if you’re feelings of gratitude keep you emotionally attached to past experiences that you still see as negative, then they’re not doing you as much good.