Appreciation and a True Smile Back

Have you noticed how many parents instruct their children to smile back or say ‘hello’ when you first meet them?

In my part-time work at a supermarket checkout many families come through every day and I enjoy looking into the eyes of the babies and children because I find that in the way they look at me they are truly seeing me and feeling who I am, exploring who or what is there to be felt. So I look at them and sometimes I can feel that we are truly connected in that moment and nothing more needs to be said or done.

But the parents, wanting their child to ‘be polite’, often instruct the child to smile back or say hello: it feels like they are being asked to perform on behalf of their parents.

In reflecting on my own childhood, and that perhaps I was brought up in the same way, I wondered if I sometimes smile to be polite too?

I know that in my work it is expected of me to smile and be nice, and I can switch that on really easily, but it feels so much lovelier when the smile is a genuine one from deep inside, one that arises because I am enjoying the experience of truly meeting another person – be they adult or child – and my inner playfulness simply and naturally bubbles up, and I naturally smile back in response.

I feel a true smile like this also comes from appreciation. For example, I was recently in a conversation with two beautiful ladies who were expressing their appreciation of me and as I felt what they were saying, my whole body responded with a delicious warm feeling and I began to smile because it felt great. As they watched me, I noticed that they were smiling back in response and our smiles simply grew and grew with the gorgeous feeling of harmony that was developing between the three of us – they appreciated me and I appreciated them in that moment.

And that is what I am learning – to appreciate – both with others and myself.

I was on a course run by Universal Medicine recently where we did a practical exercise on listening to others with appreciation: it showed me how much I listen with judgment, and that judgment of another is impossible if we listen with appreciation… and when we express that appreciation, the true smile cannot help but be there too.

I have found that truly connecting with and deeply appreciating another human being is a heart-warming experience.

Inspired by the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

By Carmel Reid

903 thoughts on “Appreciation and a True Smile Back

  1. How much do we need others to perform how we would like? And how much do we initiate, what truly feels right? We can bring a spark of light to life no matter where others are at. Fact 🙂

  2. A smile can be a distraction to hide what is really going on. A mask we put on to not reveal the truth of how we are really doing.
    Why have we stopped showing each other how we really doing? Why have we put all those layers we didn’t have as a kid? We were naturally beautiful. What happened?
    The teachings presented by Serge Benhayon are showing us all.

  3. I wonder how many of us judge ourselves as well – as in pick out the faults we see in ourselves first and focus on that rather than truly allowing ourselves to appreciate the beauty that is in us as well…

    1. Yes we do judge ourselves a lot, Fiona, and picking up on the self deprecating way we talk about ourselves is a great way to stop that and start appreciating the qualities we bring.

  4. Understanding that everyone, without exception, is already everything helps us to appreciate them as equals even though they may not yet be living it in full. We are reading with understanding, not judging.

  5. Just the word appreciation has such a warm glow to it bringing a smile to our faces, and that smile just grows as we expand to appreciate each other.

  6. I’m so glad I came across this blog again today. I’ve been noticing how much I can listen with judgement and that now when I do, I realise it is because I have dropped my appreciation for myself and for the other person. Appreciation dissolves judgement.

  7. More and more I got to see and experience how the most simple thing is worth millions; to re-connect with your heart. From there we bring naturally what is there to express.

  8. Very true Carmel, I can not say it in any other way.. ‘I have found that truly connecting with and deeply appreciating another human being is a heart-warming experience.’

  9. So simple yet so true Carmel. Appreciation is confirming, enhancing and to smile from the heart is such a natural response.

  10. Yes beautiful Carmel. A true smile comes from connecting our essence which is innately beautiful, or connecting to essence of another. Therefore you have to let people in, be intimate, and then you see how beautiful people are, everyone of them, you appreciate naturally, a smile pops up: one never ending circle.

  11. Our relationships change when we stop criticising each other and appreciate the qualities we bring, and we definitely need to start with appreciating ourselves and fully accepting how great we truly are.

  12. If I think about how young children know and feel what is happening all the time and how they want to respond it highlights the fact that we drop this and learn another way that is not so true.

  13. I agree Carmel that ‘truly connecting with and deeply appreciating another human being is a heart-warming experience.’, and this for me is what life is all about. True connection, connection to love with ourselves and others is what bring the realness, the truth and the joy to life reminding us that who we are is far greater that being ‘polite’ and ‘nice’.

  14. Children naturally like communicating, they love connecting – sad that we see so many children full of sweets and foods that dulls that connection and instead encourages emotional stimulation that will leave them and parents exhausted.

  15. How often we do that, we ask others to perform in a way that fits our perception of what is deemed to be right in society. After reading this blog a few months ago, I have been asking myself – what would happen if we taught children to be honest rather than good? When posing this question to parents, I can see them freaking out. Freaking out because it exposes that we don’t want children to be honest, we want them to act in our play.

  16. Appreciation is a bit like looking through a magnifying glass to enjoy and maximize what is right in front of us. It opens up a space to bask in to discover that something can be so simple and ordinary yet breathtakingly beautiful and magnificent at the same time.

  17. When my flat mate expresses her appreciation of me, it is so very healing to receive, my whole body relaxes and settles in the confirmation of what I myself felt and what another has seen and then fed back.

  18. humm I really like this exercise you did ‘listening to others with appreciation’ and feel to bring this into my day. I can already feel how potentially life changing it is for everyone involved!

  19. There is such a huge difference felt when we smile in a true way rather than smiling to be recognised or accepted by another, one comes with a neediness the other smile comes with the joy felt in the body.

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