Appreciation – A Pathway to Love

I have spent most of my life giving myself a hard time. If something went wrong or if someone got upset, I would be the first person to put my hand up thinking it was my fault – even if it wasn’t. I have been very quick at putting myself in the doghouse, so to speak. This has been a pattern that I always remember having; it has been my normal.

Because of this belief I often attracted situations and relationships where I was also given a hard time, which simply to me confirmed my belief that indeed something was wrong with me. Giving myself a hard time was part of my foundation – so much so that until recently I didn’t even realise the extent to which I internally battered and beat myself.

Since coming to the work of Universal Medicine and being a Student of The Way of The Livingness, I have already made quite an inroad into developing a way of living that is self-honouring and self-loving. This has brought much clarity and joy on a day-to-day basis, however I can now see that this default program of giving myself a hard time has been capping my expansion and evolution.

Having had a Universal Medicine practitioner lovingly point out that this was a pattern of mine, I decided to explore the possibility of choosing another way. First of all, I recognised that I had been saying ‘yes’ to this pattern and I began to explore why I was choosing it. I became aware of the cycle that played out in my self-abuse.

Whenever anyone would question me on something that I had done or said, I would be quick to doubt myself, then I would disconnect from my body to go into more doubt, become very confused, give up on myself and then internally bash myself over the head for not getting it right: the whole time, not assessing or feeling if what had been said was indeed true for me or not.

By acknowledging that this was a recurring pattern, I started to make inroads by seeing just how debilitating this pattern was and how much it was holding me back.

The Game Changer – Self-Appreciation

This was when I began a self-appreciation program where on a daily basis via text message I began to share with a friend at least two things that I appreciate about myself on that day. Because I already had a strong foundation of love in my body from the self-loving choices I had been making over the last four or five years, this opened up a fountain of appreciation for myself that I never knew was there, dwelling inside of me waiting to burst out.

I began to see very clearly just how awesome I am and just how much there is to appreciate about myself. I began to see daily that the amazingness of who I truly am far outweighs all the little things that I had been giving myself a hard time over.

As I have begun to deeply appreciate all that ‘I am’, the ‘what I am not’ has started to fade into the background. It is something that I need to lovingly work on, but I no longer identify with it as who I am.

No more doghouse for me! I found that my innate way of being really is to express from this appreciation.

Along with the appreciation of myself also has come hand in hand a deeper appreciation of others. As I focus on seeing the beauty in me, I cannot help but see the beauty in those around me. My foundation is shifting quickly and I now see how giving myself a hard time no longer serves me. It was a pattern that I chose as a way of keeping myself small, of not showing the world the glory of who I really am.

This article was inspired by Serge Benhayon and fellow Universal Medicine students and practitioners who have reflected that appreciation is a pathway to a deeper level of love.

By Donna Gianniotis, Age 41, BA Communication, Dip Health (Yoga)

Further Reading:
No Doubt
Women in Livingess
Compliments And Me

1,344 thoughts on “Appreciation – A Pathway to Love

  1. Appreciation is so needed on our way back to Soul as it is a continuous confirmation of how great and beautiful we are and with that we give it permission to grow it even bigger.

    1. So true Nico, as we grow the appreciation feels like it expands with us and connects those Soul-full moments, so I suppose we could say appreciation is the glue between our Soul expressing as it holds one moment to the next!

      1. Yes Greg, you could see appreciation as a glue, but sometimes I also see it as food, nourishing food for the Soul.

  2. Thank you Donna for the clarity with which you express your appreciation for yourself and the recognition that whilst there will always be stuff to work on it that it is not who you are. Like you I have been so good at focusing on what I perceived to be my weaknesses that they overshadowed all there is to appreciate in how my life has turned around since attending Universal Medicine presentations and taking responsibility for how I am with myself and others.

  3. Great title ‘Appreciation – A Pathway to Love’ with ourselves and others. Time to bin all the books on finding love and connect to the joy of appreciation.

  4. Self-bashing is incredibly harmful to both us and others and yet so many of us do it and even feel virtuous about it as if it is being honest or helpful in some way. This is such an illusion as the only thing that is healing is love and that is true love which does not have one ounce of emotion.

  5. It is one of the greatest losses our world has been delivered that self doubt and self bashing far out weigh self appreciation and the responsibility that true appreciation engenders.

  6. Appreciation of self is the precursor and foundation for truly appreciating others and what we all bring.

  7. I have spent most of my life giving myself a hard time also Donna; but no more. Your blog is a great inspiration to always remember that appreciation is the pathway to love.

  8. We can so easily get stuck in old, well worn patterns which do not serve us and which in fact hold us back … I love that you’ve been willing to address yours here Donna, and how the simple act of embracing appreciation showed you so much and how in fact you found this to be a natural expression. It has me asking how I can deepen my own appreciation and what I might find when I do.

  9. It is crazy how much time we spent focussing on our ‘short comings’ all the while there is so much grandness and beauty in an about us.

  10. Expressing and sharing our appreciation with others is so powerful. Even just giving ourselves a moment to stop, and stock-take in itself is something to really appreciate about.

  11. A big thumbs up for appreciation programs. I do a daily text with a close friend, and as a family, we also share appreciations around the dinner table. It changes the focus away from the negative (which has also been my habit) and has opened my eyes to how much there is to appreciate about myself, others and life in general.

  12. It is a great realisation when we identify patterns that hold us back from our true expression. Learning to deeply appreciate myself was hard at first as it was something I had rarely considered or offered to myself just with other people. Through making choices that were far more loving and gentle I began to accept and value myself and this now keeps expanding the more I continue to deeply cherish and appreciate my true qualities.

  13. Great invitation to take my self-appreciation deeper. When we have a deep foundation of appreciation, it is also easier to look at one’s short comings, critique or whatever we have to unlearn or let go of that is not loving. I still put myself in the doghouse as well (love that expression!) but also combine it with blame. I feel bad but is someone else’s fault. They criticize me, than I take it in and criticize myself, feel bad and blame the other for feeling that way. The way to off set this trick? Appreciation!

  14. It’s amazing to see and hear of how our view sets up how we are. As this article offers if you are self critical you seemed to attract more of same and then this is your view and you identify this as ‘just being how you are’. It’s not until something expands your awareness for you to question and almost wake up to see. Appreciation isn’t just a word, it’s a way of life that for us can be a way to continually expand your awareness. No more loathing or battering yourself just a bigger picture focus with appreciation being the norm.

  15. I love the way appreciation works magic in our bodies. It brings an ease and settlement which brings more space for more appreciation so before long this foundation is so strong it paves the way of our next step. In effect when we appreciate ourselves we are guaranteeing the quality of our future.

    1. Indeed Lucy, expressions of appreciation feel like stepping stones to more, greater and grand, to a place we deserve to be.

  16. I love the way appreciation works magic in our bodies. It brings and ease and settlement which brings more space for more appreciation so before long this foundation is so strong it paves the way of our next step. In effect when we appreciate ourselves we are guaranteeing the quality of our future.

  17. Thank you Donna, for what you have shared it is so very timely for me to realise these words, ‘It was a pattern that I chose as a way of keeping myself small, of not showing the world the glory of who I really am’. A great reminder of the power of appreciation in my life by confirming and expanding the love that I am.

  18. There is a sneaky streak/s in me to not be all of me in and with the world. Gentle, loving, appreciation of myself is the way to get acquainted with these sneakies, to become aware and understand them for what they are so they aren’t the default protection to any external situation that feels a little or lot uncomfortable.

  19. It seems to me we have the understanding of how to live in the world back-to-front. Rather than internalise with the critic, self punishing strategy to cope with a situation that hurts or we don’t know how to handle, in truth we can simple connect to the innate love that is already present and externalise this by letting it ripple out. This is a loving way to appreciate who we innately are.

  20. Bringing daily appreciation into our lives is a game changer, it helps let go of the old patterns of beating ourselves up, ‘I began to see daily that the amazingness of who I truly am far outweighs all the little things that I had been giving myself a hard time over.’

  21. It is incredible how we humans get so caught up in the little things of our imperfections and those of others, constantly self-bashing and judging relentlessly…it is only when we value what we bring, we can self-appreciate and then this easily extends to appreciating all others.

  22. Interesting to consider how e have come into the situation that we doubt or even bash ourselves for what we have done, will be doing or not have done, to name a few arguments we tend to use. As when we return to appreciation we naturally felt held in all that we do and with that we are able to appreciate others too. So could it be that we have lost that connection in us in which we naturally appreciate all of life as it is a precious gift from heaven, as to me life is?

  23. Thanks Donna, I really needed to read this today! After an incredible weekend of amazing things and people and appreciation, I feel unsettled today and it’s the smallest things that I’ve started to give myself a hard time over, instead of staying with the awesome settlement of appreciation. When I start to focus on the small stuff, I really easily lose myself in it, instead of just focusing on keeping on appreciating all of the amazing bits that are always there – but we just stubbornly choose to not focus on, sometimes.

  24. We say yes to those things we know diminish us and that is great to understand for then we know we have the tools in us to consider what in fact we’ve said yes to; and then as we build an appreciation of who we are and compound that we allow the space for all the other bits to fall away, knowing they are not us.

  25. Forget the dog-house and start appreciating seems like a true message we can all learn from so thank you Donna. Texting a friend seems like a great idea and is now something I will do as soon as I find a friend!

  26. The more we work on appreciating ourselves, and accepting how truly great we are, the more the feelings of not being adequate will disappear. What I do is walk it, feeling the beauty of who I am and then magnify it by walking.

  27. The beautiful thing about what you are sharing here is, that there is another way to live our life than we had taught or given in to, that there is another way where we can truly heal and thus can truly let go of things, which brings true change.

  28. It is interesting why we put emphasis on the 20% of our lives that we live in disconnection with our Natural way of being instead to the 80% we already are.

  29. I can very much relate Donna – for most of my life, self-bashing and self-critique have been the staples. It has needed and continues to need a huge commitment from myself to turn this around, and build self-appreciation as the foundation that holds me instead. It is amazing what happens when we do commit to this – how hugely held we know we are by the endless well of our own ever expansive and universal love.

  30. Appreciation inspires more appreciation and it is important to never hold back our appreciation for ourselves and all that we bring and indeed, for all others.

  31. What a beautiful example of the fact that making the commitment to bring appreciation into our lives has a most natural ripple effect, with the ripples not only flowing through our body but through the bodies of all those around us. As love and appreciation are inextricably intertwined, it is a given that where there is self-love there is self-appreciation, with this divine union having the power to change lives, starting with our own.

  32. It is great when we catch ourselves going into patterns that do not serve and keep us small so that we can make a different choice. Choosing to love and appreciate ourselves brings a settlement to our body so that we understand and deeply value our true worth.

  33. I noticed an old pattern creep in tonight – one where someone was putting me in the doghouse, and I was allowing it by not speaking up, and withdrawing, which was then feeding the other person’s behaviour – my silence was confirming their talking as ‘right’. I felt reduced and less than, and could also feel myself going into victim mode – I can’t say anything because of xyz.. all a big story which means that I don’t have to rock the boat, risk upsetting the other person, and can stay comfortable as the victim. The amazing thing is that the more I build a steady foundation within myself – make more choices to feel amazing and know that it’s okay just to be me, the more anything that is not of that same amazing quality really starts to stand out – including all of my own behaviours and patterns – and it makes me want to start to choose differently.

  34. It’s been amazing to consistently reflect on the thoughts I have, to see how these thoughts whether positive or negative, loving or unloving then impact on how I see the world and people. It is our relationship with ourselves that then dictates how we see others and the world and so self critique yourself and then this is your default for others and this example can be applied to everything. You can only do to someone first what you have done to yourself and so equally if you are holding an ongoing love and deep care for yourself then this is what touches the world. There is no end to how far you can expand this all and when this thought comes that there is then it’s time to expand things further. Life isn’t just what physically happens outside of us, there is far more occurring around us then we bring awareness to.

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