I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the word ‘appreciation.’ It seems to have sneaked into my life when I wasn’t looking, and now I find it a major focus of my daily attention—and of my intention as well.
It’s a soft, gentle word, isn’t it? No hard consonants to bump up against, it just flows smoothly over the tongue. It’s a good thing, certainly, but it doesn’t sound as powerful or important as more passionate words we may use to describe other emotional states. Love, believe, create—these are more defined sounds, they seem quite important, and so they seem more worthy of our spiritual journey.
And yet I think the deeper we go into spiritual Truth, the more we find appreciation serving as the lubricant that makes our new discoveries flow more easily. After all, love, belief—even creation itself—all require appreciation.
“And God saw that it was good,” as each dimension of life began to create itself. We’re not told that God loved all the elements of creation. (He seems to take a dim view of snakes, for example.) He appreciated it all. The infinite wisdom that is Divine Mind is well aware that as the creative process continues to unfold it will often be ugly, painful and distinctly unlovable. As creative Spirit, we may not unconditionally love every expression of the Infinite we see around us in the world today. We cannot believe in and embrace all of creation—including those aspects of it that we ourselves have bungled rather badly. I think we do our Truth a great disservice, and discourage many who might embrace it, by teaching that unconditional love is a required condition for moving forward.
But we can—and must—unconditionally appreciate every bit of it. The light, the shadow, the love, the fear, the achievements and the failures—I really can’t love it all just yet, but I’m learning to appreciate it all, and that’s a powerful step forward. Or inward.
When we appreciate it, our life flows as smoothly as the word itself. We form beliefs; we make choices. We learn valuable lessons from the consequences of those choices. Our beliefs shift, our choices become more and more centered in an appreciation of the creative process, and consequences begin to express more of light and less of shadow. And so it flows.
Simple, lowly appreciation is, in Truth, the lubricant that allows it all to move forward in Divine Mind—and in divine time. As I sit here in my home, reviewing today’s choices, reviewing the world expressing around and within me, there is literally nothing I do not appreciate. I certainly don’t love it all. Yet I appreciate the infinite Goodness within which it is all expressing, and I appreciate the Allness within which, and as which, I create. Perhaps mine is not the role that I once thought it would be. (I still have somewhere a tattered old Tony Award acceptance speech, just in case.) But it’s mine.
The rewards of appreciation are many. The greatest is an astonishing sense of peace. I don’t have to judge anything, or fix anything, or worry about how things will all turn out. I appreciate everything. I feel totally at peace with it all. When my own contribution is needed, I will trust my personal guidance to speak and act, explore and discover, and make creative choices. I may not understand it all—I almost never do—but I will appreciate it. And I will appreciate Me. And that is truly the greatest peace of all.