Give the Gift of Acknowledgement and Appreciation
I wish you a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, a wonderful holiday season! During this time of the year, many of us take on the practice of giving gifts to one another, giving gifts to people who we love and appreciate. And when you do that, I want to make a suggestion: I’d like to urge you to also give the gift of acknowledgement and appreciation.
Acknowledge the Specifics
When you take the time to take a look and see What do I really want to acknowledge about that person? What do I really appreciate about them? And express that to them–wow, it makes a real impact! And then, if you go one more step forward and instead of just saying it verbally, you write in a card, especially this time of year, and you push yourself to deepen this acknowledgment or this expression of appreciation as deeply as you can–you look to see what have they done that you appreciate so much? Or how are they being that you appreciate so much? And be specific about it.
Acknowledge the Circumstances
And then possibly, what did they go through to do? Did they have some uncomfortableness to be this way with you, or did they make some kind of a sacrifice? Or almost always, there’s something that was required of them in order to be this way or do this.
Acknowledge the Impact on You
And then, to look to see what impact did that have on me? Why is it I want to acknowledge them? What is it? How did I feel? So that I take that time to say, “You know, when you did that, boy it made me feel really loved.” Or, “It made my day, I’m still happy.” Or, “You know, when you did that, it helped me realize that I can do that more too for our relationship.” Whatever impact that had on you, if you could share that with them.
Acknowledge the Future Possibilities
And then, possibly what you see opening up in the future as a result. Maybe you can see some new possibility in the growth of your closeness or your intimacy. Or, you see that one of your children is–from what they have done–that you can see them really evolving into this person who can really meet the challenges that they choose to take on. Whatever it is that you see opening up now.
Write it Down!
The reason I give you these pointers as guide guideposts–they’re not meant to be just followed exactly, but the point of them is to help you look deeper and see what it is that you love and appreciate, and the impact that it has on you, and possibly on those around you, and then write it down. I know that could be a challenge. At least, it is for me! Sometimes, I get lucky. I sit down, just write it, and it all just flows, and it’s right there. Other times, I write it, and it’s like, that’s not quite it. And I let it sit there, and then I come back to it. Maybe, I do several drafts of it, and then finally OK, this is what I want to say.
It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
And it’s not like you have to get this perfect, or it’s some kind of–it can be a work of art, but it doesn’t have to be. I know it doesn’t matter to me if you’ve got all your punctuation right or all your grammar right or all your spelling right. That doesn’t really matter much to me. What matters to me is that I can feel that you stretched yourself and that you reached, or you opened your heart to let me feel how you feel about me and in what way I matter to you.
Appreciation Is One of the Greatest Gifts You Can Give
One of the gifts I often get from writing one of these kinds of cards is that it also deepens my own direct experience of what it is that I do appreciate about that person. And often, I find myself opening up a bit and getting moved by just writing this card to them. So, in this holiday season, I encourage you to give the gift of acknowledgment and appreciation. Give the gift that keeps giving. And maybe, your card will be like the card that’s on my bedside stand that I reach to and re-read again and again. And I’m sure you’ll touch someone in a way that means at least as much or more than any other gifts you’re giving. Have a fabulous fabulous holiday season, enjoy loving and appreciating, and hopefully, being with those that you love and appreciate. Enjoy!