Vitamin A that I am referring to here isn’t a vitamin that we get through supplements. Neither it’s a vitamin we get through foods. What I am referring to is a simple yet powerful word – “appreciation”. It doesn’t cost us a single cent to appreciate, still its so powerful in making you feel and heal better. This in no way means, appreciation is going to take away a disease! No, healing is multifactorial and there are many things that come together to heal. Cancer for instance, there is a whole team that’s behind healing a cancer. Doctors, family love and support, chemotherapy, drugs, nutrition, emotional healing, yoga and the patient’s mindset. So, the healing cannot be credited to one particular lifestyle change.
Take a look at the number of people today moving towards meditation, chanting, going for wellness retreats and camps in search of peace. Notice how we crave more and more time away from work. This tells us the current mess we are in. We have high ambitions and too much greed that’s overwhelming our body and mind. Thus, we crave for that one night of good sleep or that one yoga class that makes us feel so good. That’s the level of craving we experience whereas its something that should be a normal part of our lives. Our environment of work doesn’t make us truly happy and its so competitive that its robbing us of our soul. So, we are on a constant look out for ways to be away from work and the whole idea of work-from-home or work travel sounds exciting.
Let me share a story ……
Sometime back I was consulting a royal family in Dubai. The princess of that family had metastatic cancer that has spread all over her body and doctors recommended her chemotherapy and radiation. When I flew in to see her, she expressed her unwillingness to put her body through chemotherapy because she wanted either her body to heal her or preferred dying the natural ways. Discussions after discussions we finally decided to let her do what she wanted. This also meant that I had to fly down every 10 days (sometime after 3rdday) to keep a track of her healing and recovery. The more time I spent with her, I realised what she was truly craving for was her family, their presence and care. In spite of having the best nutrition and treatment plan, there was a void that bothered her. Hers was a knit family and as her children grew up and finished education, they gradually moved ahead in life, some shifted out of the country, ran companies and got busier with their lives. As much as they loved her, they couldn’t spend time with her and she craved that. Not that her family didn’t care for her. In fact, they would fly down as and when she needed them. I somehow felt the need to get in touch with her family.
We sat down and had a meeting. I requested if they could spend the next couple of months staying as close to their mom as possible, to which all of them agreed, left everything and started living with her like earlier. They once again started appreciating her, loving her and taking care of her. What I noticed after that was miraculous healing. The lady who had 2-3 months left to live, then lived for an entire year with beautiful health. Unfortunately, later she died, not because of cancer but because of a mild heart attack in Paris. The same place where she dreamt of dying. Till date, her family stays together because now they understand the importance of a family and appreciating each family member for what do they.
Humans crave appreciation. However, people with egos and pride crave it the most.
Now, how do we know this?
Notice children. All they need is attention and we parents label that as tantrums and conveniently ignore that. That is the worst thing to do. Children crave for attention and appreciation which is why they do things a certain way or behave a certain way. How about adults? We throw tantrums all the time, be it wives, husbands, love partners, colleagues, bosses. For what? Attention and appreciation! We shouldn’t ignore these little symptoms that life throws at us. At the same time, appreciation can also be a fake and non-genuine one. We often hear people saying “I love you” so liberally. This maybe great, but is it genuine or just a flattery?
Do you crave for appreciation?
If you are the one who craves to be appreciated, learn and start to genuinely appreciate other people. You get what you give. If you genuinely appreciate someone, the universe is going to give it back to you. The truth however is: Most of us appreciation doesn’t come from a genuine space.
The top obstacles that stop us from appreciating someone are:
We can never appreciate someone else if we are filled with these negative emotions. Its important to accept and face the fact that there will be people better than us in terms of looks, physique, intellect, wealth, etc. There will be children who get better grades than your kids. Accept that and appreciate them rather than pulling the other person down. We need to send the right message to our younger generation. No matter who is at the top position, we can always find things to appreciate about that person. And this becomes even more easier when we crush our egos, pride and jealousy.
I see so much scare in people’s eyes when they see that someone’s copying their idea or is competing with them. Understand that the world is a massive place. There is abundance, but an attitude of lack. We humans have this attitude of lack and thus we constantly try to protect ourselves, step back from appreciating others and look for opportunities to pull them down. Only if you appreciate the goodness in them, you as a person will begin to grow, not just spiritually but in every area of your life.
There are two things human beings do when they see the other person is not behaving in a way, they’d like them to: Ration out or Deprive people of love, attention and appreciation. This can happen in any relationship – husband-wife, brother-sister, mother-daughter, etc.
For eg : Think of a boss not forgiving you for that one mistake you made and how they start rationing out or threating you for promotions etc. Now this is not the way for anyone to grow. Learn forgiveness and open your doors to appreciation. The only person who loses out when you don’t appreciate is yourself because it holds you back. Emotional baggage’s hold people from moving on in their life. People who hurt you, betray you, create problems in your life, move on and so should you.
Make a list of people your enemies and try to find out one thing that you can appreciate in them. You don’t have tell them, but just recognise the goodness in them. Everyone isn’t bad.
Even our kids commit mistakes or score low grades, that doesn’t mean we make them feel miserable. We miss a promotion. That doesn’t mean we start feeling miserable about ourselves and discount every thing we are good at. Human beings are themselves the root cause of depression, creating miserable relationships, misbehaviours, etc and that is why we run behind things that give us peace. In California, Silicon Valley, people roam around with gurus. What does this mean? They are on a look out for peace- even if its for a few minutes. Our soul and lives have been robbed of peace because of our own choices.
Things you need to do when you offer appreciation:
- Be genuine
Our society is so fake. Enter a party and all you’d see is women talking behind other women’s back. “She’s so fat”, “She still looks pregnant”, etc and as soon as that women comes closer, it changes to, “Oh wow, you look so beautiful!”. This happens not just in parties but also in gyms. Guys talk about other guys and judge their progress and claim it as fake or that he’s on steroids and the moment that guy walks in, they reach out to click pictures. All of this is fake and we lose ourselves in this kind of behaviour. If you don’t have good things to say, shut your mouth. If we keep doing this, we are simply making our poor little selves feel better by putting others down. I mentioned earlier how “I love you” is the most common thing people say. Now the next time someone says “I love you”, ask them why. What do they love about you? Similarly, when someone says, “I appreciate you”, ask what do they appreciate about you? The next time you tell your kids, parents, wife, husband, lover, “I love you”, also tell them why. This is going to help you practice being genuine and not carelessly using words. Believe me, just by genuinely appreciating someone, you can change the vibration of their trillions of cells in a second.
- Appreciate without expectations
When you appreciate someone, don’t expect something back. Appreciate from your heart without any expectations and that’s how you enjoy its fruits. It all comes back automatically. The more you appreciate someone, the more they will do for you. Appreciate your partner for cooking a sumptuous meal or your spouse for working hard and providing for the family or your parents for a good upbringing. Guess what happens? They only want to do it more and more for you. That’s the beauty of appreciation.
At first, appreciating someone may seem difficult. But that’s only because appreciation starts from you. First learn how to appreciate yourself. Know your self-worth and don’t allow your friends, partners, parents to define it for you.
I spent almost 10 years in a corporate world and one of the most compelling reasons to leave that was that it was fake. I see this frustration, jealousy and disappointment someone doesn’t get promoted but their friend does. We must understand that everyone cannot reach the top position. To make matters worse, we then have managers defining your self -worth and saying that you aren’t good enough which leads to depression and stress.
Well, the only person who defines their self-worth is you. You may have a lot of drawbacks and flaws, but still learn to appreciate whatever you have. Find those good aspects about you and acknowledge them. That will also help you in appreciating others.
The best part …
Appreciation is free! Things like oxygen, legs to walk and move, sleep – are priceless things but extremely underutilised. Something as simple as appreciation can change not just your life but others around you as well. So many people are depressed, think suicidal thoughts, feel down – go and genuinely appreciate their presence. It could be one word, a gesture, token or a letter. You have the power to change their life in one second with appreciation. This is the power of words.
(Please note: The story I shared in this blog is in no way means you jump off your chemo or radiation. Please follow the advice of your health professionals always)