Appreciation, not gratitude

I was reading the next chapter in The Goddess Bootcampand I loved the idea about how powerful the idea of appreciation is. Kagiso Msimango describes gratitude as when you “contrast between the positive and the negative to evoke” or force a feeling of gratitude in  the positive. For example, I was always lectured to be grateful for food (positive) because at least I wasn’t a starving child in Ethiopia.

The power of appreciation means that its all about the positive, without it being forced or evoked. The wonderful thing about it is that it all depends on me, and what I choose to appreciate. It may seem selfish, society does kind of push the agenda on what one should be grateful for, but to me I’ve realised that that is fake and doesn’t reflect the true me.

I have a lot to appreciate in my life. Last year was difficult, all my own doing. And 11 months into the year, every step I took to make myself better, to bring my life towards myself and fix things, have been my doing. I need to take the time out to appreciate my hard work.

I was genuinely worried that I wouldn’t survive the end of the year at my workplace. I was unhappy with work, exams have kicked in (I’m procrastinating now and I have an exam tomorrow) which added to the stress and all of this was even affecting my relationship. Last weekend, I felt the darkness creeping back in. That negativity was very apparent. I felt guilty because I felt ungrateful that I had a job, I was studying and had an amazing boyfriend who had to put up with my mood swings and insecurities.

Then my outlook changed. I was filling in for a colleague at work, doing the the traffic bulletins in the afternoon. I started chatting to the Drive time host during the break as we get along pretty well. He was commenting about how well I was doing as a standby and that he could see me on air, moving up the ranks. I thanked him and mentioned that I was actually offered the position of Breakfast producer- an influential and popular show on the line up. Mentioning this made me appreciate all the work finally paying off, my life falling into place. When you are unhappy, time drags. But when things start to happen for you, everything moves so quickly.

I appreciate how far I’ve gotten in such a short amount of time- because I chose to hold it together. I appreciate that once I finally get back to my books, I’m going to ace the rest of my papers graduate and then onto my honours degree. I appreciate that the boyfriend I have is constantly amazing me with his support and resilience and that we just work without all the fuss and fan fare.

In the words of Mae West, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!”

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