Expressing Gratitude to those we Love and to Ourselves

I sometimes wish I had people around me giving me positive affirmations and say “well done” to me more often. I find it so encouraging and empowering to be validated and recognised in this way. Just someone recognising I’m doing well. However this isn’t often present so what am I doing about it? I’ve decided to give others what I would like to receive more of myself. So I’m sending thank you texts and emails to people who are of value to me in my life. Relationships need nurturing like we do ourselves.

I was curious about why I don’t do this more often, (not that it matters much) but I wondered if it was a bit of ego wanting to hold back and protect itself, after all its an opening up expressing love and appreciation. Perhaps, and also maybe a bit of laziness. Anyways….this is what I’ve done the last few days in expressing appreciation.

  • Yesterday I sent a text to the foreman to say, ” I just want you to know how much I appreciate all your hard work and valuable input to the business”. His replay showed that it was well received. It’s such an easy thing to do, and I often just forget.
  • I told my tetraplegic friend how well he is doing and what amazing strength he is showing in coping with his situation. I visit him regularly too, going this Sunday. Really, what a situation, paralysed from the neck down and with severe Parkinson’s disease. What else can I bring to his life to cheer him up. Maybe I write a list of his admirable qualities that he can read when he is down.
  • I sent a message to my son to say that “I love and appreciate you and admire you too”, I could see this was well received too. Important for a son to feel admired by his family, and I certainly do admire him a lot.
  • I told my mum I appreciate her and also her support and generosity
  • I told the group last night when we were leaving that I benefitted greatly from our meeting and really enjoyed every individuals valuable contribution
  • I sent a text to my closest fund to say that I value our friendship and thank her for being in my life
  • I texted my Mum to tell her thanks for her support and help, that I love her and am grateful for our friendship
  • Sent a longish email to my sister (who has been estranged for quite long periods) to say “Jane I don’t  tell you nearly enough, if ever actually that I really really appreciate you. You are an inspiration to me and I admire you greatly. Your energy to help others, your practicality and organisational ability, your confidence, your incredible wittiness and quick thinking and emotional intelligence and diplomacy among many other things. I learn a lot from you, and you often show me a different way of approaching life that I wouldn’t have thought of. So thank you for being such a great sister. Love Susan xxxx”

This all feels so good. And it’s spreading love and appreciation around.

It was inspired by the support I’m receiving from the Thursday group I’ve been going to, where we communicate authentically with each other and sometimes do little exercises. We always leave feeling energised and empowered, and feeling good about ourselves. We feel it’s okay to be us just exactly as we are.

There were 8 of us there last night. One of last night’s exercises was to write our name on the top of a page. Then we had to pass it to the person next to us and we each had to write something we like about each person, and the paper was passed round the circle till our own sheet of paper came back to us. A whole page of positive things that others feel or think about us. Wow, how empowering that was. Picture attached.

How come we don’t all do much more of this? Is it because most people just don’t need it or what?

So even if we don’t have such positive affirmations from others in our lives we can give that affirmation to ourselves.

One thing I’m doing often is celebrating my achievements. This encourages me and reminds me that quite a lot in life is going right. This counteracts the sort of my brain that tends to focus on problems and restores balance. So here are a few of my recent achievements.

  • Today I paid the “legal fine” of £10k. The first of three, so one down two to go, a third of the way through, woo hoo!
  • I’m about to buy a little apartment, my first property aged 52! I feel this is a big achievement for me and I feel proud I’ve managed to manoeuvre myself into a position to make this possible.
  • I paid my staff today as I do each week, all 8 of them. I’m proud of running a business that employs so many people and running it all on my own too. I’m amazing for being able to do this! 15 years ago I’d never have believed I could do this.
  • I’m taking risks by going to these groups which require a high degree of self exposure and honesty. I’m proud of myself that I’m brave enough to do this.
  • I’m going on a date with a stranger tomorrow (in a public place of course) and he is a detective in the CID. I’m proud of myself for going into the unknown in this way and meeting complete strangers with a view to developing a relationship. This is one of the most important decisions a person can make, who to spend our lives with. I’m nervous about the prospect but proud of myself for taking some steps to meet someone I can have a relationship with.
  • Managing money I was never very good at in the past, I just didn’t have much and didn’t respect or care about it. Now I have become really good and responsible with money, I have had to with the amount of juggling I’ve had to do. I deal with over half a million through my bank account each year. It’s a lot of responsibility and people trust me with their money. And there’s who to pay first, how to manage cash flow, looking ahead and planning. Proud of my improvements in this area.
  • I’m proud of myself for overcoming quite a bit of the damage that was done to me as a child, the negative conditioning that was not conducive to a healthy self esteem. Despite this ‘handicap’ I’ve managed to make a successful niche for myself in society, believe in myself enough to persevere through hard times, have healthy worthwhile achievable goals, learn to be kinder to myself and be less defensive with others. Well done to me!
  • I design really lovely gardens and I’m in demand for my relative services, and people trust me, I’m proud of that.
  • I’ve worked hard to go from a position of self contempt to self appreciation and self compassion. It has taken a lot of honest facing of myself and I’m proud of myself for having the courage and determination to have done this. Life is so much bette without self hatred and harsh self judgement and criticism!

So that’s it for now, I could go on but it’s a bit of an essay already. Hope your day is full of thoughts of what you appreciate in yourself, in others and in nature. What a lot of positivity can be generated and I haven’t even left my sofa!

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