The more you appreciate yourself, the more others will appreciate you.
Feeling unappreciated is a very toxic emotional state. It doesn’t make us bad or wrong – it’s actually quite human – but it does cause tremendous damage. When we feel unappreciated, it quickly opens the door to: feeling misunderstood; overwhelmed with seemingly unsolvable problems; blamed for things we didn’t do; and burdened with responsibilities that aren’t ours. All this because we don’t feel appreciated.
Again, this doesn’t make us bad or wrong (nothing does), but it does make us suffer. The ego part of self always wants us to feel unappreciated. It whispers in our ear that other people don’t see how hard we’re working, that they don’t appreciate all the difficulties we’re dealing with, that they don’t consider everything we do to make things work around here – even things we weren’t asked to do. The ego also tells us that until other people appreciate this, we can’t be happy.
But the exact opposite is true. As long we keep trying to get other people to appreciate us, we won’t be happy. In truth, whenever we feel unappreciated it’s an invitation to look deeper by asking ourselves two questions:
- What am I not appreciating in myself right now?
- What am I not appreciating in others?
For example, let’s say I make a special dinner for my family, going to great lengths to prepare dishes that I know they all enjoy. Everyone eats and then is off to whatever they do after dinner, while I’m left standing there waiting for some acknowledgment beyond a quick “Thanks.” Maybe I don’t even get that. My ego starts whispering about how much effort I put into this meal and yet no one noticed or cared. In fact, they just expect it of me. They don’t have any idea of what goes into creating a meal like this and I can’t tell them either because then they’ll just misunderstand and think I’m fishing for compliments. No matter what I do to show my love, it’s never enough.
And then my ego piles it on by reminding me of all the other things I do for my family that they don’t appreciate. Before I know it, this special meal that I put so much effort into has turned into a source of anger and resentment, where I feel increasingly unhappy. And given the Law of Attraction that says like energy attracts like energy, when I go to work tomorrow – if I stay in this emotional state – I’ll just attract more experiences where my hard work and effort goes unappreciated.
But what would happen if instead I used my feeling of being unappreciated as guidance, as a sign that I need to look deeper to see what I’m not appreciating in myself? Perhaps I’m not recognizing just how loving I am. Or how generous I am with my giving. Or the creative ways I express my caring. I’m wanting others to appreciate this, but I’m not appreciating it myself. If I can’t or won’t give it to myself, then how can I expect others to? More importantly, the Law of Attraction won’t allow it. I’m putting out a vibration of not appreciating myself and therefore am attracting experiences of not being appreciated. But when I genuinely start appreciating myself, I’ll attract experiences of being appreciated by others, including my family. The power is within me.
Then I can ask the second question: What am I not appreciating in them? Perhaps my spouse is under a lot of pressure and isn’t paying attention to anything right now. Maybe my kids are overwhelmed with homework or are totally caught up with trying to fit in with their friends. Maybe everyone is running a 100 mph right now just to keep up. When I can find what I’m not appreciating in them, and then take a moment to understand and feel my appreciation for what they’re experiencing, I strengthen the attraction for being appreciated.
Again, the power is within me.