Practicing the Fundamentals of Love
In many endeavors, there are fundamentals skills that must be learned if we want to be successful. To be a point guard in basketball, we must learn the skill of dribbling. In martial arts, there are fundamental elements to kicking or striking that must be learned and practiced. To play the piano, certain hand motions and keystrokes must be perfected. Any coach or teacher will tell us that we won’t get very far in our pursuit if we have not learned the fundamentals. In relationships, learning and applying the skill of APPRECIATION is an important fundamental. We must practice the skill of feeling and expressing appreciation in our relationships if we truly want to be extraordinary partners!
When an investment appreciates, its value grows. In the same way, appreciation of our partner means that we perceive them in such a way that their value increases to us. The truth is that they are already infinitely valuable in the eyes of Creation, but when we appreciate them their value increases from our perspective. We notice an aspect of them that we see as valuable, feel it, and then express it to them. Paradoxically, this is a very self-serving act because we are the ones who directly benefit from feeling the appreciation. We are uplifted to a higher state of being.
Many of us are not very skilled at this fundamental, particularly if we did not grow up in a household where it was practiced regularly. This means that we must retrain ourselves to make it a habit, and the only way is to practice, practice, practice. The ego will try its best to get us to focus on our partner’s faults and limitations, because it often believes it must protect itself and keep us feeling separate. I have had to put a great deal of energy into becoming more proficient at appreciation and I still have a long way to go, but I have noticed remarkable results when I practice it-—and so will you!