The Subtle Yet Critical Distinction Between Gratitude And Appreciation
Gratitude. It’s a word we hear a lot these days. In most personal development teachings, we talk about gratitude and the incredible power that gratitude harnesses. In my book, “Give A Shift: 10 Simple Steps To An Abundant Life”, I devote an entire chapter to gratitude.
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Convenient Versus Deliberate Gratitude
In this article, I go to great lengths to distinguish what I call “convenient gratitude” from “deliberate gratitude”. Convenient gratitude, I argue, is when people wait for major milestones in their lives before they stop and show their gratitude for what has happened. A new job. A new home. A new baby. A new relationship. You get the idea. These are the things that cause people to pause and recognize the wonderful blessings that have been bestowed on them.
This, I write, is in contrast to deliberate gratitude. Deliberate gratitude is training your brain to be grateful for the seemingly small things that we experience in our lives each and every day. These are not things that happen to us, but rather things around us. The miracles that surround us every day. The feel of the warm sun on our face after a long winter. The blossoming of the flowers. The magic of a sunset. The miracle of reproduction—from plants to animals to people. And on and on. When we stop and show gratitude for these miracles, more of them tend to show up in our lives. And the more we show gratitude, the higher we are able to raise our vibration and come into alignment with the Source Energy.
As it turns out, this is only part of the story.
Another Side of Gratitude
This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend my first Abraham-Hicks workshop. It was more powerful than I could ever have imagined! Not surprisingly, the idea of gratitude came up. But not in the way I thought it would. Abraham said that most people approach gratitude from the standpoint of acknowledging what was previously missing from their lives. From this standpoint, they are putting themselves in a negative vibration. Wow! I had never even considered that. This type of gratitude is, in fact, similar to what I call convenient gratitude; the “getting” of things previously missing from one’s life. But I had never considered this a bad thing, but rather just not the only thing.
Abraham continued to explain that not only does this type of gratitude focus on what was or is missing and causing a negative vibration but that this negative vibration will only keep more wonderful things from happening – the exact opposite of what most people think would happen by showing gratitude in these situations, myself included!
Gratitude and Resentment
Furthermore, Abraham said that gratitude in this nature is usually based in resentment. Resentment! I was trying to wrap my head around what Abraham was saying. Yes, I agree that this kind of gratitude isn’t the best, but mostly because opportunities to express gratitude in this sense are typically few and far between, not because the basis of it was resentment!
I needed to stop and think about this some more. And when I did, it all made perfect sense. What Abraham was saying was that when we finally show gratitude like this, what we are really saying is, “I was waiting for this to happen because I wasn’t really happy without it.” Bingo. There’s the resentment. And with resentment comes the negative vibration. With the resentment comes more things to be resentful for, as the universal law dictates. You attract the very things that match your vibration. Negative vibration, negative experiences.
Be Appreciative or Satisfied Instead
Instead of using the term gratitude, Abraham suggests we use the word appreciation or satisfaction.
When you show your appreciation for someone or something, it is not based on the prior absence of it. Rather, it is based on the true sincere recognition and enjoyment of it. And this stance is only one of positivity. This, in turn, raises your vibration and brings your vibration in harmony with your Source thus attracting to you more things to be appreciative for! I suppose this viewpoint is more in line with what I refer to as deliberate gratitude, but I still feel there is a subtle yet important distinction. Appreciation has a more positive sound to me. It just feels better. It feels more natural. Deliberate gratitude almost feels like work, not at all what I had intended.
Thank you, Abraham, for this critical clarification. I sincerely appreciate it!
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