Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When Your're Not Being Appreciated

Feeling unappreciated is something I struggled with for many many years. A really long time. I even asked a priest for help with this inner conflict in a confession.

The priest said it was perfectly normal to want people to show appreciation for your contribution. But he didn't know how to "make" people appreciate you.

Like you, I love helping people, serving. I'm not sure if you're like this, but after a while I was usually feeling that no matter what I did for others, it was never enough. This would inevitably make me angry, but then I'd feel bad for being angry.

The cycle would usually end with an ugly emotional outburst. I would be reminded that I was "overreacting." After blowing up at something, I would calm down, and the cycle would begin again.

I finally got the answer to this. It took me a while.

People will never appreciate you for what you really do for them. They will never get how hard you tried, how big your sacrifice was, how much effort you put into the task. Never.

Here's the deal.

It's a matter of asking a different question. It's a matter of making sure you appreciate yourself and your contribution.

Aspects of appreciation:

- Appreciate your body by feeding it well, getting rest and exercise.

- Appreciate your mind by feeding it quality material.

- Appreciate your creativity by providing an outlet for it to manifest.

- Appreciate your soul with prayer and meditation.

- Appreciate your spirit by doing what it takes to be cheerful.

If you don't truly appreciate yourself, your special existence, then it's not realistic to expect others to appreciate you.

A wise reader, Sally, sent this response: I don't do anything hoping someone else will appreciate the action. I do everything hoping I will appreciate the action.