We, humans, require healthy appreciation from our fellow humans, our families and our communities. And for various reasons we’re often not receiving (or giving) healthy, loving appreciations.
When I was growing up, my father tended only to praise me or have appreciative words to say when he was proud or pleased with something I had done. Getting great marks on my report card or on a test, for example. Or having done something properly in line with his standards. “Good job!”
This manner of praise would leave me uneasy. This way of appreciating me left me feeling that his love and his joy with me was conditional. It existed as long as I performed in a way that was acceptable and pleasing to him. And if, or when, I didn’t perform to his liking he didn’t value me and I wasn’t worthy of appreciation. It was a nagging, uneasy feeling that stayed with me for many years.
It wasn’t until I began doing work and exploring Feminine energies that I began to understand what happened in our relationship. As archetypal energies, the Masculine and the Feminine experience joy and appreciation in different ways. When we don’t know and acknowledge this, it can set us up for pain and misunderstanding, as is what happened with me.
The Masculine enjoys being praised or acknowledged for accomplishment and achievement. The Feminine enjoys appreciation for her being and who she is. One isn’t better than another, they are just different.
When my father was showing me appreciation, he was doing so in a way that the Masculine valued and understood. My Feminine essence wanted to feel loved, fully and completely; always and no matter what, not based on anything but just who I am.
My Art of Feminine Presence ™ practice allowed me this knowledge and understanding which allowed me finally to release a lot of pain around it.
It’is important for women (who identify primarily with a Feminine essence) to receive healthy appreciation frequently. It’s like sunlight and water. It keeps us healthy and radiant, in love with ourselves and our life. The more genuine and loving appreciation we receive, the less we tend to need it and the more we have in turn to give back. In Art of Feminine Presence ™ circles, we work with appreciation a lot ~ learning to give beautiful, authentic, uplifting appreciations and we practice receiving them (which can be a challenge for many women).
How often have we appreciated something about another person and not shared it? Or have shared it and been taken aback at how it was received? (like nurturing sun and water?)
Or can you think of a time when you received an appreciation that changed your life?
Such a thing happened to me a few months after beginning my Art of Feminine Presence practice. It came at a time when so much was shifting and uncertain in my life. To be seen and appreciated so beautifully changed everything for me, from how I saw myself to understanding the power of this practice. This appreciation may have even been a pivotal moment for me in choosing to train in, and teach, this work.
Today, I’d like you to consider what you appreciate about yourself and those around you (even, and especially, to any people you might find challenging). Make an effort to share some genuine appreciations with the people in your life and see what happens.
Art is “Woman as Creator” by Rosa Antonia