In a recent conversation with a female friend we were sharing our appreciation of another. This may sound like a normal, everyday thing to do, however there was something quite spectacular and revelatory about our conversation…
As we shared and reflected about this person we discovered that there was even more to appreciate. This person was making an ever-growing amount of choices in their life that were supporting them to feel (in their own words) more like themselves than ever before.
Over a short amount of time they were making new and supportive choices with their food to help them not feel so heavy and more light in their body throughout the day. They had made choices at work to not take on the pounding pressures of their industry and instead were utilising their natural strengths of simplicity, great communication, people skills and dedication to the tasks at hand. They enjoyed and proclaimed how much they loved their job, and instead of choosing to stay comfortable, resigned on the highest note to undertake a new career opportunity.
The result of these choices and many more meant that this person was absolutely glowing inside and out every morning when they woke and with the same beaming smile in the evening when they returned home. The choices were spreading… we could see how their love for their colleagues, children and partner was absolute and beholding and that this person, through their acceptance and claiming of how amazing they were and hence felt, had dropped a significant amount of weight; expanding their wardrobe to include new work clothes that totally showed off this inner glow and gorgeousness that was so bright. They were so on fire that even their casual clothes looked a million bucks, complimenting them in their own skin!
As two women, our conversation turned interesting when we realised we couldn’t help but appreciate, celebrate and be inspired by this person enough! The more we shared, the more there was to share and we deepened into an appreciation of all the greatness this person brings that actually supports us in our own lives too – inspiring us to make our own great choices. We began to appreciate that when this person was holding back themselves, in all their undeniable awesomeness, we were all (everyone, everywhere) losing out.
The interesting part for me was that the person we were appreciating was a man, which led me to pose the next question – if he was a woman, would we have allowed ourselves to really appreciate her and all of her choices and amazingness, just the same?
Our answer was a very honest no, which helped me to realise that as women we simply don’t appreciate each other enough and that this begins with a lack of appreciation within ourselves first.
So why don’t we appreciate ourselves?
What I have observed is that the relationship we have with ourselves as women is often loaded with pictures of how we think we should be or how things ought to be. When we are over-run by these pictures we are robbing ourselves of the space to deeply appreciate who we are, the quality we bring to all that we do and to any of the choices we make to lovingly support our lives. The truth is that this then gets in the way of our appreciation of others, men and women, of their choices AND robs us enormously of the inspirational reflection of another and what their choices have to offer and benefit us all.
Is it possible that the pictures themselves are what links us to feelings of low self-esteem, lack of self-worth, self-loathing and the thoughts that keep us not yet good enough? From here – already in competition and comparison with ourselves and the better version of ourselves that we’re trying to be – we find ourselves entering into thoughts of comparison or jealousy between us as women, that is not at all our natural behaviour but rather is fueled by our choice to have stopped appreciating who we are, first.
As we discussed this as women, we noted that had we been speaking about another woman in this same example of appreciation, we would have already been comparing the choices they are making and those which we are yet not, in a detrimental way. It appeared to us to be an insidious way of living that only serves to keep us focusing on all that we have not yet done or completed or looking to someone else to measure ourselves against as less or more, and a far cry away from appreciating the choices we are already making; let alone appreciating the amazing quality we already bring.
Appreciating another begins with the appreciation of me.
The truth is that I haven’t always found it easy to appreciate myself or the changes I have made in my life to love and care for me, and that these choices have led to great personal growth and more self-acceptance than I once felt possible. I have learned that there is a difference between appreciating all the things I am capable of, can do, have done or am good at and having the deep appreciation of the woman I am by simply being myself – which in turn, makes all the activities I do undertake far more enjoyable!
Making the time to appreciate who I am, the values I hold and what I bring to my relationships with everything and everyone has taught me that a moment can’t go by without something to appreciate, and that this makes appreciation a very powerful practice to have.
I have a responsibility to appreciate myself deeply, as it is with this tool that I can clearly call out those nasty thoughts and pictures that get in the way of other relationships blossoming on equal ground. To indulge in comparison, jealousy, less-or-more or any thoughts of I’m not there yet is just another way to deny and not accept the amazing person that I already am and all that I offer by way of my much needed and equal reflection to others.
I was left with a feeling of absolute awe and love when I allowed myself to appreciate the man and his choices. It reminded me that there is so much more appreciation waiting to be expressed between all men and all women, as I keep choosing to appreciate who I am, first.
By Cherise Holt, 33, Brisbane, Australia
For more inspiration …
How the science of appreciation supports women to deal with their self-worth.
Appreciation of others takes no effort at all, when we appreciate ourselves, first – read Fiona’s story.
From self-loathing to self love, with the help of appreciation – Ariana shares her story.
399 thoughts on “Women – is There More of Us to Appreciate?”
The more we appreciate ourselves the more we offer a divine reflection to others.
“What I have observed is that the relationship we have with ourselves as women is often loaded with pictures of how we think we should be or how things ought to be.” I have come to this same conclusion myself recently, because what else could be there blocking something so natural as appreciating ourselves except the pictures of where we ‘should be’? It is such an insidious thought pattern that we haven’t measured up to something and so we perpetually feel we are not enough, we really need to question and discard the pictures and ideals as they hold no truth at all.
On the subject of appreciation there is so so much than can be said, appreciating ourselves, loving ourselves knowing we are uniquely equally beautiful expressions of God is the way it has got to be.
Appreciation of oneself means we are far more likely to be able to accept and feel the glory within another.
I agree that it quickly becomes obvious that when we begin to appreciate ourselves and the ‘divine qualities we bring to the world’ it doesn’t take long before the appreciation ripples are flowing out to those around us. And the beautiful thing is, we don’t even have to try as the ripples have a life and a purpose of their own.
When you consider that everyone single one of us, both women and men, have so much to appreciate about ourselves, I wonder why we don’t; I sure didn’t for a very long time. Perhaps this is because we have been raised in the main to put others before ourselves, and in the process actually under-value who we are, and therefore struggle to appreciate even the little things about us; our smile, the loving way we brush our hair, the twinkle in our eyes, the list is endless. So, let’s start at the beginning of our appreciation list and make our way through it until we get to the bottom, by then I am sure we will have even more to add and appreciate.
Thanks for your comment Ingrid, I will have to add “twinkly eyes” to my appreciation list! I could add that we also have awful terms for people who dare to shine like “don’t get too big for your boots”, “you’re up yourself”, “braggart”, etc which can make people feel it’s wrong to self love. Even the term that “he loves himself” is about arrogance, so true self love and appreciation can feel like a no-go (or no-glow!) zone.
“Appreciation of others takes no effort at all, when we appreciate ourselves”
It is actually true when we love ourselves and what we bring unconditionally we bring that to others with out judgement and in this world that is actually quite rare and so worth it’s weight in gold.
I appreciate every moment I express with love regardless the outcome for in doing so I not only support and love myself and boy do I get a sense of this but I also express and offer love to all.
When we hold back we leave a gap that is easily filled with complication and misinterpretation. When we fully show up, appreciate who we are and what we bring, commit to ourselves and others, and to being in any given moment, there’s something of substance for another to connect with, opening the door for potentially deeper connections and relationships.
There is always so much more appreciation we can bring, to ourselves, those around us and for our surroundings.
Appreciation is simply a form of the most excellent medicine.
Interestingly I have found in my own relationship with myself and with that of others in my life that the thing most tend to not appreciate about themselves are the things others see in them and often take for granted thinking that is just who they are and that they know that aspect of themselves is amazing anyway. Yet it is these very qualities that do so dearly need appreciating.
Yes Elizabeth I have noticed the more I appreciate myself the more I see sweetness and have a greater understanding of others. It really is beautiful how things change with a more loving lens.
That really made me stop when you said the person you were appreciating was a man as I did feel that there would have to be comparison if it was a woman, great to explore this in more deepth to see how trying to be something – anything – is so destructive. Love that the only antidote is to love more and appreciate everything we are.
I know personally there is so much more for me to appreciate about myself, appreciation can feel a little odd when we are so not used to doing it. Start doing it though and we soon see the wonderful benefits that appreciating oneself brings – to not only yourself but to all those around you. Appreciation is the perfect ingredient to Evolution.
It seems like we are born with a very natural strong sense of self appreciation and then this over time gets reduced and reduced by our own choice to not keep the self love we are born with.
All is never lost though, and we can always choose to connect back to that fountain of love again.
Great to appreciate the impact of appreciation of ourselves and then naturally others and how we have a responsibility to make this an integral part of our lives.
I noticed the ripple effect of appreciation in this story. The first person starts to love and appreciate themselves more, so much so that it is very obvious for their friends. This sends out an energetic invitation to join in the self-appreciation too. With the tall poppy syndrome being so strong in society, we need these invitations to buck the system and actually appreciate ourselves.
I have just finished a meeting with a group where the conversation kept coming back to appreciation, of how we are now, our quality, and the Divine hand that brings us to certain situations, or that brought us together as a group; the energy in our group today felt very lovely and beholding.
Thank you for sharing this lovely example of the ripple effects of appreciation.
I have also found that appreciation of another starts by appreciating self first, thank you for the reminder to keep appreciating, ‘Making the time to appreciate who I am, the values I hold and what I bring to my relationships with everything and everyone has taught me that a moment can’t go by without something to appreciate, and that this makes appreciation a very powerful practice to have.’
At a recent workshop we were in small groups and we were asked to share what we appreciated about each other person in the group. Someone shared an appreciation of me that I was unaware of but as it was voiced I realised this truth, which showed us that voicing our appreciation of each other offers another the opportunity to deepen their appreciation of themselves.
It’s great to look at how we are and how we express with men and with women. There can often be discrepancies and although we think we are treating both genders the same there can be subtle differences.
Beautifully expressed Ariana. I, too, have only recently started to appreciate appreciation, to appreciate myself and your comment brings a deeper understanding and responsibility with it. Thank you.
It seems much easier to appreciate another of a different gender than one’s own because it is not so directly personal.
Appreciation has been key in my life in learning to accept myself more deeply and then bringing this same awareness and love to all of my relationships.
I haven’t been one to appreciate other women a lot over my life but I realise now that was simply because I didn’t appreciate me; in fact, I am sure I wasn’t raised to even consider how beautiful it is to appreciate other women or, as importantly, appreciate me. But I have recently been coming to see how much there is to appreciate about me, so much so that at times it blows me away, and as for appreciating other women, that is simply the beautiful flow on effect from how I now feel about me.
I agree, that is what I have found, as we start to appreciate ourselves, it then naturally happens that we appreciate others.
Jealousy and comparison are insidious. We could be walking round completely belittling ourselves and even be unaware of the fact because we are jealous of another or comparing ourselves to them. We may even think that it comparison will help us grow because we have to “push ourselves” as many self-help guides teach, but would we have to push ourselves if we accepted that we are simply amazing by a quality of being first, before we do anything else?
At the end of the day someone making more loving choices, be it a man or a woman can only serve to pull us all up.
I have been letting go of comparison, jealousy, and judgement, but it doesn’t work when I try to do this mentally, it only works when I deeply appreciate myself and therefore deeply appreciate others. This is a beautiful journey and feels amazing to appreciate, be open to others, and allow love to flow.
Appreciating ourselves, who we are in essence, all we say YES to in honor of who we are, and the magic of our uniqueness that we bring to the world, is very empowering as it allows us to consolidate all that is true as such deepen and solidify a foundation that supports us to live from this quality with no question. When we appreciate ourselves in this way we then naturally appreciate others and this is how we build truly honouring and evolving relationships, that which confirms and calls us to live our greatest potential.
Beautiful, you can feel the expansion that appreciation offers.
Allowing the space for us to truly appreciate is HUGE – I know for me as a woman it is where I consolidate and deepen and it helps set a foundation to take forward. I got caught in being a busy woman to prove my worth, but this was the exact opposite of what would actually allow me to have space to appreciate.
It is very beautiful to give ourselves space to appreciate and the benefits are massive. It is a win, win for all when we openly receive and express appreciation.
The depth of how destructive comparison really is needs to be truly felt. How crazy is it that as a women with a fellow women we find it difficult and challenging to appreciate the other. With the ingrained pictures deeply imbedded there is no surprise this happens. When we stop looking out and look inwards and connect to this beauty then we can start to see this in another.
When we allow to feel and claim our own true beauty from within you naturally start seeing that in others as there is no need for comparison or jealous to come into the equation. It’s simply beautiful to see another Women in her glory and this has to be celebrated.
Appreciation of ourselves and others is super important and makes such a difference to our lives, ‘as women we simply don’t appreciate each other enough and that this begins with a lack of appreciation within ourselves first.’
Most of my life I have been annoyed, disappointed and full of blame because people are inconsiderate and abusive to one another on so many levels. Yet this article raises a very important question of responsibility: am I living with a level of love, care and appreciation of myself and others to a level that can at the very least offset what I am so judgmental of?
I can very much relate Golnaz, I was similar to you and sometimes I find myself going into blame especially when I have an expectation or image of how things should be. I have become very aware of this and have been working on nominating this ill behaviour and know I am responsible for everything that occurs. By being open and honest with myself, blame is less likely to creep in. It is an energy that is designed to bring people down and I no longer want any part of it.
What a clever distraction it is to focus on what other people should or should not be doing, rather than stopping and sensing what the moment calls for us to deepen in our own expression and the way we are living.
I really enjoy having discussions where we are appreciating what we have observed in another person. It is so light and inspiring seeing the possibilities they and we can choose. Quite a contrast to the way gossip and undermining leaves me feeling.
Recently I received a lot of appreciation for simply being me… as it was my birthday. I got to feel how when we appreciate another we equally confirm ourselves and the true qualities we share. This is a great exercise any day of the year, we need not wait for a special occasion.
It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others and feel uncomfortable if they are doing ‘better’ than us. Getting ourselves and our self-doubt out of the way can help us to fully appreciate others and their success, but also to give ourselves a chance of stepping up and flying too.
What I have been pondering on reading this is that the feeling of comparison and judgement of other women in my life is a reflection of how judgmental I am with myself. So if I am judgmental of a women enjoying herself and having fun, could it be I am actually also having judgement on myself feeling joyful and having fun? It is like an outside indicator to look inside my own judgements of myself.
When we make the appreciation about our exterior, what we do and how we look we never really get to the core of our beauty. When we connect and feel the sacred women that we are, how sexy, strong, powerful and delicate she is then without question their is everything to appreciate because we feel magnificent.