Appreciation by Jan Engels-Smith


As an emotional condition, appreciation is understood as a sense of gratitude or thankfulness for what one has, as in, “I appreciate the love and the bounty that life provides.”  In the materialistic world, appreciation is a term used to refer to the increase or growth in value of an object or financial instrument, as in, “My portfolio appreciated in value last month.”

There is even a legal reference to the term of appreciation as a recognition of quality, value, significance or magnitude of people and things, as in, “The law requires an appreciation of others’ rights.” In the field of aesthetics, artistic appreciation refers to our understanding of the quality of art and beauty in the composition of a painting or the architectural power of an ancient cathedral.

Appreciation establishes a relationship between persons that enhances the worth of both those who express the appreciation and those who are recipient of the gratitude of another. The term is rich in positive regard and affirmative values and conceptually the word expresses our humility in our relationship to our world and characterizes our better nature. Appreciation is a beautiful notion and recently I have found myself discovering a new sense of the word—one might say an appreciation of appreciation.

As I journey in the spiritual realm, I have come to understand that appreciation is a precursor of large possibilities and the creative spirit of new and expansive potentials within the universe.  We seek the fulfillment of ourselves and the understanding of our place in the greater scheme of life and in doing so we strive to engage in the unity of all things and to see the magnificence of our person as one with the magnificence of the universe.  The portal into this greater comprehension of the cosmos may well be through the act of appreciation.

Spiritually, appreciation is the immersion of our being holistically into a recognition of ourselves as a reflection of all the people, beauty, and grandeur around us that we value and that brings us joy and contentment. Appreciation is an act of creating worthiness in ourselves by seeing the worthiness in others and revealing the beauty within us by expressing our gratitude for the beauty that surrounds and engulfs us. Appreciation allows us to remove the unreal barriers that we imagine separate us from the spiritual world and creates a new clarity in our thinking that sees us as we really exist. For that deeper understanding, I am appreciative as surely as I appreciate you.