Why do we have so many words in the English language? We’ve swiped/adapted many of the thousands of words that make up what we call “English” from other languages.
Trivia question: what percent of the English language comes from French? Answer: 45%. That’s amazing, isn’t it?
We love variety in our lives. And one of the ways we express that desire for diversification is in our everyday use of language.
One of the reasons I cringe when I hear the overuse of “four letter words” is that it’s such a lazy way of speaking. You need only a miniscule vocabulary to use the F-bomb as a verb, adjective, adverb and noun in every sentence. We English-speakers have an incredibly rich language open to us to explore and use. So let’s use it!
We use different words to mean similar things, but think about the words “pretty” and “beautiful” – both mean someone or something is attractive or pleasing to the eye. But they are different degrees of what we are trying to express, and usually beautiful is used for something of a higher degree.
It’s always subjective, of course, as is any expression of our thoughts via the clumsy use of language to define the indefinable and try to share what we experience in a way that others can get a picture of it in their own mind.
Back to Gratitude and Appreciation – are they completely the same? Think about it for a moment. All of us have our own reaction internally to different words, depending on how they were used in our family growing up, or in school and among friends and people who influenced our thinking.
Every word in our language is actually a vibrational use of speech that sets up a reaction in the person or persons who are hearing or reading that word and the complex construction of paragraphs, essays and books. Effective speakers and writers use language to paint pictures for their audience, but there is no way to resonate the same with every single person, because of our individuality and our own experiences with certain words.
If you have the practice of writing a daily Gratitude List, which is something I often recommend to my readers and in my coaching courses, you know that being grateful for something is also a way of saying that you appreciate having it in your life.
When we take gratitude further, we can generate the feeling in the present for what we want to magnetize to us from out of the “unseen” picture of it in our mind and into the physical so we can experience that new job or relationship or vacation.
But for many of us, if you grew up being scolded that you neglected to thank someone for a gift you hate, and being forced to say you are grateful for it, then the word “gratitude” can set up an invisible sense of dismay and anger inside. Perhaps even a big resentment! That energy will negate the good that you are trying to create with your Gratitude List.
If you sometimes have that feeling of resentment at the idea of “having to” be grateful when there are so many things going on in your life that you feel upset or unhappy about, try this…
Switch to the word “appreciate.” Here’s why:
When we shift into a word that resonates more happily with us, we can use it like a stepstool to reach that higher vibration where our results are waiting for us to catch up. Think about it a moment. In saying “I am grateful for…” we may unintentionally set up an image of someone else giving us something as if we are a lower sort of being, gifted with it and having to say thanks.
But when we say “I appreciate…” we may feel more empowered. We can look around us and say very easily, with no resistance, “I appreciate how pretty that flower is… I appreciate that I have clothes to wear and food to eat…”
And in that state of appreciation, we are feeling less resistance and doubt about deserving all the things on our vision or wish list…and we allow those wonderful outcomes to come to us.
Play around with the words you use to build your consistently higher vibration of happiness. You may discover that simply plucking a different word out of the vast dictionary of the English language will be the simple key to manifesting your desires.
When we turn our attention toward finding things and situations to “appreciate” in our lives, it uplifts us – we not only feel better about ourselves and our day, but we begin automatically attracting into our experience even more things to appreciate!
As Wayne Dyer put it: “What we appreciate appreciates.”
When money appreciates, it gains interest.
When we appreciate life, those things we are happy about multiply.
I appreciate that no matter how my day is going, I can start over by changing my attitude to a more positive and hopeful outlook.
I appreciate that I always have second chances in any situation.
I appreciate that I am here at this time in history for a purpose.
I appreciate that I can help others smile.
Smile, and appreciate your ability to do so!
When we learn to reverse some of our old thinking habits that we learned in childhood from others who were taught the old way of reacting to live instead of creating what we want, then we truly have the power of manifesting our desires.
We manifest all the time—whatever goes on in our lives is something we vibrationally had a part of, no matter how awful it appears. Does that feel discouraging or too preposterous to believe?
What it means, though, is that we are already very high level manifestors!
You don’t have to “learn” how to create things on this planet. You’re already doing it all day long—but when we do it without realizing we are even doing it, then we’re acting in a haphazard way.
Try appreciating everyone around you. Today, find something to like about each person you encounter. Begin each day feeling more appreciative, and yes, grateful, for the incredible opportunities to create more joy in the world, and to be a part of progress for humanity.
If anyone has the justification to feel hopeless, we might imagine it would be the spiritual leader of Tibet who was run out of his own country nearly sixty years ago and has been in exile in northern India ever since.
However, the Dalai Lama is the embodiment of compassionate understanding of the ways of the world, and his thoughtfulness is reflected in every message, speech and teaching he offers us. What can we learn from his words? To look at each situation not from the perspective of finding the pain in it, but to find the seeds of growth and optimism.
It is always our own choice how we view every incident in our lives, both private and public. We can take the position of fearing that the world is falling apart and there is no hope for future generations, or we can realize that we are always in a time of growth and evolution and change. When we look to ways to evolve in an upward direction, we make world peace an eventuality instead of simply a wistful wish.
Please enjoy the following excerpt from The Washington Post, Opinions, dated June 13, 2016.
Why I’m Hopeful About the World’s Future
by The Dalai Lama
“While it would be easy to feel a sense of hopelessness and despair, it is all the more necessary in the early years of the 21st century to be realistic and optimistic.
“There are many reasons for us to be hopeful. Recognition of universal human rights, including the right to self-determination, has expanded beyond anything imagined a century ago. There is growing international consensus in support of gender equality and respect for women. Particularly among the younger generation, there is a widespread rejection of war as a means of solving problems. Across the world, many are doing valuable work to prevent terrorism, recognizing the depths of misunderstanding and the divisive idea of “us” and “them” that is so dangerous. Significant reductions in the world’s arsenal of nuclear weapons mean that setting a timetable for further reductions and ultimately the elimination of nuclear weapons — a sentiment President Obama recently reiterated in Hiroshima, Japan — no longer seem a mere dream.”
The following excerpt is from the book Seth Speaks by Jane Roberts.
“Your rate of learning depends entirely upon you, however. Limited, dogmatic, or rigid concepts of good and evil can hold you back. Too narrow ideas of the nature of existence can follow you through several lives if you do not choose to be spiritually and psychically flexible.
“These rigid ideas can indeed act as leashes, so that you are forced to circle like a tied puppy dog about a very small radius. In such cases, through perhaps a group of existences, you will find yourself battling against ideas of good and evil, running about in a circle of confusion, doubt, and anxiety.
“Your friends and acquaintances will be concerned with the same problems, for you will draw to yourself those with the same concerns. I am telling you again, therefore, that many of your ideas of good and evil are highly distortive, and shadow all understanding you have of the nature of reality.
“If you form a guilt in your mind, then it is a reality for you, and you must work it out. But many of you form guilts for which there is no adequate cause, and you saddle yourselves with these guilts without reason. In your dimension of activity there appear to be a wild assortment of evils. Let me tell you that he who hates an evil merely creates another one.
“From within your point of reference it is often difficult for you to perceive that all events work toward creativity, or to trust in the spontaneous creativity of your own natures.”
We get confused between compassion for someone we like who is easy to get along with and loving, and a higher level of compassion that invites us to remain compassionate for all people, no matter how they behave. Often, the love and compassion we feel for our family members and spouse get tested when challenges arise, and we realize a lot of the things we believed about the other people were just part of a façade. Here is how the Dalai Lama explains compassion:
“True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively.”
With our cultural emphasis on instant gratification, if the people around us don’t act the way we think they should, the relationship usually falters or the marriage ends in the divorce courts. However, here is another way to look at compassion, from the perspective of learning our lessons in the real world. The Dalai Lama says, “I must emphasize again that merely thinking that compassion and reason and patience are good will not be enough to develop them. We must wait for difficulties to arise and then attempt to practice them. And who creates such opportunities? Not our friends, of course, but our enemies. They are the ones who give us the most trouble, so if we truly wish to learn, we should consider enemies to be our best teacher!”
Is there some person or situation in your life right now that is an opportunity for learning? It doesn’t mean we are supposed to stay in an abusive or unpleasant or detrimental relationship purely for the reason of practicing our principles of love and compassion in a difficult situation, but rather to use the situation for growth. I think it feels natural to want to shut the door on a bad relationship or experience, but take time to extract the lessons it came to teach you, and with this practice, you’ll find an easier way to detach from the pain and upset feelings.
One of the core principles of using the law of attraction to our advantage instead of unconsciously magnetizing results that we don’t really like or want, is to understand the power of focusing our thoughts so that we appreciate what we want to experience even before we get it.
When we enter into a practice of being appreciative of all that we already have, we set up an internal vibration that brings us into harmony with a higher quality of circumstances. We thus draw those conditions and circumstances and relationships into our life, simply by being grateful. And then, to take the practice even further, if we start being grateful in advance for all that we desire, being thankful we have already received it, the law of attraction will match our energy with what we want to get.
Here’s an excerpt from my book GET HAPPY TODAY: No More Excuses! that explains more about building up an attitude of gratitude.
Chapter 5 – Action Steps: Cultivate gratitude
- Don’t expect yourself to be a magical mystical being who doesn’t have fear and who dances through life with a song on your lips every moment of every day. That’s not what being “happy no matter what” means. Happiness is an intention to accept the ups and downs with good humor.
- Be grateful for every chance to love someone who is, at this point in time, acting in an unlovable way. Isn’t that what love is all about?
- There’s no mystery to how I went quickly from panic to acceptance in the dentist chair. But there is indeed a secret that I will share with you, and here it is: I used gratitude as my path.
- Make gratitude a habit in your daily life. It works.
- From now on, in everything you do, even the mundane tasks, find ways to say to yourself, “I am grateful for this situation because…” Try it. With practice, it leads you to feel more empowered about your life. As well as happier.
Here’s a quick secret: Appreciating what you’ve got opens the door to more. More what? More of whatever is in harmony with what you are being grateful and appreciative about. So if you’re feeling dissatisfied with your old car that keeps needing service, it’s a really bad idea to grip about it to yourself and others, and to diss the car itself (e.g. cursing it when it won’t start, etc.)