What do you say to a beautiful soul who teaches you the meaning of unconditional love? What do you say to a beautiful soul who teaches you that beauty shines from your very soul? What do you say to a beautiful soul who teaches you the true meaning of respect and offers your heart comfort on a level never experienced before? Thank you does not seem adequate and perhaps that’s because there are just no words in existence that adequately describe the incredible joy such people bring to our lives. While beautiful people may come and go in our lives, their indelible imprint is left in our hearts forever. Like soulful music notes, their energy resonates within our own energy, transfers through us to others and plays continual sweet melodies in our psyche, lovingly soothing and comforting us for all eternity. For beautiful people such as this, no words of appreciation are required. They simply do all they do from a place of pure love asking nothing in return, for they are secure in their own heart, head, thoughts and beliefs. There is no dependency, no expectations. There is no attachment to outcome, just pure love from security of self.
Expressing appreciation is a societal norm, however an expectation of appreciation is nothing more than the ego at play and that can cause mayhem in relationships. We are taught as children to be grateful whenever something is done for us but with that comes the creation of “expectation”, which is nothing more than a hole that needs filled. From that hole grew the concept of “ungrateful” and then followed “punishment”. There are all manner of choices and decisions a person may make that will affect or influence another without the other party even knowing what has been done, without the other party even asking for anything in the first place, never mind the fact that the receiving party may have no idea of what level of appreciation is expected to be given.
Take for instance someone who chooses to go to work every day to earn a living. They choose to use some of their own money to buy something for the home, their own home. Instead of feeling grateful for the job they have, the ability to earn money, pay bills and have some money left over to spend; and the pleasure of making their environment more comforting for themselves and others, they become enraged that nobody has said “thank you”, no-one has said, “thank you for working so hard every day and buying this lovely thing for this home, you’re awesome, you’re amazing, what would we do without you!”. It’s crazy, but it happens all the time and on all scales of craziness. An unfulfilled expectation of appreciation leads to a bad diagnosis of ungratefulness for which some see the appropriate action is punishment. In reality this is nothing more than an example of the ego begging to be stroked, it is calling out for approval. “Tell me I did good”, “Tell me I am wonderful”. On and on the ego will go always looking for ways to have lack of self-worth, self-respect and past hurts soothed.
An expectation of appreciation is an entirely one-sided game. Before doing anything for anyone, we must be clear about what our actions are really all about. We are always in control of our own choices. We always have a choice to say no. We always have the ability to negotiate for something in return beforehand if need be. So before proceeding with whatever action, we must be sure we know why we are really doing something and that we are happy to do it unconditionally. We must be sure that our ego isn’t standing in the wings waiting with its soapbox poised, ready to deliver a sermon to the unappreciative masses.
There is no point in doing something for another if all we want in return is our ego stroked. There is no point in buying something for someone if all we want is something in return…again that is stroking the ego. There is no point in do, do, doing, if at the end of the day (or ten years from now) we are going to say “what about me, nobody ever appreciated me”. We all have a choice to do, or not to do. We should ask ourselves, "am I doing this unconditionally?"
Charles Stanley wrote, “When service is not others-orientated, it becomes self-orientated, and the result is obvious. Suddenly everything becomes mine, and territorialism creeps in. When that happens, you can be sure that service is motivated not by a desire to love people through serving them but by a desire to meet one’s own needs for attention, fulfillment, or release from the guilt of the past.”
When we approach life giving and doing for ourselves and others from a place of love, the ego stands no chance. This is what personal responsibility means. It is accepting that whatever choice we make, whatever action we take, it is ours and ours alone no matter who it affects or benefits. Our choices are born from self. When our actions come from a place of self-worth and self-respect, then no appreciation is needed because the ego has been squashed. With ego out of the picture there is no expectation for anything, no dependency ever. It simply cannot exist at the same time as love. Just imagine a world where people help others with no expectations, no agendas and where ego does not wait in the wings with soap boxes poised.
Be generous. Be as generous and giving as you can every day and expect nothing in return. You will see a radical change for the better in yourself and everyone around you. It is contagious. Imagine a world of personal responsibility, of ownership. Imagine a world where unconditional love is the societal norm. Imagine a world of beautiful souls. Imagine…