Personal Development and Spirituality Topics

with Karen Scheel

Authentic Appreciation

Experiencing and feeling authentic appreciation, thanks-giving or gratitude on a daily basis sounds so simple, but it has been an ongoing journey for me. I tried that “fake it until you make it attitude of gratitude” thing and contrary to many who support this path, trying to think nice, act nice, or say nice things just did not cut it in this area, especially when my mind usually was not in alignment with the words my mouth was spewing. We can always lie to others but never to ourselves, and my insincere thoughts and words were not heartfelt – they were dead. This fraudulent role-playing always raised some serious questions for me. Like, why was it so hard to find things to appreciate in my life? Why didn’t or couldn’t I truly feel more thankful for everything in life? Why did I only have momentary experiences of heartfelt appreciation and thanks-giving that usually occurred after some profound awe inspiring experience? Was it possible to prolong my momentary experiences – use them daily to appreciate the mundane things taken for granted – how?

As I began to ponder these questions, a quote from eons ago surfaced from the recesses of my little mind. Like a broken record, the words began to skip through my various thoughts for several days before I began to wonder what was up with this quote that had been committed to memory and filed away long ago.

“The past is history, the future is a mystery, today is a gift – that is why it is called the present” seemed very irrelevant. These words were not answering anything, and were actually beginning to annoy me because I knew what they meant. HA! Guess again – I still had something to learn here. Turns out, the answer was right there in those buried words, which lead to an aha moment and then feelings of authentic appreciation and thanks-giving.

In short, “this is not rocket science – keep it simple stupid” was the message the spiritual realms delivered via that buried quote. Thinking too much about the non-existent historical gifts from the past along with focusing too much on preparing for that non-existent future prevented me from seeing or experiencing the existing gifts in the present. Therefore, if I wanted to authentically feel appreciation and thanks-giving on a daily basis then I needed to stop comparing the seeming lack in the present with the past, as there is nothing mundane about the rising sun or anything in nature.

So, thank you to the spiritual reams for helping their slow learning ingrate to finally get that the past was the present – the future will be the present, but the sacred gifts worthy of heart felt appreciation and thanks-giving are always right here in the present moment of our life adventures.