Outside in nature the first snowdrops slowly awake and announce the new season of the flourishing spring. How would it be for you if you could also plant fruitful seeds, which allow your relationship to blossom in a magical way after only a short period of time?
Let’s start with a dangerous question: When have you last sincerely appreciated your partner?
Oftentimes, the start of a relationship is magic and nourishing, but already after a short period of time many couples forget that relationship is an ongoing, conscious act of nonlinear creation. Instead they suddenly face a common danger that is waiting along the path of relationship: Habit. Habit can be an essential factor that makes a relationship boring and full of conflicts instead of fulfilling and nourishing. Very often it is the habit based on the unexamined assumption that you already know your partner and know how they are and react. However, the thing is this: As soon as you wake up in the morning thinking you know your partner, the relationship is dead. Then you are no longer present and attentive. This is exactly the point when intimacy starts stagnating and the relationship tends to turn into an ordinary relationship with arguments, conflicts and low drama (the persecutor-victim-rescuer-game).
There are a lot of different aspects that contribute to ordinary relationship. Yet, one essential aspect is missing appreciation; to be more precise it is the missing appreciation of your partner and the relationship itself. In modern society the focus is mainly on having and doing, i. e. what a person has (following the slogan „my house, my car, my yacht“) and what a person does (what kind of job position they have or whether they have taken on some kind of honorary office). This focus has a strong effect on private relationships in the way that people think they have to do or have specific things in order to please the other person or to keep the relationship alive. That’s why people buy flowers, make other presents, repair something in the apartment, buy a new television, cook a meal for the other person, etc. However, neither the partners nor the relationship is nourished by doing or having. Nourishment in relationship occurs among other when you start recollecting something that got lost in modern society: appreciation of the being qualities.
When a person receives appreciation of their being, they feel seen and can stop defining themselves by doing or having. The question is: how does appreciation of the being qualities work?
How does sincere appreciation work?
Appreciation of the being qualities focuses on how a person actually IS. This means it is not about saying “You are wearing a cool shirt”, or “You have beautiful eyes”, or “I like your new haircut”. It is rather about appreciating the person sitting or standing across from you in their being, in their essence.
It goes like this: You take on an open body posture (no crossed arms or legs), look the person straight in the eyes and give them 100% of your attention. Then you start reading the being qualities in their eyes. That means you look through the mask of doing and having and appreciate the person for what they ARE.
If your partner has for example cooked a wonderful meal, you can appreciate them for their being qualities instead for their doing, by saying: „Thank you for your loving caring. You are so attentive.” This is completely different from saying „Wow, what a great meal you cooked!“ Can you sense the difference? Here is another example: Supposed you have planned a cozy evening with your partner, but upon returning home you tell them that some friends will stop and they say: „Okay!” then you could appreciate your partner by saying: „Thank you for your flexibility. Your are so open and relaxed.“ Remember, these are just example sentences. The important thing is that you really see the being quality in the very moment you appreciate your partner.
What does the being of the person you want to appreciate stand for? Why are you actually in relationship with them? Look into their eyes. A part of you might feel afraid and say “I don’t see anything. I can’t do this.” Just stick to it and keep trying. Look at them and trust the impulses you get while you try to read the being qualities in the eyes of the other person.
Appreciation does not have to take long, but is like magic when you use it every day. An appreciative sentence takes only 10 seconds. You can of course take more time and appreciate your counterpart e. g. for 3 minutes. Then you could discover even more being facets and probably even use poetic pictures as description: „I appreciate your attentiveness with which you fill our relationship space. You are an attentive, powerful warrior, who is ready to go forward and make boundaries where necessary. I appreciate your courage and your commitment…“ or „You are like a colorful fireworks. I appreciate your creativity and enthusiasm you dedicate to this project.“
Each sincere appreciation is like a declaration of love and is very healing, effective and connective, both for the person receiving appreciation as well as for the person giving appreciation. In addition the appreciation of being qualities among two people in relationship also strengthens the relationship itself. Appreciation is also nourishing and healing for the relationship. When appreciating another person, they feel seen and automatically acknowledged for what they bring into the relationship with their being qualities. Many people in relationship make a lot of efforts and try to do something in order to get attention. Appreciation of the being qualities focuses on what a person IS in their essence and in addition they get 100% of your attention, which creates bonding. If you make appreciation your daily practice, these seeds will soon be fruitful.
Traps on the way to appreciation
If your intention is to practice appreciation in order to make your relationship blossom again in a magical way, it is helpful to be aware of some traps.
- The Praise Trap: As mentioned earlier, appreciation is often confused with praise. One or the other person might be familiar with praise, but there is a big difference between praise and appreciation. Praising sentences like “you did this really great.“ are mainly limited to what a person does. Praise is not about the actual being qualities of the other person. In addition, praise might often serve the unconscious, subtle purpose of manipulation. If you say for example “You did this great!” what is the message behind? The message might be: “I want you do this again in the future”, but you don’t say it. So, be awake. Commit to appreciation.
- The Continuity Trap: Maybe you have the intention to consciously appreciate your partner again, but after a short period of time, you forget about it. Create a reminding factor you see several times a day. Write an A for appreciation on a piece of paper, paint a dot on your hand, or what so ever. In order to break up the pattern of not appreciating, it is necessary to give appreciation regularly with discipline. You can actually not only practice appreciation in a love relationship, but also in relationships with friends, colleagues, even during the encounter with the sales person in the bakery (who e. g. carefully packs the bread in paper. Thank them for their carefulness).The continuity trap can also start creeping in when your partner seemingly cannot accept or take the appreciation you give. For some people it is extremely unusual and strange to be seen in their being so that they try to block the appreciation. Don’t let yourself be irritated. Keep appreciating their being qualities. Sooner or later even the hardest rock will let appreciation in.
- The Hunter and Gatherer Trap: You might have heard that women have an original instinct that characterizes them as gatherers, while men are rather hunters. The gatherer gene of women included in the past that women could detect on a huge meadow of herbs and mushrooms exactly the one mushroom that would have poisoned their tribe. Women still carry this gene. However, transferring it to modern times, this gene shows in the way that women in relationship find exactly the one thing the man DIDN’T do right. For women it is therefore important to move away from this ability and instead appreciate the many being qualities of the man, which also show in the relationship, instead of blaming him for the one unlucky point.Due to the hunter gene, the behavior of men is somewhat different. In the past, it was essential for hunters in the woods to concentrate on the game and not allow any kind of distraction through nice herbs or mushrooms. Transferring this to modern times it means that men like to focus on one thing at a time and forget everything else around them. The challenge for men is to make appreciation an “important project” in their daily life so that they don’t get lost in all the other important projects and forget about appreciation.
However, in the end it is about your commitment to integrate appreciation of your partner’s being qualities again in your daily life. As mentioned earlier, relationship is an ongoing, conscious act of nonlinear creation. It might be hard in the beginning, but when you stick to it and keep appreciating your partner and the people in your environment you will notice that your relationships start blossoming in a magical way.
Have fun experimenting.