For those of you who find it hard to love, or to even relate to love when it comes to your own feelings, then never mind about love. Turn your thoughts of lack of love to fullness of appreciation. You are one who appreciates. When you feel appreciation, that is the love of which I speak, beloveds.
Just as gratefulness is a form of love, so is appreciation. Appreciation is strong, but it is not overwhelming. You don’t make demands of appreciation as you do of love. You don’t put violins around appreciation. You just let it be what it is. Love doesn’t have to be high-flown either, yet you have expectations you draw around love, as if it has to be a great crescendo, a once-in-a-lifetime sunrise, an eclipse of everyday emotion, an entry into a musical!
Appreciation is good enough. It is greater than good enough. You appreciate your wife, and you don’t think you’re lacking appreciation because you don’t fall out of your chair every time she enters the room. You can think of appreciation as mild love. Love does not have to be fast and furious. It can be mild. It can be a steady flame without much to-do about it. Appreciation may appear to take a back seat to love. It’s simply more watchful, quieter, content. It burns more slowly.
You may associate love with fanfare. But there can be easy quiet love. Yes, let’s call it appreciation.
You may have thought that you have to be in the grips of love, possessed by love, overtaken by love. You never had the idea that appreciation is to be earth-shaking. You kind of moseyed along with appreciation. You have been enthusiastic but you never thought you had to be carried away with appreciation.
You may have associated love with drama, a sweeping panorama across the stage — an opera of magnificent proportions, while appreciation you have allowed to be a simple recital you attend.
Appreciation is a great gift. It is like candy that you can eat a lot of.
What makes you happy? What makes you happy are all the things you appreciate. If you made a list of all the things you love, you would make a shorter list because you have bounded standards for love before you will name it love. Sometimes even the thought of love can paralyze you whereas appreciation just comes in and sits down and shares itself amiably. Appreciation is like a plain clothes detective whereas love is a captain in full uniform.
Appreciation may be like a street cleaner whereas love rides in a golden chariot pulled by white steeds and cheered by a throng. Yet the street cleaner sees much that love riding in the chariot misses.
Love is a parade while appreciation is a simple balloon-man.
Love is a tuba, appreciation the little tinkling triangle.
Love has a loud voice. Appreciation has big shining eyes.
Be sure to know that I am not knocking love. I want to be sure that you who may feel you do not have much love in your heart know how great appreciation is, and to appreciate it. Appreciate appreciation. It is golden, beloveds. There really is no difference, except love appears in neon lights and attracts more attention.
You can accept that you can appreciate at every moment. It is easy to appreciate always. You may feel that to love at every moment is too intense, and that you wouldn’t survive it, that you might explode in love. Meanwhile, appreciation grazes on grass thoughtfully, and you can sleep.