Last night the Money class met and we looked at such a simple and very common thought….
….that person should appreciate my work.
There you are, doing what you do to earn money, receive money, or be supported by money, like go to a job, and in the middle of that activity you are not appreciated.
Oh boy. Not only to I “have” to go to this job, but I even have to deal with so-and-so the unappreciative one.
I remember having a job long ago where the person I interacted with the most of all I considered to be harsh, judgmental, critical, fakey, false and needy. She had complained about me and ever since then, I felt like I was in trouble and needed to be vigilant.
Heh heh. She was so upsetting!
It was true!
How did I react when I believed that she was all those things, and totally and completely unappreciative of my work?
I gave her the silent treatment.
Of course, inside, I was scared to death. I felt nervous around her, I wanted to retreat. I was afraid because she had criticized me once in a pretty big way….and it lingered. I thought of her as dangerous. She might hurt me again.
Like a cute little bulldog that would bite my hand off if I reached out to pet it.
But who would I be without that belief that she never appreciated me, or my work, and she should?
Sometimes with this question, people will think….WAIT! I need that thought! Otherwise, I’ll forget, I’ll reach out to pet her, and SNAP, no more hand!
I have found that it’s very stressful to continue to believe you must be cautious and careful.
But it’s not always easy to drop the thought that someone should appreciate you, who doesn’t.
It has a sort of edgy drama that can be dark, secretive, victim-y.
Oh, poor little me, she was such a &@*$% to me, and I will NEVER let her get close EVER and I dare her to try to get close to ME!
I mean, without the thought that she didn’t appreciate me, I couldn’t write my musical drama and perform it every day (on the inside of course) with her playing the villain role, and me playing the heroine.
If I really gave all that up, and imagined what it would be like to be in that person’s presence without the belief that I need her appreciation, ever…..
…..its entirely different, a world apart. Laughing, bouncing, peaceful to the core, imagining new possibilities, noticing so much more in my environment, feeling joy, moving on to other interests, noticing her attributes, her gentleness, how non-threatening she really is.
I feel MORE creative!
Turning the thought around: she should NOT have appreciated my work, in fact, I should have appreciated HER work, and I most of all should have appreciated myself.
Her being who she was offered an invitation to me to speak up, ask for what I wanted, detach (in a good way), simply be myself, express appreciation to her, shift fear into power.
Even though that happened many years ago, in this moment now I am still appreciating that exchange I had with that woman who sparked passion, confusion and clarity in me.
In fact, she helped me take my next steps in the world of work, I was inspired to contemplate myself, to resolve. I became aware of my own insecurity. I became clear about how much appreciation it appeared that I needed at all times in order to feel safe or happy.
No wonder I was so anxious!
Most of all, I loved how in our class last night one wise inquirer commented about this word “appreciation” and how it actually is used in financial terminology all the time.
Appreciation is gaining in value, getting lifted up, lifted higher in worth.
Can I do that for others, and for myself?
“If a criticism hurts you, that means you’re defending against it. Your body will let you know very clearly when you’re feeling hurt or defensive. If you don’t pay attention, the feeling rises and becomes anger and attack, in the form of defense or justification….Criticism is an immense gift for those who are interested in self-realization. For those who aren’t, welcome to hell, welcome to being at war with your partner, your neighbors, your children, your boss….until you can be intimate with us however badly we think of you, you Work isn’t done.” ~ Byron Katie
Much love, Grace