Appreciation, finely developed, becomes an art form. It is an art form that emerges from a place of Divine Love and Compassion Within. Expressing appreciation allows another person to see and, hopefully, feel your understanding of their effort or experience.
I am thinking about this today because it is almost Memorial Day. For me, Memorial Day fills me with love and gratitude for those who are committed to protecting my country and the freedom that it promises. I am the daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend and former spouse of military personnel. Many of them are or were career military. My appreciation of their desires and sacrifices fills me with a depth of gratitude I find difficult to express. I know their lives because I lived it daily as a family member for the first 49 years of my life.
As a result, when I see a military member, my heart goes out and, if circumstances allow, I quietly approach and express my gratitude for their service even though it never feels as though my words are enough.
I was in an airport last week when I recognized an active duty backpack being carried by a gentleman waiting to board a flight. I lightly touched his arm and, when he turned, I extended my hand and said, “Thank you for your service. Even though I do not always agree with or like the places you are sent, I am always grateful that you go without question and do what you are trained to do. You go where I would not have the courage to go and I know because my father and former spouse were career military.” As he heard my words, his hand gently shaking mine warmed and he thanked me for saying it. Then he stopped and looked more deeply into my eyes and said, “Thank you for your service. You gave every bit as much as they did. And we can’t do it without you.”
Whew! Time stopped. I felt as though I was in one of those movie freeze frames. The full impact of genuine appreciation filled me with such a depth of Oneness with this “stranger” that I felt the presence of the Divine.
So, dear hearts, think about those who serve in the military, law enforcement, and fire department as we approach Memorial Day. Honor those who gave their lives, of course. Also please appreciate those who still do.
Then, day-to-day, pay attention to those who serve in much less obvious ways so that you can become more aware and find ways to express appreciation. It feels absolutely heavenly to be understood and acknowledged! Are you wondering where to begin? Here are a few suggestions: the school or church janitor, the grocery clerk who puts up with lots of fussy people even if you aren’t one, the garbage man. Please remember as well those that you are related to, live or work with, whether you like them or not. Expressing genuine appreciation for the smallest of things can change the course of someone’s day and, perhaps, their life.
I appreciate each of you for taking the time to read this, for those who don’t know me and for those who do. Be blessed and a blessing today. We need one another more than ever. 💫💖