December 14 – Appreciate What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)
To choose one singular thing I've come to appreciate in the past year is difficult. If I have to select one (I always cop out on these and make a list), I would say authenticity. Authenticity in people, in their responses (words and actions), in their emotions, in myself. I actually never really thought that authenticity was rare - I truly have spent my life believing in people, their intentions, their word. I am still naive enough to want to believe in it - but sometimes I see evidence to the contrary. People tell me that my expectations are too high, of myself and of others, but I can't help it. I believe that people live up to the expectations they are given. If I lower my standards, then I only have myself to blame.
In the past year, I have tried to reward authenticity with authenticity. To express my gratitude by returning the favor. I'm not great at it - sometimes I feel embarrassed by my own awe and wonder over the things people do or say. I agonize over how to thank them or tell them how much something means. I am trying to get over the agonizing and get to the showing of gratitude. Say THANK YOU. Give someone a pat on the back. Tell them my truth - how much their "realness" moved me, meant to me, changed me.
Something that is rolling around my head in this whole thing is that sometimes we are just around people whose authenticity doesn't match what I need/admire/respect/recognize. It isn't so much that authenticity is rare, but that the matches can be difficult. When you see a member of your own tribe, you recognize them. Too bad we don't have some kind of tartan or something so we could find each other easier.