Appreciation grows more appreciation

What we focus on grows.
I remember hearing a story about a little boy and his grandfather. Grandfather said, “There are two tigers that live inside of us, they are constantly wrestling with each other. One is the tiger of anger and resentment; the other is the tiger of gratitude and helpfulness. They are always fighting…”
His young grandson asked, “Grandpa, which one of the tigers will win?”
“Well, that depends on you.”
“What do you mean?”
“They get their strength from you. The one that you feed is the one that will win.”
When we can appreciate SOMETHING about everyone or every situation, even a tense one, we can shift our perspective to STUDENT instead of victim.
When we can approach everyone from a place of appreciation, we can let everyone off of the hook. To get to this sense of appreciation, we can first approach life from a CURIOUS nature. This means that when something happens, we don’t have to react. Instead, we can say to ourselves, “Oh, that is INTERESTING.” From there, we have created space, instead of constriction, in which we can see something worthy of appreciation.
This is especially true with our partner. Instead of reacting in the same old way in the same old habit of, “Ugh! He did that again?!” Next time, try, “Wow, I wonder why he does that?” That simple shift gives both of you the opportunity to win. When there is that sort of space around anything, it quells the arrogance that we know what is best and it is not being upheld!
It is silly, but it is true. When you boil it down, our egos are that childish. Appreciation is the antidote.
Here are the steps. I suggest you print them out and hang them on a mirror, the fridge, or in front of your desk.

  1. Breathe and create space
  2. Notice with Curiosity, find the interest in the situation
  3. Appreciate bring love to the situation
  4. Repeat!

Your assignment: the next 2 weeks, try to appreciate something about every person that you come into contact with. From the homeless man on the corner “Nice smile!” to a conflict in your primary relationship, “Wow! I found a place to breathe even though I am upset!” Or “I am not as angry as I usually get.” Or “He stepped down for a minute and now I can, too.”
If you don’t appreciate verbally, or you forget to appreciate in the moment, you can do it retroactively! Try it and let me know how it goes.
I am conducting a class for loving and committed couples and want to be certain that I address your needs. Please send your questions to


One Response to “Appreciation grows more appreciation”
  1. Marian says:

    LOVE that thought! Let’s grow the one of gratitude so….

    Thanks for the reminder Sarah!

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