Friday, April 6, 2012

Being Appreciative

When you find your life in a position that I find my life in, having lost both of my legs, it is not surprising that you will have received a lot of help from a myriad of people and organizations.

One of the obstacles that must be overcome, that is often overlooked, is to receive the help offered with appreciation, gratefulness, and graciousness. Learning how to accept other people and organization's generosity without feeling like you are unable to repay the kindness shown to you, is sometimes a difficult predicament to deal with.

It seems as though you are walking (figuratively) a fine line between acceptance and feelings of inadequacy. Most of the time people offer help simply because they want to help you to help yourself and even the slightest sign to them from you of your sincere appreciation, is all that is needed. At other times it becomes more involved.

We have all heard the expression, "It is better to give than to receive." When you are in a position where it seems much more is given to you than what you are able to reciprocate, a mental dichotomy can occur. This inability to give back as much as you would like, can create a problem, sometimes guilt, sometimes feelings of worthlessness, and even questioning whether or not you have demonstrated the right amount of appreciation, in whatever form.

I have experienced a number of people who feel uncomfortable with too much "gushing" about grateful you are for their help. Those types of people are satisfied with a simple thank you and a smile because they can sense your understood gratitude without too much verbal acknowledgement.

However, you may encounter others who need constant reassurance that you are not taking their help for granted, or that in some way you feel entitled to their help. In such a situation you may not, no matter how hard you try, convince them of how aware you are of their concern for your well being and all that they have done for you.

When one of my friendships went south because of a small amount of money owed them by me and they felt took too long to repay, I began to question whether or not I had shown enough appreciation and demonstrated a sincere attempt to repay the loan, given the circumstances at that time. Perhaps my inability, or as they saw it unwillingness, to pay them the money owed them within their particular self proclaimed time frame, was viewed by them as unappreciated.

Anyone who knows me well, would already know that I always try to demonstrate my thankfulness not only through my verbal actions but also by doing small things I am still able to do, like making them a card or painting them a painting or even just giving them a call, to let them know I am thinking of them.

I sometimes feel exasperated by my lack of funds, which has put me in a position of owing a lot of people a lot of money. Going through an illness or a series of illnesses is not without it's financial repercussions.

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you are one of those persons who feels that the whole give and take scenario is one sided, you do all the giving and receive nothing in return, you may want to ask yourself if what they have attempted to give back is the best they are capable of under their circumstances.

Some people give to others because they want to help, others give to make themselves feel better about themselves. Are you giving freely of yourself, your time, your money, your support because you are expecting something in return?

I can only speak for myself, based on the position I find myself in, that there are not enough words in the English language to express to anyone who has done anything for me how much I acknowledge and appreciate your kind words of support, the money you have given or loaned and hours spent on my behalf.

I am only able to do what I am able to do, beyond that I have to believe that you already know how much you are loved and cherished by me and how your participation in my life has only added joy and love to my existence.

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