This past Sunday, I had to have a heart-to-heart conversation with a dear friend. This person was becoming very sad that her efforts on a project did not seem to be appreciated. She had been doing a lot of work and she just did not feel that others were really seeing what she was doing.
When asked if she was enjoying what she was doing, she readily admitted that she was and her face lit up when she did. So I asked her some questions. First, I questioned, “What is your motivation, what are you doing this for?” She quickly replied, “Ultimately, I find that this project opens my heart and makes me feel alive. I am enjoying the process and what it is giving to me. If what I am doing is helping someone else other than just me, then that is just icing on the cake.” So, in essence, she was doing this work to help herself to move through the process of life. If her work helped just one other person, all the merrier.
My next question really seemed to help her to see the light. “So if you are really doing this to help yourself, then what does it matter if no one else seems to be appreciating your work? It’s your job to appreciate your efforts. Furthermore, you may be affecting others without even realizing it. Keep doing this for you. Keep enjoying what you are doing. Be sure to appreciate yourself for this self-care. You have had such a tendency to take care of everyone else first, or to only do a task if it was to someone else’s benefit first. This is your time to work on you. End of story. Like you said, it’s just icing on the cake if you help someone else.”
Later that evening, my friend was compelled to join some other friends for dinner, even though she had “other things to do.” While at dinner one of our friends that we had not seen for several months asked me about the work being done on this blog. She wanted to know if my post called, “This, again?!” was an original piece or not. I assured her that it was my original work. That evening she shared with me how this post had affected her in a very profound way. For several minutes, and then again later in a private message, she spoke to how she was moved by it and appreciated it.
You see, my work was done. I have affected the plus one and can now see the icing on the cake.
As you probably have guessed by now, my friend who felt unappreciated at the beginning of this post was me. The conversation “she and I” had was the “heart-to-heart” that I had with myself. The friend at dinner, well, she really is a friend that exists in a different body. And she really did spend that time telling me how much she appreciated my post.
By appreciating the benefits that my work had done for myself, I was able to receive appreciation from others. Since then, I’ve received more accolades from others regarding my work. It is my hope that you now find more ways to appreciate yourself for what you do for yourself and not just for others.