I appreciate you

February 17, 2010

I appreciate your honesty.

I appreciate your quiet support and your vocal critiques.

I appreciate your non-conformity.

I appreciate your silent love.

I appreciate your determination.

I appreciate your patience.

I appreciate your forgiveness.

I appreciate your sharing your life with me.

I found myself telling my husband all of these things in front of strangers a couple of weeks ago. It was part of a structured exercise to take two minutes to put in words what you appreciated about the people in the room. It was hard to “appreciate” the folks we had met just an hour ago. But it was even harder to open up and appreciate my significant other in public.

It’s difficult to verbally acknowledge all that a person means to you. We have been together nine years but I don’t remember any time where we took two minutes to spell out what we really appreciated about one another. We say “I love you” to encompass all those feelings of appreciation. We give each other greeting cards on special occasions. We write poems. Letters. E-mails. But there’s something so different about looking a person in their eye and telling them you appreciate something specific about them. And even though it may seem so, there was nothing artificial about it.

For those two minutes, I could speak from my heart. For those two minutes, he was the center of my world. It was about enjoying him. Acknowledging the little and big ways he makes a difference by being who he is. Admiring, applauding, respecting, celebrating him. It was about forgetting everything else and focusing on the goodness in this human being I call my best friend.

I had goosebumps all over when he got his two minutes to appreciate me. I hadn’t heard him say those things out loud … ever. It made me tear up because even though I “knew” what I meant to him, it was nice to hear it. And it was a humbling experience.

I felt blessed. I felt grateful. I felt loved.

It taught me that I don’t have to wait for a special occasion to come around to express my gratitude. It reminded me of the wonderful person he is in his ordinary ways on an ordinary day. It gave me pause.

Gestures are great, but saying the actual words sometimes means so much more. Try it sometime.

Also posted on Writers Rising.

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12 Responses to I appreciate you

  1. KristenNo Gravatar on February 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Great story, and so true. Hearing that you’re appreciated is one of the greatest joys in life. I’m reading “What Happy People Know” by Dan Baker, and he says appreciation is the most powerful form of love, and the direct combatant to fear. Having just gotten out of a relationship where I was never told I was appreciated, or made to feel appreciated, I know how much these words really mean. You’re very fortunate to have gotten this opportunity, and to have a husband who was willing to open up to you. :)

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on February 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks, Kristen. I feel blessed. Also, empowered. Appreciate your stopping by :-)

  2. RajlakshmiNo Gravatar on February 17, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    that is so sweet… often we start taking people we love for granted… these excersises do help in strengthening relationships :)

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on February 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm

      That’s right, Rajlakshmi. Life is too short to let such important things left unsaid.

  3. Vikas YadavNo Gravatar on February 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Wise people once said the following:
    1. Phool Khilte Hain, Bahaaron Ka Sama Hota Hai
    2. Aise Mausam Mein Hi To, Pyar Jawaan Hota Hai
    3. Dil Ki Baaton Ko, Hothon Se Nahin Kehte
    4. Yeh Fasaana To, Nigaahon Se Bayaan Hota Hai

    For non-hindi readers, i tried (crudely and badly) to translate it in English:
    1. flowers blossoms, spring flies
    2. that s the season, when love gets wise
    3. matters of heart, are not said in words
    4. these stories, are best explained by eyes

  4. Vikas YadavNo Gravatar on February 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Jokes apart: I agree, life is too short to hold on to our feelings. as usual you have picked one more relevant issue of our behavior that we conveniently keep ignoring otherwise.

    “Remember that, young man, you’ve got to appreciate what you have, while you still have it.” [About Schmidt, 2002, a fantastic movie]

  5. Lazy PineappleNo Gravatar on February 18, 2010 at 6:55 am

    this is beautiful…Wish all of us gave this a serious thought. We take our loved ones for granted and forget the selfless acts of love they do for us. I am so glad you got the chance to do it :)

    • Mansi BhatiaNo Gravatar on February 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm

      Me, too. Feel blessed to have the opportunity and I am trying to consciously make it something I do every week or two. Feels good :-)

  6. […] I would tell my husband more often how much I appreciate him. That I would not snap at him on days that I felt beat […]

  7. See you on the other side | First Impressions on December 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    […] I appreciate you — I invite you to read about my experience with these three important, but underused and often overlooked, words. For those who read this back in February, this might just be the reminder you need heading into 2011. […]

  8. Anonymous on March 28, 2011 at 2:56 am

    […] […]

  9. ikNo Gravatar on September 30, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Hmmm this article has given me a bit to think about. Perhaps it is time for me to stand alone and appreciate myself. I appreciate you (for sharing this), myself (for wanting to live better) and everyone else (for understanding and respecting this).

    It’s quite wonderful that we are all unique, with much to share! There really is so much in this life to be grateful for… :)


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