What’s the difference between appreciation and love? Is one more valuable or more powerful than the other?
There is clearly a difference between the two. Imagine for a moment walking into your favorite coffee shop. Upon receiving your delicious caffè latte, you say to the barista you’ve never met before, “I love you!” Yeah, not quite the same as if you said, “I appreciate you!”
Vibrationally speaking, there might not be that much difference between love and appreciation. I love my truck. And I truly appreciate my truck. And both of those thoughts feel pretty much the same.
In some cases, love and appreciation are the same or similar. In other cases, they aren’t exactly interchangeable. Love is far more complex than appreciation.
Consider, for example, different languages. In Spanish, one often says to a lover, “Te quiero,” which literally translates to I want you. In French, you would say, “Je t’adore,” I adore you. That kind of love is clearly appreciation mixed with desire. Because love and desire are held so close together, they easily bleed one to the other…even with experiences or objects.
Back to my previous example. I love my truck and I appreciate it, but it is 14 years old now. I love the latest model even more…in fact, I want one!
It is all too easy to flow from loving into wanting, especially when the object of your attention is not something you currently have. And that brings up the next point. For many of us loving someone or something leads to the desire to have and to hold. So now love is not just appreciation and desire, but also possession.
Oh, and let’s not forget about that commitment thing. I love, I desire, I possess, and don’t you dare leave me.
Now I would like to share an exercise I have been practicing, which has produced some amazing results. Whenever I find myself thinking, “I love that!” I deliberately directly my focus into appreciation rather than desire.
In the past, my thinking and feeling followed this track:
I love that! I want that! I really want that. Damn it, why can’t I have that? It’s not fair!
In the end, the longing hurts.
Now, I am training myself to follow this track:
I love that! I appreciate that. I truly appreciate the existence of that. It is nice to see. It is nice to imagine. Someday, I will have that for myself and boy will that feel good!
Love is complex. We think about love maybe a bit too much. We are attached to all sorts of other ideas when we focus on love.
Appreciation is simple. It is clear. We can appreciate things without wanting them. We appreciate people (and the things they do for us) without needing to take them home forever more.
And appreciation creates more of the same.
Looking for love can be a challenging journey. Looking for (the feeling of) appreciation—looking with appreciation or looking for things to appreciate—is not a difficult journey at all.
For me, appreciation carries with it freedom, ease, and anticipation. It is light. It tickles. It is easier to find and doesn’t hurt so much when it is just out of reach. And it feels really good! It’s like falling in love over and over again without smashing my face on the floor.