The Beauty of Appreciation

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!”  ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

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No matter how “yucca” they say life can get, it’s still quite beautiful. don’t you think?

Nothing has ever spelled this out more perfectly than this weekend. Relay for Life is something I do yearly with my cousins in memory of our loved ones, specifically for me it is in honor of my father and brother. However, this year I was witness to something, or perhaps I should say someone, who touched my heart in a way I’m not sure I can explain. I met a woman whose soul one can’t help but love and be inspired to live with like passion and gratitude. She is a tiny woman with a big heart for life. She has endured more than anyone should go through, not only her own ordeal with cancer but those of multiple close family members. I watched her dance with abandon at the end of a long, hard day. Had I not been so worn out myself I’d have joined her…and I’m not one who usually dances in public. Her zest for life was contagious. Her love poured forth in a beautiful dance of gratitude.

I can honestly say after losing loved ones I thought I didn’t take life for granted, and perhaps I didn’t. But what I know is life is precious; every minute deserves our utmost attention. No matter how much (or little) money was raised or lives connected or healed through this weekend, I have a depth of appreciation for this random act of loving life…these few minutes of heartfelt dancing changed me. I hope this will stay with me and I will dance freely and live to the fullest. I hope I will do my own thing and forget what others might be thinking of me because what really matters is living while I can.

I think true appreciation is knowing where you’ve been, understanding where you are (the absolute vulnerability of it), and accepting you do not own control of your future, yet still have faith, hope, and love for the current moment. Passion for life surfaces when you truly live.

31 thoughts on “The Beauty of Appreciation

  1. Suzi, your entire last paragraph of this post sums it up perfectly!

    “I think true appreciation is knowing where you’ve been, understanding where you are (the absolute vulnerability of it), and accepting you do not own control of your future, yet still have faith, hope, and love for the current moment. Passion for life surfaces when you truly live.”

    Amen, my friend. AMEN!

    The woman you speak of in this post sounds so inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Love the photograph!

    Have a super week!
    X

    • She was an inspiration to all. She participated in all the games and contests, teaching us to participate in life while it’s here and enjoy it. I think many of us spend too much time worrying about what onlookers think rather than just living the moment.

  2. It’s nice to be around enthusiastic people. They buoy us up; Sad and angry people, on the other hand, drag us down.

  3. I needed this this morning. We leave for my cousin’s funeral today – she was 35. Sadly, she let the tragedies of her life get in the way of her embracing life.
    Life is precious. I certainly try and enjoy as much of it as I possibly can. I could live without going to the dentist though.

    • I am so sorry about your cousin. Thirty-five is way too young to go.
      Funny about the dentist…I love going! I guess because I like the feeling of my mouth after getting my teeth cleaned. I used to not like it either, but after working for a dentist for ten years you change your mind, ha!

  4. “. . . dance with abandon . . .” Something that requires a truly free soul, not restricted by concerns with what others might think. If only we could let appreciation for and the joy of life win. Always.

  5. Isn’t it wonderful when somebody unknowingly does something that makes such a positive impression on others, Suzi? I think we’re ALL called to do just that!

    • Yes! We are called to do this, but how many of us actually do it? I think what’s super wonderful is she wasn’t trying to impress anyone…she was just being her beautiful self!

  6. Your writing is beautifly inspiring. To be around of positive people is so gratifying and it could help to expand this energy towards those who are not having optimistic views of life … I think. Thanks for sharing this, Adrián

  7. I love this post Suzi – it’s light so early these days that I find myself awake by 5:30 because of the sun shining on my face, and I smile first thing in the morning – and even though my husband isn’t here to feel the sun on his face anymore, I know he wants me to smile. Hugs!

  8. Susan,

    Important reminder. Intersecting with the right people influences are attitude and outlook. I stand in awe of people who carry a positive outlook despite the sadness and tribulations in their lives. Such pure inspiration.

  9. Wonderful reminders here Suzi of what Life and LIVING is all about.. We have so often forgotten that Zest for Life in the drudgery we bring on ourselves.. Life has so many Good reasons to be celebrated.. Losing my own family to cancer and close friends,, And having a sister survive the fight against breast cancer, Seeing her own life take a different perspective when one is faced with such challenges.. Makes the mundane things we worry about so insignificant..
    And you are so right, ‘Every Minute’ needs our up-most attention to live it to the fullest in our Now moments..

    A very inspiring post Suzi.. Thank you and bless your heart for taking part in the Relay for Life ..
    Hugs Sue xox

  10. I’m obviously way behind on my reading, but it’s funny because I think I can appreciate your post more now than I could when you wrote it. In June, I was completely lost in the overwhelming nature of how hopeless my life seemed. It’s still not good, but I have managed to find hope again, and with that, I am able to appreciate life for what it is. Sometimes the ugly helps us see the beauty more vividly.

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