One of the areas that Jack and I had the most conflict around was money. It seemed like every time we got into an argument, each of us was trying to convince the other how much we did and how underappreciated we felt. These arguments usually began as fairly reasonable discussions but soon deteriorated into, “I do this, this and this…and you never seem to notice or think that it is a big deal”, pissing contests…and nothing ever changed.
One day, we sat down together, looked at this unhappy pattern, and made a decision do something about it. We decided to tell each other what we noticed and appreciated about what the other one did without interjecting what we did. It was a challenge. At one point I felt like I was sitting in class, wiggling in my seat, with my hand raised, saying, “I also do this, this, and this, too..!” I wanted to be appreciated for the things that I thought were important so much so, that I almost wasn’t listening to Jack tell me about the things that he appreciated about me. He noticed the same pattern within himself.
We decided to make room for the, ” I want to tell you what I don’t think you are noticing about what I do and I am dying to tell you!” at the end of the “exercise”, but for the moment, we were only to tell and listen, to each other. At the end of this we both agreed that it had been the best discussion we’d ever had around money. But it went beyond money. Later in the day I thought about some of the things that I appreciated about Jack, and felt so much inner happiness. Is there any feeling more divine than genuine gratitude? A surprise feeling also popped up; I felt a new love and appreciation for myself.
When I was feeling unappreciated, angry, and resentful, those feelings informed my life…especially around money. When I really let myself feel appreciation for Jack and for what he did, the feelings naturally spread out to me and my life…especially, but not exclusively around, money.
When I look for what someone (including myself) did wrong in the past, that is what I will see in their (and my) present.
“To look backward for the source of current problems can lead you into the habit of seeking only negative episodes from your past, and prevent you from experiencing it as a source of pleasure, accomplishment, or success.” From the book by Jane Roberts, The Nature of Personal Reality.