Appreciation is an important source of positive energy in relationships. Our hearts never tire of receiving it. Yet, over time, we often start taking things for granted. Without our even realizing it, statements of appreciation for one another tend to decrease. Things we once noticed with great delight become expected – and appear to go unnoticed.

The card APPRECIATION invites you to reawaken your heart to the importance of making statements of appreciation to your partner each and every day – just as you did when you first met! What are all the little things you really like about your partner? It may be time to recall these now – and to share your appreciation for them in some visible way.

Each small act of appreciation rekindles warmth between partners. It reminds us of what we like about being together. Think of it as refueling the flame – a basic way to keep good feelings and enthusiasm alive in a relationship.

Appreciation can be expressed in many different ways – a hug, saying thanks, verbalizing love or admiration, or giving a special little gift, something you know will be enjoyed!

A rose illustrates several key things about appreciation. First, after it blossoms it lasts for only a few days. This points out the need to express your appreciation frequently. Just as it’s not enough to give one rose per year, it’s not sufficient to voice thanks or love once in a blue moon. Also, a rose is small. This says that the size of your display of appreciation is not as important as your constancy in giving it. Many small acts of appreciation are far more powerful than any single large act. Be generous by showing appreciation often.

Finally, as a rose naturally has thorns, so can a relationship. The issue is not that the thorns are “wrong.” The issue is how to handle the rose so you don’t get stuck by its thorns, so that you can appreciate its beauty up close. Similarly, how you handle the thorny parts of relating will make all the difference between getting stuck or not – stuck in negativity. If you only focus on what’s wrong or missing, blaming your partner, you lose sight of all the positive things in the relationship.

When a relationship suffers from negativity, it may mean there’s not enough appreciation being shown. Appreciation can begin to turn such situations around. It can fuel partners to move in a positive direction. If you are frustrated that your partner is not doing something you want them to do, rather than complain, appreciate them for whatever they are doing. Hearing complaints tends to hold us back from taking positive steps. But appreciation empowers us, uplifts us – and inspires us to further positive action.

Appreciation rewards us and lets us know that our many contributions are being seen and felt. No matter how routine an action might be, saying “Thanks for fixing that” or “Thanks for doing the dishes” or “Thanks for driving” helps a partner feel their contribution was worth the effort.

It takes an active awareness to continue giving appreciation. You must frequently clear your eyes, see one another in a fresh light, and notice anew the variety of contributions, large and small, each of you makes. Partners who appreciate each other frequently create a relationship that is continually rewarding.