“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson. Contentment and Gratitude lead to the virtue of Appreciation. Appreciation is different from gratitude. Gratitude is being thankful for some thought or action from someone else, but appreciation is from within. It is simply knowing, understanding and enjoying the beauty of life in all its forms.
Have you ever had a tune going around and around in your head that you just can’t get rid of? I love to sing. I am in a choir and we practice the harmony of songs over and over again until we perfect them. Sometimes I wake up in the night and there it is, one of the songs we have been practicing. It’s the same as the mental songs we play. Do you keep hearing the songs of criticism and self-doubt or do you wake up with a smile on your face because the world is beautiful, and you appreciate your wonderful body, mind, and soul?
The first step in developing the virtue of appreciation is to understand our own wonderful bodies and minds. Do you love your body, even with all its imperfections? You should, we all should, because it is the perfection of the amazing evolution of a superior being that has adapted to extreme hostile conditions and continues to evolve according to changes in our environment. We should be able to look in the mirror every day and appreciate its ability to sense and respond to the world around us. Our minds, especially the working of the frontal cortex, is the culmination of millions of years of evolution, or if you prefer, the miracle of creation from a loving god who has created us in his likeness. People tend to look at the mind as the ego and feel it is somehow responsible for all our troubles, but where would we be without it, without the ability to evaluate, judge, and make decisions? It works on the completely selfish motivation of making decisions to protect and enhance the self. The well-known words of Christ tell us to “Love our neighbor as ourselves”. We cannot love anyone unless we first make a conscious decision to know, understand and love our mind, ego, or self.
That takes us back to the inner or Higher Self. I know this is repetitive but it is never redundant. There is always some new way to look at, understand, and appreciate the inner Self. We cannot see the beauty in others unless we first see the beauty in ourselves. Both love and seeing beauty are a function of the inner Self. The inner Self feels things. It feels all the patterns of energy around us. Our eyes sense the energy, our minds interpret and evaluate it, but our spirits feel it. It distinguishes between the negative energies brought on by our mind and the minds of others, reinterprets fear as chance or opportunity, and transforms anger to love. It sees the connectedness of everything and can trace the patterns into an ever evolving circle of life. We feel the patterns of the universe itself which we can interpret as God, or the Tao, or just the Universe. It feels our part in all things and encourages us to feel things beyond the power of the body and mind. When we get in touch with the Higher Self we get in touch with all that is and can be, and we sense the best path to living a more conscious life. The Higher Self wants to flood our minds and bodies with the joys of appreciation for this awesome opportunity to just live.
Here are the five applications to bisexuality:
- We need to love our bodies; that includes our genetic bisexual orientation. We can enjoy all the pleasures that our senses can provide. We can be true to ourselves and be selfish and enjoy our sexuality. We can start doing things that make us feel good inside and out.
- We need to love our minds, recognize that it has done an amazing job to survive with a very difficult predisposition. It has made judgement and decisions to get through all of life’s challenges to the point where we can accept our orientation.
- If you have not yet reached that point and no longer trust the powers of your mind, then it is now time to reach to the inner self and allow positive feelings to surface. We can close down the mind for a while and seek the positive energy of the inner Self. We can enter that space of peace through meditation of by taking a forest or ocean side bath where the richness of nature will enter our souls. While in this state we can allow the inner Self to shed its light on our consciousness and lead us to self-love where we can appreciate all life’s experiences as a path to greater understanding. We can let this bath of self-love touch our minds until all the fears and anger have melted under its power to the point where we begin to appreciate these experiences as part of the path to self-actualization.
- We can see and appreciate the beauty in others. If we have experienced traumas we can try to see the beauty and struggle of another soul instead of the ugliness of fear and anger emanating from someone else’s tortured mind.
- We then can consciously seek a soul-mate that can appreciate our inner as well and outer beauty so that we can let go of casual encounters and appreciate all the joys of a fully conscious intimate relationship. We each give as well as receive the beauty and power of the intimate vibrations of the body and soul.