Appreciation of those you love, whether a lover, a parent, a child or a friend, is one of the cornerstones of living a spiritual life. Verbally pointing out beauty and strength in someone you love is a way of bringing more depth to a solid relationship, healing to a wounded relationship, or renewal to a tired or stifled relationship.
Whenever Barry and I give a talk or workshop, we often begin with an appreciation exercise. We understand people may feel appreciation for one another. Still, we like to give them more opportunities to show it. For a relationship to work, there needs to be much more appreciation than criticism, perhaps even ten to one. If the balance is more on the side of criticism, the relationship will go steadily downhill, leading to resentment, anger and distance. Appreciation is a fuel that continually feeds the flame of love.