Are you feeling unappreciated? Experiencing difficult and dark experiences that drain every last ounce of our strength and leave us feeling hopeless, overwhelmed, and misunderstood.

My aim is to write to the “Woman” who is experiencing this present darkness, to offer some comfort and help restore her hope.

Dear unappreciated woman,

I heard you the other day. Telling yourself that you shouldn’t expect to be thanked because this is what you signed up for – it’s your job, your role, your purpose – so get on with it. I saw you too, sitting on the front porch, trying to enjoy a cup of tea (that you had to make yourself) – but it sat on the table next to you getting cold while you berated yourself for having a pity party celebrating just how unappreciated you are by those you love the most, for whom you’d give the world… for whom you do give the world, and they never even seem to notice.

How I wish I could be part of those conversations you have with yourself, especially when you are feeling unappreciated. How I wish I was sitting next to you on the front porch, sharing that cup of tea with you… I would speak words soft and gentle. I would remind you that we all want to feel appreciated. Your desire for thanks and appreciation is not unreasonable or selfish. Your longing for that grateful touch, smile, or word is something we all long for. When others show us appreciation we know that we are valued, and we are encouraged to believe that the things we do hold meaning. This is true for all of us, in every space, and can come from anywhere; through our co-workers at the office or the store, through our friends at the park, and through our spouses and family at the dinner table.

I want you to know, dear unappreciated woman, that your prayer for a simple “thank you” from colleagues and friends and family is not silly, or born out of self-pity. Appreciation from others reminds us that who we are and what we do is of importance – and there’s nothing silly or self-pitying about that at all. Please don’t feel guilty that you long for thanks.

I saw you working late into the night, and well before the sun came up, on that project for work… having that acknowledged is meaningful. I noticed how you spent all afternoon making a special meal for your family… a simple thank you would have been all the dessert you needed. I eavesdropped on your phone call to the friend who always takes your call, but never makes a call… how your heart would leap to hear the phone ring and see their name as the caller.

Don’t let that tea get cold while you scold yourself for wanting to be thanked…

I want to sit with you and say thank you. Thank you for the work you do, the service you give, the love you show, and the kindness you offer. Thank you for being the woman you are! Thank you for staying up so others can sleep, for sweeping up where no one else sees, for stepping back so others can be brought forward, for reaching down to lift up, and for reaching out to hold others close. Thank you for being the woman you are. Thank you!

ps – if you want to learn more about the symptoms of feeling unappreciated, how it can affect us, and how to deal with it. Have a read here. Put on the kettle, and let’s have a cup of tea.