My guides make a distinction between gratitude and appreciation. They say that appreciation is a spiritual principle while gratitude is not. Gratitude is linked to acquiring, while appreciation is a state of being.
When I have expressed this to people, it often difficult to grasp, but when people meditate on the difference it becomes quite clear. Appreciation feels much more expansive then gratitude. Appreciation feels whole and connected, while gratitude is more focused on I like this, or I like that, I’m glad to have this, I’m glad to have that.
Try it: meditate on appreciation and on gratitude and feel the difference. I have found that appreciation is one of the fundamental principles for a quality life and good relationships.