We could all fill in the blank of the title, each with our own story. Each of us have faced a time or circumstance in life when we have felt stressed, discouraged, or even alone. Some of the loneliest and hardest times in life are when we feel alone.
Relationships replace loneliness with companionship. A relationship that provides companionship is one where someone stands with us during uncertainty and/or joins us to celebrate our victories, in a moment or over time. In reality, we don’t all need 1,000 plus likes on social media to truly feel valued (validated in life). What most of us need are a few people, maybe even just one person, that are a part of our life and that make us feel treasured (valuable).
Relationships that can provide encouragement, in the moment or long term, may be a relationship with a parent, spouse, relatives, acquaintances, co-workers, and especially friends. Next week, I celebrate another birthday. Those who have celebrated milestones of years with me, "know me", including my trials and victories. These are also the people (friends, family, and spouse) who help me to feel loved, valued, and cherished.
How? Through encouragement. In last week’s blog I wrote, “People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.” Today let me take that statement one step further through the topic of encouragement.
Encouragement tells someone that they matter to us and that we personally care about them and whatever they are going through. When we speak or give encouragement, to someone else in our own special way, we show love in action. Love in action, sustains.
Right now in this time in history, we have an opportunity to encourage one another as we are all experiencing a trial of life together. We can take this opportunity to speak words that pierce the heart (speak love) and we can take actions that can soothe a weary soul (carry part of someone’s burden). We also have this same opportunity throughout life.
As stated earlier, relationships replace loneliness. Relationships are what fill in the gaps where we previously struggled to know that someone cares. We can all look beyond just us. We can look for “gaps” (struggles people are facing). We can fill in “gaps” with words of encouragement, and take actions that speak even louder than our words. Either and both (words and actions) help us share life better together. We demonstrate that we value people and cherish the relationships we are blessed to have.
We can all be the companion in someone’s story. The story being about a point in time when someone said or did something that changed a situation or feeling in or about life. Encouragement in the midst of … (whatever) truly does make a difference.