Encouragement: the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope:
Criticism: the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes
Everyone is going through, has gone through, or will go through something. When we become better listeners, from a place of compassion, and care, others are inspired and reassured that they are not alone. We are precious plants in the garden of life. A gardener tends to his or her plants with tenderness and patience. We aren’t meant to be trampled and handled recklessly. We were created with love.
Let’s step outside of our tendency to focus on self, and encourage someone today. Use words that inspire and uplift. Words to build up, and not put down. Some are motivated by criticism due to patterns embedded in their journey thus far. Have you ever gotten so upset by an accusation or harsh opinion that you got up and did something you’ve been meaning to do in awhile? I have…and though we may accomplish something, the act resonates with the anger that triggered it, and any excitement fizzles out pretty fast. The vibration and motive were off-center.
This world is filled with challenges that strengthen, and trials designed to shatter. There’s a place for constructive criticism, and times when a nudge is helpful. But, as a resting temperature, encouragement wins. It keeps the door of communication open, and invites others to be open to sharing in a safe space. It clears the cobweb of doubt, and sparks a light of hope in the receiver who in turn shares that glow with other. Dreams are delicate. Handle them with care.
When we encourage someone, and remind them of their gifts, they’re more likely to remember their blessings, and the mountains overcome. They are more likely to take a deep breath of gratitude, and be freshly inspired to take a step forward with renewed focus. We’re not on this earth forever, and words can live on longer than we do in the memories of the ones we speak to. When we reflect on the way we interact with each other, are our words like water, acid or honey? Are they from a place of care, jealousy, patience, belief, or bitterness? When we care for others, like a gardener with plants, the treatment doesn’t involve yanking seedlings up by the roots and placing them in swamp water. We tend to them, ensuring they’re nourished by our actions, both during and beyond the time we share with them.
Be a blessing to someone, and speak words that resonate with kindness. There is no dry erase board for the conversations we have, and things we say. Only forgiveness can do that.
Lead with love. It’s what we’re made of.
Do you struggle with encouragement? Do you have a tendency to speak words that build up, or ones that tear down? Do people pull away from, or confide in you? Would you like to be more encouraging?
What words inspire you to keep on, reach for your goals, and persevere? Share those with someone today. Our words matter. If that wasn’t so, we would choose to live in complete silence, and not be compelled to speak at all. Words have a vibration. Let’s use them to heal, and not hurt. To inspire and not belittle. To uplift and not discourage.
Let’s give the gift we appreciate most; a listening ear, and encouraging word.