It’s hard to be encouraging sometimes. I think sometimes when we ourselves need encouragement, is when we have the hardest time handing it out. Encouragement takes energy, as does happiness, anxiety, motivation and even depression. They are all different types of energy and when you don’t even have any of your own, in the ‘good’ energy bucket, you simply have none to give.
I thought I would address those down times and to make it even more specific, how to encourage ourselves in times of loss. I don’t mean a death necessarily, but losses that we suffer at the hands of others, whether deserved, legitimate, necessary or just plain ugly. Sometimes we lose a friend and not only have we lost that friend, but that friend’s actions have been hurtful as well. We lose jobs, perhaps in our opinion, at the hands of a coworker or a client. Relationships, whether casual or committed, cause us to lose ourselves again and again. We lose people, we lose self confidence, we lose focus and we lose that picture in our heads of how things are supposed to be, how things are supposed to happen.
I’m no good at receiving encouragement. The typical clichés are lost on me, because I have usually so over analyzed the situation, from every angle, I have a counter argument for everything under the sun. We do this, because when things are still raw, we don’t want to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Now that I have bad mouthed the clichés, here’s my spin on ‘meant to be.’ I hate that. It was meant to be, when a door closes, a window opens, the silver lining, blah, blah, blah. When I say ‘meant to be,’ here’s what I mean…
We all have choices. Sometimes we make the right choices, sometimes we don’t, sometimes it isn’t clearly either one. The people who hurt us have choices too! This means our friends, our family, our coworkers, our bosses, our neighbors and our partners. So, when someone does not choose you, put you first, fight for you, make you a priority, recognize your worth…then your connection to them, whatever your relationship…can it really be successful? Would the dissolution or conflict not have come eventually? You may have nothing to do with that decision! Nothing.
The choices unfold and there are those that include you as a priority and those that do not.
You can cling with steadfast resolve to your end of the rope, but you have no control over the other end. When someone ‘leaves us hanging,’ leaves us wondering what happened; Nothing happened on our end! Since I’ve wrapped my head around this, it has so helped me to be responsible for me and focus on my actions and spend less time mourning the decisions others make. Of course I didn’t say no time, but less, significantly less.
Imagine you’ve misplaced a savings bond and you are searching and searching, so upset that you have lost something valuable, something important to you. Then the bank calls and it turns out, that was just a copy, a useless piece of paper, not valuable at all. Relief.
I know, people and relationships cannot be compared to savings bonds. But the fact is, we are upset because we have lost something of value to us. But once we realize the company, the friend, the partner, did not place as high a value on us, it is easier to stomach the loss, to demand better, to go out and find more.
I encourage anyone reading this to think of something weighing heavy on your heart right now. Remember some time in your life, where you have been disappointed, let down, thrown away. Why would you long for a seat, at the bottom of someone’s priorities?
Now think of a time when you have been valued, cherished, loved. YOU KNOW HOW THAT FEELS! You also know how it doesn’t. :)