The magic of Encouragement

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🌹’We never appreciate the depth a word of encouragement means…until we receive one ourself.’ 🌹

Funny how things work…I have contemplated encouragement and what it means for a long time now.
What makes it so special? And if you’ll allow me, I’d love to offer two different forms of encouragement….

When I was an Educational support Aide in a secondary school, I worked with a vision impaired and intellectually disabled student. He was the most gregarious young man who struggled in many areas of school curriculum, vision impairment aside.
The important thing was always focus on the positives and encourage any gifts that we could see in the students. We knew everyone has a gift no matter how extreme their disability may be.
So we would tell ‘Jim’ that he was so friendly, knowledgeable about horses, kind to all the staff and… had an amazing memory.

We didn’t necessarily comment on that as a way to encourage him, but more as a running joke because he didn’t forget anything we ever told him about ourselves, good or bad, including our birthdays. So it came to be that we would began to refer to his awesome memory and share some laughs together.
In a way, we were passively encouraging him without this being our mindful intention…we were fostering his confidence.

You see, when he was asked if he would like to give the introduction speech on a parent information evening, he decided to act upon this newly realised gift of memory and put it to use. He set about memorising his entire speech.
And can you guess?
He presented it word for word perfectly and was praised highly afterwards for his brilliant speech and his ability to remember it without cue cards.
We could feel the pride welling up within Jim…he was being showered with accolades for being excellent at something. After that, he would make comment about never forgetting anything…it became a fun banter between himself and us, the staff.

I refer to this as ‘passive’ as opposed to ‘active’ encouragement. These are my thoughts and terms only, but Jim’s story started me thinking…

We all understand when we are actively encouraged, as in ‘go for it… you’ll be great’ or ‘don’t let the fear stop you… go and live your dreams…’

But I believe there is a second type of encouragement that’s more passive, often so much more subtle…

…the kind where you have to read between the lines…
…the kind that is disguised as a compliment…

If we are fortunate, they may arrive on those doubting days, in a small but meaningful way, that fills our heart with hope and confidence and dispels those pesky doubts.
People most likely don’t realise they are being encouraging. I’m sure they accept they are offering kind words, but frequently these words can rearrange themselves in the receiver’s mind as words of encouragement.
It can be as simple as;
‘I really resonate with…’
‘This painting is stunning…’
‘You have a way with words…’
‘You’re such a good cook…’
or having your photograph or other creations featured in a public forum.

Often we’re oblivious to our gifts until someone sees the goodness in who we are or what we’ve done. We can become too focused on the things we need to ‘improve on’ or any negativity that comes our way and we may find it hard to pursue the ‘active’ encouragement from other people.

I believe the passive form is such meaningful encouragement because it presents as a heartfelt word, an appreciation of something that others choose to comment about, without any expectation from either person.

I received an encouraging word a few days ago just when I was questioning myself…it was the passive kind, that serendipitously provided beautiful magic…enough to prompt my continuing with something I’d been working on.

Passive encouragement offers us food for thought, that perhaps we truly are where we’re meant to be…
‘Do they really see that in me…?’
‘Did my work really resonate positively…?’

So passive or active, let’s all keep the world spinning with our goodness and keep up the wonderfully encouraging words, dressed however we deliver them, accepting that maybe, just maybe…they have the power to change someone’s day more than we could ever realise.

May I offer this little affirmation for this post…
‘I AM…encouragement for others, by the words I choose.’

So I ask you to please enjoy the feeling, knowing that you truly are…and I personally thank you for the magic of encouragement.
❀

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41 thoughts on “The magic of Encouragement

  1. Aww, Di, I love this! Your blog is an encouragement just as it is!!!! I hope you really can receive how much of a gift you are. Your comments and your posts just brighten my day and are full of love. May you know the love that you are (if you don’t already). Rumi has a great poem called Everything – “Everything I see, hear, touch, feel, taste, speak, think, imagine, is completing a perfect circle God has drawn.” This is your blog! Love and blessings, Debbie ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello my friend,
      What an amazing response to my post and I cannot thank you enough Debbie.
      Your comments mean so much and have truly made my day.
      I’m discovering things that I’ve wanted to be for maybe all my life and didn’t know how and bowed to the negative comments about being seen and fear of ‘loving yourself!’
      I adore your quote and Rumi has so many beautiful thoughts. I’ll hold this one dear and close πŸ’
      Yes, this is my blog, my little piece of cyber real estate.
      Thank you so much, again Debbie.
      May you also be blessed πŸŒˆβœ¨πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post so much Di. I honestly hadn’t thought about it in those terms but I love the words ‘passive encouragement.’ It’s something i know I’ve always done with my son from the time he was a very small boy.
    When I’ve been on the receiving end of such words I know that it leaves me feeling extremely grateful and so supported. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Nikki,
      Thank you so much for reading my post and then leaving your lovely words.
      I’m sure your son will benefit greatly from those passive encouraging words because they can be so powerful, as you know. Supported is a really nice way to think of it.
      Take care and thank you again Nikki βœ¨πŸ’•βœ¨

      Like

  3. I loved this post Di. You are such an inspirational writer. Encouragement is so important and I loved your beautiful story. The blogging community is one huge sea of encouragement and were it not for so many encouraging remarks it would be so easy to give up. Happy Easter. πŸ˜‡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Brigid,
      What a beautiful comment…Thank you so much for stopping by this post and contributing your lovely thoughts. I value your words and really appreciate your point that it could be easy to give up. It’s such a lovely supportive community who is so happy to share others’ goodness.
      Thank you again Brigid. Wishing you a beautiful day there and a Happy Easter too πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Encouragement can change lives. Thanks for the opportunity to reflect on different ways to provide encouragement to others. I would add that showing up, standing beside and taking action can be powerful forms of silent encouragement. Have a most beautiful day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ali,
      Thank you very much for visiting my post and leaving your kind comments and valuable additions. Yes, indeed, you have included some additional powerful forms of encouragement that offers more food for thought for us all.
      I really appreciate your input.
      Wishing you also a beautiful day and week ahead,
      Di 🌹🌹

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Cecelia!
      Thank you so much for visiting this post and leaving your lovely comments. I really appreciate them and I’m touched you enjoyed this one.
      I hope to see you again another time.
      Take care, and best wishes from Di πŸ’βœ¨

      Like

  5. Your post gave me those moments to look back and see how things have been for me.
    A peek in my past to realize: How many have nurtured me, How many loved me, How many cared me, How many pushed me,How many stood by me in silence, How many put forward their words of approval for me.
    All this encouragement are like life tonic for me.
    I remember once I was told by a person
    β€œIt’s nearly impossible to return back the favors, but to forward those will make you feel better, life is a chain”. It’s definitely a joy for both one who receives and one who gives.
    I appreciate how you have given a separate space for β€œPassive” encouragement.
    I believe it’s something will be a major life force. In an era where social boundary and acceptance is becoming bigger from race/region/color, by sharing our small-small world though different mediums, we realize in our mind and heart – we all are riding the same boat.
    Thus, a token of encouragement received from far end whom we identify only as another human become a priceless gift.
    β€œWhose words have uplifted me, whose support has made me stand again. Whom now I connect as I love that human.”
    The future do seems beautiful and connected. I believe.

    I may have dragged you post to some other direction, but don’t blame me . It’s You :).
    With Love.
    AOM

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello dear ArtOfMobile,
      Firstly I’m chuckling from your last line… that’s so sweet and very heartwarming… I’m thrilled to think I inspire this conversation from you. You may drag it any direction you please from however you’re inspired…So thank you for that 🌝
      And such an interesting perusal through your life of encouragement. Indeed we are all riding the same boat and connections like this enable us to realise how so. It’s a privilege and as you say, a priceless gift to offer a word of encouragement. The choice is ours at every turn. That in itself is powerful.
      Thank you again for your beautifully articulated supportive words here, ArtOfMobile
      Love and best wishes too, Di πŸ’•πŸŒŸ

      Like

      1. That’s very kind of you to say.I am always appalled how much you care to give a sincere and honest reply to each and every one.I firmly believe soon you will be an inspirational blogger for many many more.
        Have a nice weekend and with a big smile πŸ™‚ , i will catch you again.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s sweet of you to notice, dear ArtOfMobile. Thank you so much. I truly appreciate it. Have a lovely weekend too and please do keep on smiling… πŸ™‹πŸ’•

        Like

  6. Di, I could not agree with you more! If only the words that came out of everyone’s mouths were ones of kindness and encouragement, things would be so different for so many. Sadly, that is not the case. Luckily, though, I have been on the receiving end of words that were spoken to me that were so profound and so encouraging, it made me feel like I could reach for the stars. And because of them, I began to reach.
    Words. Matter.
    And we all need to hear the good ones as often as possible, especially since our inner voices are so often our harshest critics and keep us from achieving our goals. Encouragement can bring someone back from the brink of despair and change the entire course of their life, so again, I could not agree with you more. You, my dear, encourage so many. Great post, Di!! Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanya, hello! I was thinking about you this week. It’s lovely to see your name pop up in notifications.
      Thank you for contributing so beautifully to this post. Your example sounds like absolute goodness and to learn you are reaching for the stars because of it….and to accept words can return someone from the brink… very powerful.
      We can be the change we wish to see… as the famous quote goes and you dear Tanya are awesome at this already πŸ’
      Thank you again for stopping by… it means a lot πŸ’•πŸ¦‹

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome Tanya. Thank you so much and may I return the compliment to you too 🌹🌹✨✨

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  7. This is so beautiful, Di, and very Γ  propos for me right now! It makes me feel all happy inside to know that I have your encouragement. Because as you know, I am very hard on myself and have a difficult time accepting compliments for what they are. I’ve been known to have such little self-confidence that on the odd occasion when I’d receive a compliment when I was younger, I thought said compliment could certainly not be meant for me! This person must have me confused with someone else! It’s a long voyage, or a work in progress, as I like to say!! You really inspire me to be a better person and try a little harder to be kinder to me. Sometimes it’s more about the little things, as you say!

    Thanks for another superb post, bravo!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello lovely Cynthia,
      Thank you again for your beautifully kind and encouraging words. But above all, for sharing your heartfelt thoughts about yourself. These feelings can really create harm to our moving on and beginning to love and accept ourselves. As you say, it’s a work in progress for many of us and the little daily reminders really contribute to our acceptance. And may you from this moment on, accept those kind compliments and just say thank you…. And believe ‘I AM worthy…’ with this little affirmation.
      And always be kind to yourself… the alternative takes us nowhere.
      Thank you again Cynthia and may you be blessed πŸ’β€

      Like

  8. This is a fantastic post Di. You are right, encouragement may not be “loud” but the silent heartfelt appreciation and recognition. And it is a very effective one!
    During my early weeks of blogging, I was told by an excellent blogger that he sees that I have a gift in writing. It was such an encouragement to me and I was extremely motivated to continu writing because of that especially so because I looked up to him as a writer.
    Thank you for your beautiful post Di! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Nina,
      You reading through my posts and leaving such beautiful comments is such encouragement for me today, I must let you know.. It means a lot and I’ll very grateful.
      So I can well imagine how utterly thrilling the kind words from the blogger you also admired when you began would have been very encouraging.
      Little things mean so much…
      Thank you again Nina ✨❀

      Like

  9. I love this Di…I truly believe in the power of words to meaningfully impact others. To be consciously aware of this and choose our words carefully with an encouraging heart and with kindness, delivers real beauty to the lives of others and ourselves. Thank you Di for bringing your gift of beauty to us all here. Beautiful post xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Carol🌹
      Thank you so much for stopping by my post and leaving your amazing words here.
      Your use of the word ‘choose’ is so powerful because that is what we have in every moment… a choice in how to respond, our use of words… truly wonderful thought.
      Thank you again Carol and sending much gratitude to you for your warm support always πŸŒΉπŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Di, from the moment I ‘met’ you, your words and posts have been the epitome of positivity and encouragement. Just like this one. Imagine if we all lived a life of subtle heartfelt compliments, what a difference it would make in the world. πŸ’• Another beautifully written post my friend. Have a lovely night. xo πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello dear Miriam,
      Thank you for your kind compliments since we ‘met’. As we have said often, kindred spirits because that’s all I ever receive from you. And you will always be the instrumental person whose gentle encouragement led me here… hope you remembered that…πŸ’•
      I appreciate your contribution to this post. Yes, that would be a wonderful world for sure.
      It begins with us…
      Thank you again for everything Miriam.
      My best wishes to you βœ¨βœ¨πŸ’œ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you lovely! Yes, having a family dinner with the children and their partners. I see you made it out into the bush It looked wonderful. We were heading there tomorrow, but the weather….!
        Enjoy Sunday my friend. Hugs and love from me πŸ’•βœ¨

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your family dinner sounds lovely, hope you all enjoyed. Yes, we had a great day out today, the weather was perfect. Shame tomorrow won’t be as good. Regardless I hope you have a wonderful Sunday whatever you do. Big hugs. Sleep tightπŸ’€ πŸ’•xo

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hello my friend!
        Yes, it was a fun night…
        And we still managed a modified walk in the Dandenongs today. So I’m content now…
        Have a great week or until we connect again… love from me πŸ’•βœ¨πŸ’•

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Another wonderful piece of writing, Di. I agree that gentle, heart-felt encouragement can make a huge difference in a person’s life. This resonates with me as I feel that this was something sadly lacking in my childhood but I suppose for those of us who didn’t receive much in the way of encouragement from our parents, we could learn to give ourselves encouragement in some way. Easier said than done though! Hehe. What do you think of the concept of self-encouragement? I know we tend to seek approval and encouragement from outside and that probably has a stronger effect. But in the absence of that outside influence, I wonder if we can harness an ” ‘atta girl!” to boost ourselves. Just pondering as I write……Keep on sharing your ‘way with words’… πŸ’œπŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Kim, and thank you sincerely for your kind contribution to my post. I love and value your honest words.
      Yes, it is tough not to have received parental encouragement. And perhaps that’s why it resonates with us so much.
      But as you suggested, we really do need to be our own best friend by giving ourselves a pat on the back. I talk a lot about self-love and being kinder to ourselves and this includes being our own cheer leaders.
      ‘Atta girl!’…Yes please… A new catch cry.
      Thank you again Kim
      With love gratitude, Di πŸŒΈπŸ’•

      Like

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