We all need the occasional pat in the back. A little motivation to help our days get just a little bit better. Maybe things aren’t really going how we want them to or maybe we can’t be in the place or with the people that we really wish to be with but sometimes there’s no real reason for it. We just feel like we need a hug. That’s when we need some real support and encouragement.

I know  people often undermine the strength that encouragement offers. So I’d like to recollect a memory of mine which made me realize its true value. This one day me and my classmate were conversing when I found out that she was going through some tough times. I told her I could hear her out if she thinks it could help. She agreed to it so we sat down on a bench and she started sharing her troubles. Initially, I was quite surprised to hear the things she was facing at that time. I wanted to offer consolation or a solution to her problems but quite frankly I did not have any. All I had was empathy and my words of encouragement.

I know what you’re thinking…what help would that be? I myself was wondering the same at that time. Nevertheless I decided to offer what I could. So I wholeheartedly listened to her and gave any possible advice, outlook or insight that can offer a fresh perspective. I told her everything will be okay. Neither of us knew if they really will be. But to trust and believe that things won’t get worse, you have to tell yourself that they will get better.

Eventually I opened up about my problems to her although they seem quite small and insignificant in retrospect. We talked and talked and realized there was not much left to talk about anymore. So with a warm hug and a hearty smile, we parted ways. On my way home I couldn’t help but ask myself what I could do to help her and wished I could spend more time in helping her. Once I got home I stopped thinking about it and went on with my day. Before I went to bed I opened my phone to see a message from her. It was one of the best things I ever read. She told me she felt happy that I took time to hear her out and be there for her and that she never wanted me to change. It’s compelling to think how her words gave me a lot of comfort just as mine seemed to give her some.

The intention behind me telling this story isn’t to state that giving encouragement will undoubtedly make you a good person or that one should feel any superiority for offering it. I merely want to remind people that words have a lot of power in them. Relatively there are times when you cannot seem to find the courage in others words of encouragement. They seem hollow and empty. In these times, I urge you to look around as there are so many things in our lives that unknowingly help us in easing our heart.

Like the trees waving back and forth with the wind, or the sound of rain tapping against your window, or the fresh smell of new books or sometimes even a random text from an unexpected friend checking up on you. It is in these things that I find comfort and solace. I hope you can remind yourself of the moments or things that will give you yours.

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