Friday, September 7, 2007

Express Words of Encouragement

A few years ago, I found myself struggling for answers in the midst of difficult circumstances. Downsizing changes in my job left me with less work; my last child was off to college, the empty nest lifestyle loomed ominously before me, worries about who I was and what I would do the rest of my life left me struggling.

A friend came along side me and encouraged me during my ‘depression detour.’ What did she do? She made a difference in my life, an investment in my well-being that is continually bringing returns more valuable than any dollar deal ever could.

My friend listened attentively with empathy to what I was going through. She didn’t have all the answers, but her presence alone was comforting, rather than offering the obvious cliché.

After listening, the best advice you can give is reassurance that no matter what they are feeling, things will get better. Help them see there is always hope. ‘I am here for you. Just as you made it through today, you can make it through tomorrow.’ John McLeod says "...words can be a powerful healing tool if used with loving intention, to uplift, encourage and inspire." My friend knew when to let me wrestle with and own my issues with a healthy balance of boundaries and understanding.

Discover more secrets to encouragement at How to encourage

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