Encouragement is *such* a powerful thing. It requires connection, demands communication, and deepens the relationship between two beings. It happens in the animal kingdom, but I think it happens far more beautifully between humans, where (possibly) so many more nuances can be appreciated.
This week I have had HUGE cause to be thankful for encouragement, both in the times I’ve been able to offer it, and in the times I’ve been on the receiving end. To those people who took the time to stop and find space in their day to encourage me, I am SO grateful. Each time, I’ve felt as though connections have been strengthened, and the relationships have been imbued with the richness and depth which comes from their nurturing.
It’s not always the case that the more you put in, the more you get out (as my boxing coach used to say), because sometimes people (and relationships) are bottomless pits, and you could throw in the whole world and not hear it touch the sides on the way down. I always think that when relationships break down, unless there has been gross misunderstanding, there is a damn good reason for it, even if it’s not pleasant to admit at the time.
On the other hand, where relationships work, each added drop of encouragement, nurture, input, whatever, is like adding water to a pool, keeping it filled to the brim and crystal clear – able to overflow and bless others with the delight of a human being doing what humans are designed to do (we’re a social species; we’re made for relationship – we thrive there).
I sometimes wonder if I’m a bit of a hopeless case because I do so very BADLY on my own. It used to be worse, I admit, and thanks to the input of friends-and-relations, I am less likely to go off the deep end when I feel my connections have disappeared. I am less inclined to decide I’ve done something horrendous, or that I didn’t deserve the connections in the first place. I am becoming confident in the idea that I matter, because I’ve seen the concept backed up, time and time again by the wonderful, giving, encouraging, patient people I’m surrounded by.
I won’t name and fame, because I want to share the encouragements I’ve so appreciated this week, but to know these moments were just between whichever ‘us’ it was, and that I cherish each and every one of these.
❤ THANK YOU for letting me come round and be grumpy and sulky and irritated with EVERYTHING, and not mind that I was in a bad mood. We cooked, we laughed, you let me stay later than either of us thought. You gave me the borrow of dry clothes, and you knew exactly how to cheer me up on a day when the rain had most utterly quashed my spirits. Whatever the weather, know that I’m devoted to you, and I hope that not a thing will come between us.
❤ THANK YOU for trusting me so very deeply, and for the privilege of being someone who matters a lot to you. I love that I’ve been able to support and encourage you back. I love that I know I can trust you. I love our friendship, and how we’re both becoming more ourselves and just…more, and that so much positive change in each of us is attributable to the strength and vitality of our connection. Thank you for loving me in my darkness and in my light, and for letting me love you anyway, in yours. I love that you’re in my everyday; I hope it’s for always.
❤ THANK YOU for sending me music, which is still surprising me with new tracks I didn’t know where included, and introducing me to new bands which I *love*, and providing me with songs which I can use to tell people things when I can’t say it so well myself. I’ve just spent about 20 minutes looking back through old posts trying to find the one I’m thinking of to show you…but I can’t find it. The essence is that for SO long, I’ve relied on music to help convey my emotions when I feel inept or incapable or as though music will somehow be more acceptable than whatever I might have to say. I’m learning that in many cases, what I have to say is something which is welcomed, but I still love sending music when it fits. Thank you for such deep and wonderful, meaningful connection, and for just KNOWING.
❤ THANK YOU for always, always trying to find the good in people and bring situations around to ways they can be moved forwards for the best of all concerned. I so appreciate your excellent example of choosing to behave in ways which build people up. I am HUGELY thankful for all the ongoing efforts you make on my behalf, and the ways you cheer me on every day. Thank you for your wisdom (which I so often recycle) and your preference for giving people the benefit of the doubt. You’re a Wonder.
❤ THANK YOU for sharing such beautiful, important moments on your journey as you take charge of yourself and grow into the person you want to be – the you who you’re happier being. I am so happy to see the little moments of victory, of forward movement, of steps towards a better future, and I SO want that future for you – it’s beautiful, and I feel privileged to witness your transformation. Thank you for your friendship and your insistence that I’m part of your future. All the purple hearts to you.
❤ THANK YOU for your parcel, with its wonderful contents of such, SUCH beautiful encouragement on a day when I really needed it (cosmic timing, I think). I’ve loved your words since I’ve known you, and I’m so touched that you thought of me and sent me your thoughts and explanations, and an ENORMOUS dose of encouragement not to give up on my dreams. I will keep dreaming, and keep doing, and thank you, thank you, thank you.
❤ THANK YOU for reaching out, when I haven’t (because *shamefaced* sometimes I’m not good at keeping up) and for your CONSTANT, longstanding encouragement and ‘being FOR me’, and so much LOVE. I know you’ve been snowed under with life, and I really appreciate you taking the time to reach out and keep our connection going. You’ve been someone who has seen (and helped) SO much change in me, and I love that you’re still so much a part of my world and my being, even if we’re frustrated by our inability to connect as much as we used to.
❤ THANK YOU for challenging me to step outside of my comfort zone, and for thinking me beautiful and worth encouraging. I love your determined sparkliness and the way you’ve decided to take charge of your life, your thoughts, and your attitude. I so appreciate the chance to read your thoughts, to see how RIGHT you’re getting it, and for the way you want to bring everyone up with you in your quest to be your best self. I’m glad I had help to meet your challenge, and I’m glad I took part. I am so pleased you think I sparkle, too, and that I’m worth your while.
❤ THANK YOU for your love in 9-second increments, and how you never fail to make me grin, just at the sound of your voice and your exuberance. I am always and forever delighted that you’re part of my world, that we’re hardwired, linked and inked together as friends for always. I am ENORMOUSLY thankful for the ways your You-ness has connected with and supported my Me-ness, and how we’ve both walked a path of becoming so much more comfortably Ourselves. Your timing this week was *brilliant*.
❤ THANK YOU for the things of your everyday, and for being part of my every day. For so often being my first and my last. For being my supporter, my BS-caller, my cynic, my muse. For wanting to know the things of my every day, and for all the days and all the things. For being one of the first people I really trusted, and for proving beyond shadow of a doubt that I mattered, and you wanted me. Thank you that I still matter to you, and for still wanting me. The feeling is entirely, deeply, wonderfully mutual. And…hi.
And thank you, to ye who read this, in spite of its deliberate obliqueness, because in spite of the obfuscation, you know these things have made a difference to me this week, and THAT is the thing we’re here to celebrate, as a community – the things which made a difference in each of our weeks, which made them wonderful, workable, or livable-through.
Thank YOU for being here, for being part of this.
Thank you, for all the connection.
P.S. Happy 4th July to all Muricans celebrating it this weekend. In recognition of your heritage of willful determination to wander off and do your own thing, I’ve extended the linkie an extra day to the 5th July, so you have PLENTY of time to join in.