Sympathy, Empathy, Encouragement!

encourage6When you see someone who you know has gone through some stuff it is natural to want to comfort them.  We want them to know they are not alone and we are there if they need us.   A lot of times someone will approach you and say something like ” Wow! You look terrible! I know this ______ is taking its toll on you.” or “Man, you look so tired! I know you are just worn out from all this _________.”  I know people mean well and say this in a way to comfort you, to commiserate with your plight.  I get that.

But………..

What if you had just taken the time to refresh yourself and you’re feeling particularly upbeat and good?  Because they do not know what is happening with you, I mean they do know that you’re going through stuff; which is why they want to say the aforementioned “wow!…….”  but they do not know what has happened to you in the last few moments. Their good intentions could have just taken the wind right out of your sails!

The point I am trying to get to is this:

While sympathy makes sense I think from here on out I am going to make an effort to encourage and not sympathize. I just think it makes more sense. I think it’s a win/win if I encourage them with my words. Win/win? Yes! I always feel better when I build people up and I know they usually do too!

If I approach those who I know are going through some stuff with an attitude of building them up, maybe turning around my comments to be more like ” Wow! You look great! I would never know you are going through___________.” (fill in the blank with whatever the issue is.)  I mean obviously common sense needs to prevail here-  I may not say something like this to someone going through certain things, like a death or something. Sometimes, even in those tragic times, some people may be helped more from an encouraging comment (about how well they are doing) than being told how tired they look. But common sense needed! Bottom line if I know someone being put through the ringer at work or with family, etc…. I think from now on I will tell them how fantastic they look, how brilliantly they handle the stress!

It’s just me but I think it will work.

****Yes, I know there are some people out there who need to be told how terrible or worn-out they look! Hearing these types of negative comments fuels their need for attention which makes them feel better. I get it!  I guess you can’t win every time!

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I feel safe…………I feel loved……..

butterfly

“I am safe! I am loved! All my needs are being met!”

Good Sunday morning to you all! The week I am leaving behind has been a good one! But the week I am headed into is bound to be better! The affirmation above is one that is simple and powerful! To know that we are safe in this world, ,loved, and that our needs are being met!! Well, that pretty much covers us entirely……in one simple sentence!

Sometimes when I am out alone, in a new area, I can become a little overwhelmed with a feeling of not knowing where I am or just feel alone and vulnerable. When this happens I know it is just my mind working a little overtime and I say an affirmation very similar to the one above. My affirmation has the word “safe” in it. “I am safe”  is a calming statement. Repeat that to yourself in situations where you feel less than comfortable in your surroundings, it can calm your nerves.

Feeling safe is a basic instinct, one we have felt since we were born, probably well before that! Giving babies pacifiers to calm them is a great example of our need to feel safe. When my daughter had her first baby, the Dr. explained to her why a pacifier worked to calm her daughter in this way; she said the baby doesn’t understand all that is happening, she is in a new environment and gets rattled easily at times, putting a pacifier in her mouth is like causing her little world to set itself upright, it grounded her so that she could relax. We adults can’t exactly walk around with a pacifier to pull out at any given moment to help us feel “safe”!!

Next best thing? An affirmation! Nobody knows you’re doing it and they work wonders!! I tell you start doing them and they will become your best friend in times of stress.

( I know this seems pretty basic information, I think you may be surprised by how many people have trouble with this and may not realize they can take control of that feeling.)

“I am safe in the universe! All life love and supports me”