It’s Here: Opportunities You Can Use to Fearlessly Encourage
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It's Here: Opportunities You Can Use to Fearlessly Encourage
By Dr. Ashlee Rincon
I love analogies! They flow out of me almost unconsciously and are one of the primary ways I connect to others, using them to convey my thoughts and emotions more clearly. When I worked in a drug and alcohol treatment facility, a picture hung on my wall to illustrate one of my favorite analogies that I constantly refer back to in therapy. The picture was the stages of a bean growing, from seed to plant. With this picture, I used the analogy to explain how people can rise from darkness to find their internal light and blossom into a better version of themselves. Encouraging others can help people progress through the cycle of growth; it may be just enough light to help them rise from the darkness.
When a seed is planted, it is planted underground, in complete darkness. Nutritious soil is just what the seed needs to flourish. Earthworms, flatworms, ants, termites, beetles, flies, and the like pass by the seed, seemingly just another clump of dirt to navigate around. The seed, though unsure of its path in life, knows it was called to be more than a roadblock for bugs. When it feels the warmth of the sun, it knows it has a greater purpose. It seeks to grow, gathering anything it can from its surrounding to be more. It struggles to be something more. Slowly, it does become more. The seed begins to grow deeper into the ground, while simultaneously reaching upwards towards the sunlight. The seed sprouts while its roots remain in the soil, that dark “nutritious” place. With time, the seed begins to see its purpose.
How does this relate to “Opportunities You Can Use to Fearlessly Encourage?”
“Encouragement is like sunlight; it is required in all stages (of growth).”
You see, in each of us there is a garden with seeds that are at different stages of blossoming. Some of us have seen seasons where our gardens have a fruitful blossom and other seasons where only weeds seemed to grow. During those seasons when weeds are all that are being produced, it is discouraging and annoying. However, that’s when the help of other gardeners come to the rescue, providing their expertise and experience. It isn’t just their knowledge that helps you sprout; it is their encouragement and their support.
Encouragement is like sunlight; it is required in all stages. Remember your own times of darkness and used it to propel others forward, to grow, and to blossom. When you were in your darkest moments, whom do you remember encouraging you? Did it feel like the light you needed to help you rise above the darkness? Support and hope are essential to our well-being.
Are there people surrounding you that are going through something similar to an event or circumstance you have already been through? The answer is “yes!” There are friends who are struggling to balance work, family, and everything in between. There are mothers who are feeling the loss of their children not living at home anymore. There are friends who are struggling with managing their finances. Goodness, recognize the challenges of adulting and spread some love to someone else who may not see the light. We all have countless opportunities to encourage those around us. If someone shares their struggles with you, or you recognize them because you once went through them-share some encouraging words! Your new title shall read,” (insert name here), the Encourager!” As Dr. Seuss says in Oh the Places You’ll Go:
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Kid, you’ll move mountains.
So… be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain (of encouragement) is waiting.
So… get on your way (to encouraging others)!