Encouragement

Since sharing my writing in recent times two things have been made obvious. First, i have had a lot of friends and family who encourage me for what i have shared. One of the things about writing on your thoughts is that quite often many of these thoughts never become verbalised. They just store themselves up in a store room inside your head. A little like the spare room most families seem to have that simply fills itself with odds and ends. So to put them in to words……..that means something, to share those words with people then takes on another meaning all together.

 
It’s very much like offering people a portal into your mind. Which could be dangerous depending on what’s inside that head. Thankfully for me i would consider myself pretty sound. Pretty cool, calm and collected. Down to earth and level headed. So my mind is kind of a safe place to hang out inside of……i think???

 
The second thing that has become obvious for me during this writing process is that Encouragement seems to be the common theme in what i’m sharing. In no way was it a topic i sat down and said “Yeah you know what? i’m going to write some stuff on encouragement!”.

 
Nope. Simply didn’t happen that way.

 
It’s been a case of encouragement has been the path my mind has taken me down. I touched on it earlier that i seem to be this guy who’s always got others in mind even when i should probably worry more about myself. I love to remind others that they are important. That their story matters. Encouragement is something that simply comes naturally for me.

 
Encouraging people is a pretty simple and selfless act. It doesn’t take much. But the impact you can make on someone with a positive word can be anything. The possibilities are endless. It’s something that has been prominent in my own life in probably the past 7-8 years, probably longer still.

 
My church Pastor Matt has been in to me for a good chunk of this period, offering words of encouragement and affirmation. Not just to me, but to many of the people who call our church home. However actually receiving this encouragement is one thing. Making something of it is another all together. What these words do is allow you to grow. You see something of what is being said and realise there is truth in it. You build it up piece by piece and you benefit from it. That’s what encouragement should be. You should be able to use it for your own personal growth.

 
These days we live in a world that is as brilliant as it is stupid. A world that is as dangerous as it is safe. We live in a world that also is as inspiring as it is demeaning. Social media is a hotbed for much of this stuff. Social media is probably the most fascinating modern day gimmick, yet at the same time it represents all that is wrong with the world.

 
In my quest to write more i decided to use social media as an outlet to positively affect my mindset. How in the world could i achieve this?!?!

 
Instagram. Yeah, you heard right!

 
So i decided to use arguably the third or fourth most maligned social media app (behind Facebook and Twitter, though Tinder probably is close behind) to positively affect people?? Yeah i did. How? Well thank God for the hashtag! Because you can find a hashtag for basically anything and everything. Search words like hope, love, faith, encouragement and follow those tags and what you begin to find is inspiration. The world ain’t such a bad place after all!

 
What these Instagram posts do is affect your mindset. You start to see, read and think along the same line. Once it’s inside your mind you have a place that you can begin to expand your mind from.
What i have found since sharing my work is that there is a place for it. People need words that remind them of the good. They need words that resonate with their own minds. People need words that uplift them. They need words that remind them that we are all not so unalike. We all have issues. We all have concerns which plague us. Circumstances that challenge us. We all feel things, positive and negative. It’s life and what we feel or think isn’t unique to just ourselves.

 
We people need a reminder that we are all in this together and that we feel something. That is the beauty with sharing words. Words have a habit of connecting people to their own situation. Sometimes it can be a sentence, or maybe just a general theme of writing, but in this moment it can connect us. For me, being able to use my words and thoughts to encourage anyone is something that is not lost on me.

 
What’s also not lost on me is the power that words carry. Words when used incorrectly are like weapons. They can destroy a person in the wrong environment. However when words are used to encourage someone they carry a very different type of power. I’ve learned over the time that words are valuable. When they’re used to encourage their impact can be great. Never ever underestimate the power they carry and never ever underestimate the effect they can have on someone. And importantly never underestimate the impact your words can make on those around you.

 
Encouragement can be more than just words that are spoken. The fact that you took the opportunity to speak it in to someone will hopefully not be lost on them. Encouragement is as much about what you do as what you say. If you give people a reason to stand beside them it shows them purpose. It shows them you care enough to be in that place. People need other people and we need to be examples to others whether they be family, friends or colleagues. There is definitely a role we can all play.

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