Just as we need to nourish our bodies with good food, so do we also need to be nourished in spirit. We all need to feel uplifted by our friends and in turn we need to uplift our friends. It delights me when I hear my young children playing together and they give each other positive feedback, or even better, they help each other when the other is struggling. I know that I’ve done my job in nourishing them enough to pass it on to others. And no, my kids aren’t always that angelic, but it just makes those unexpected moments all the sweeter.
As busy adults it can be easy to breeze thru an entire day without nourishing a single soul. We can easily go about our daily activities without giving one compliment, one smile, one “I love you,” one handshake, and so on. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you a busy, distracted person.
So here’s my challenge to you: nourish others daily. Look outside your periphery to see if there might be someone who could use encouragement tomorrow. Buy someone a coffee and tell them they’re doing a good job, or they’re a good parent, or you can see how hard they’re trying…
It’s amazing how a little encouragement can make someone feel strong and confident again. In fact, I often wonder if those people we consider toxic, negative people are the ones who haven’t received enough nourishment in their life to know better. Perhaps that’s not an excuse for their behavior, but it’s something to think about nonetheless.
It's hard to be on the wrong end of an argument, believe me I know! Even after you’ve realized you’re wrong, it’s tough to back down and say, “Okay, I see your point, you’re right.” Choking down your pride is not an easy thing to do. But there is a saying I heard many years ago that has stayed with me to this day and I like to remind couples and friends that…it is better to effective than to be right.
Let that sink in for a moment. If what you truly desire in your life is joy and happiness and strong relationships, being right all the time doesn’t make any of those things work. Being effective in coming to a resolution does. And you’re going to be more effective as a reasonable, loving person than someone who just wants to be right no matter the consequence. Life is far too short to have a need to be right all the time and sacrifice love, friendships and family relationships because of it.
So ask yourself: In your relationships, are you trying to be right more often than you are trying to be effective? If you answered yes, then STOP. Stop fighting, stop fussing and be a more effective friend, parent or spouse. I’ve pried into the lives of enough people to know it’s just not worth the heartache.
Don’t wait until next New Year’s Eve to resolve to change something in your life. Do it today. Start today. If you stumble and fall, start again the next day. But at least try to eliminate the bad habits in your life, if not just for you, for the people who love you.
Wake up every day and give thanks for the people in your life. Be grateful for everything you have, and consider that there is someone out there who would rather be in your shoes. Remember that the next time you don’t feel blessed enough.
Be grateful for the negative situations in your life and tell yourself you’ll learn from this. I’ve discovered when you have an attitude of gratitude about the tough stuff, all of a sudden, problems begin to resolve, solutions show up, friends come beside you, relationships are healed…
What are you grateful for today? I have so many, many, many things to be grateful for, even some tough stuff. Some heartbreak and some trials and tribulations. But thru it all, I can see God doing miracles in my family. What is he doing in your life?
It’s also true in life: you reap what you sow. If you sow seeds of anger and discontent and divisiveness; if you gossip, backbite, say negative things and try to put wedges between people, guess what you’re going to reap? You’re not going to harvest sweet pumpkins of happiness. You’re going to harvest a big crop of misery. But if you encourage, uplift, motivate, say kind things and do kind things for people, you will grow new friendships, stronger relationships, and a happier circle of people around you.
If this note hits close to home, make a decision today to stop stirring up trouble and saying negative things about people. Stop causing strife within the family. Stop pitting one friend against another friend. If you’re doing anything like this, just stop. Sow the seeds of love and forgiveness and encouragement, instead, and your life will harvest a bounty of happiness.