Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ The Power of Encouragement

There has been quite a bit of chatter among fellow stroke survivors in various groups about the power of encouragement. Encouragement can make or break your recovery process. It reminded me of a scene from the Disney movie, Bambi. The scene with Thumper.
        V (I looked a long time for a downward pointing arrow on my keyboard before I thought of the letter "V" lol)

Now I don't know about you, but how many of us heard this as children? Too many times for me. At that age, I wasn't the brightest candle in the candelabra. But somewhere in adulthood we forgot. But I would change this for us to ENCOURAGE.

A funny thing happens when you encourage someone else. You tend to try harder for yourself because you don't want to fail either. Before I step in the path of someone else, I always remind myself to be encouraging and sympathetic, not in a condescending way. Who better than another stroke survivor to encourage another stroke survivor? I've played cheerleader to many as they have played for me.

This keeps me-
  • centered
  • trying
  • hopeful
  • inspired
Even when their outcome is bad-
  • My stubbornness kicks in- that's not going to happen with me!
  • My self-centeredness shows- I'm glad it's not me!
  • My grounding firms- I'm not going to let that happen to me!
  • My empathetical/sympathetic cries out- you poor dear! What can I do to help?
I'm one of the three choices kind of gal. Give up- not without a fight, Give in-not without
a darn good fight, or Give it my all. Can you guess which on I am?

You guessed right. What was your first clue? It's in purple on the picture if you didn't know. The last one if you are color blind.

But what's more important, I believe in the human potential. I'll have faith in you until you prove to me that you are a hopeless cause.

How can you prove it to me...
  • By repeatedly brushing me off.
  • When I can't make you smile. Even the one you are trying hard to suppress.
  • By outright refusal to even try. If you aren't willing to meet me 10% of the way, you are history. But, you'll be welcomed back with open arms when you decide to.
I really don't have the time or energy to convert you to my way of thinking. I can't fight
and encourage if you give up or give in. That being said there are those who rebound into the trying category who I'll root towards victory. I never was a cheerleader in high school or college to spur my team to victory, but I've become a cheerleader to the souls of other people. To me it is more important and doesn't depend on a svelte figure.

People on the outside come in all different colors and sizes, but what really counts is their soul, but basically on the inside, according to Maslow, we are all needy on the inside. It is my function in life to bring comfort to others. Whether it is physical or spiritual. Granted, these days I have little to offer in the physical realm, but if I can brighten someone's day, the pay off is priceless.

By the same token, I tend to surround myself with cheerleaders. They keep me energized to face one more day on this Earth. Eventually even the best cheerleader runs out of fuel. I try to be as positive as I can, but this world can dump some pretty heavy loads on you even with our Heavenly Father's help. I'm no exception.

On those days, I seek out my cheerleaders. They might not even know that I'm in need. I've had quite a number of those days over the past few years. But they fill me up just the same. Prayer works, but there is nothing like the physical boost an encouraging word from another person will bring. Confessions of a minister. It's why this minister has a pastor of her own. It costs nothing but your time and willingness to listen, but it is worth more than diamonds or platinum. No amount of riches or material things can soothe it or replace it.

So if you can't say something encouraging, just listen, or at the very least- DO NOT say anything at all.

Nothing is impossible with determination.


  1. You're right - you can encourage, but if someone isn't willing to make an effort, you'll only drain yourself.
    Encouraging others gets the focus off of us and our problems grow smaller. Funny how that works.

  2. So many people have caused negative thinking by opening their big mouth. You're right if someone can't be encouraging it is better to just be silent. Wishing you all the best and you are indeed a survivor. Glad you chose the Peanuts image, the show is timeless.

  3. I love to cheerlead! Sometimes it's sappy, but it's heartfelt. Getting a few cheers back is always lovely. Go, Jo, Go!

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