I ran today.
It’s been a sea of emotions as of late for reasons far too personal to share here. I don’t know how you cope with those times in your life where you feel hit with a ton of bricks consistently; I personally feel that in grappling with these topsy-turvy feelings the best way to combat it is put on running shoes and take the struggle onto pavement.
I was in the middle of my 13-minute mile run, and by middle I mean very middle. I was STRUG city, sputtering by an array of couples going on sunset walks.
First of all, one of the things that have been bothering me is feeling so very ALONE. So just the sight of so many couples immediately irritated me. Second of all, as an avid extrovert I love having little friendly gestures and exchanges with people. I’m that person who at every stoplight I peer to my left and right just to see if there is that possibility of becoming friends.
All of said couples avoided eye contact as I “ran” past. Then one couple, as the guy stopped to tie his shoe the girl gave me a thumbs up and said “GOOD JOB!” with a friendly smile. I was so excited and not knowing what to say back I goofily gave a thumbs up back and said, “Yes.”
And did I run the rest of the way differently? I actually did. I felt like I was running a marathon and people were cheering me on. Encouragement works. It doesn’t have to be large, it doesn’t have to be a show. There was a one-year old baby girl stumbling around at work. She was the cutest! Her walks were like a drunken college kid, and she was always on the verge of falling. My co-worker saw this and said to her, “You’re going to do great!” I caught her eye and we burst out laughing. What does that mean, you’re going to do great in life? You’re going to go amazing places? It was a recurring joke but I loved it. Every time I see her now (the co-worker) I say “You’re going to do amazing things today!”
Encouragement changes the atmosphere, it boosts people up. Have you ever been told something encouraging and then gotten mad over it? Don’t you dare tell me that I look skinny today and that that my future is bright. How dare you. So call out the good in the people around you. Maybe you don’t like where you are right now, maybe you think the environment is negative or toxic. Why not shift it yourself by bringing in encouragement. Maybe it’s your job to be the encourager. Try to do it three times a day! You’ll make the little world around you significantly brighter, small words of encouragement yield unsurpassable results.