I have a friend who recently hit the wall of isolation with Covid.
I think we can all relate.
There are days when we wonder if we will ever get our lives back – including family celebrations, parties, gatherings – even a cup of coffee.
One thing we have learned this year is that we are social creatures.
So when this friend hit the wall, she did a healthy thing. She vented to her co-workers – really vented. There was no question in anyone’s mind that this was a different level. It was a cry in some ways to which each of them could relate.
She got through that day- somehow. And her life continued.
The following week, her husband casually mentioned that maybe a walk would be a good idea for later that day. She agreed and then later as she started to get her walking shoes on, he told her that he was going with her. She thought: “That’s odd.” but was glad to have company.
They walked to the end of her street. She suggested they go farther. “No, I want to go back.”, he said.
They came to the top of their driveway. He stopped and asked if they could stop for a moment. She again thought: “Odd?”
Then she noticed cars coming down her street and coming around the circle at the bottom by her driveway.
They were decorated in all kinds of outlandish ways. Some were painted, some had crepe paper. The windows were down and they talked to her as they rolled by. They handed her little presents, flowers, notes, silly things to make her laugh.
She finally realized that this parade was made up of all those people she vented to. They had gotten together to plan how to launch her out of her funk and realize how loved she is.
It blew her away.
During later conversations with each of them, she heard them tell her that the project inspired them, lifted them in a way they hadn’t realized, that they got even more than she did.
Encouragement is a circular practice. What is given is a gift of one’s heart and soul but the giver receives at least as much back from the exercise as the receiver.
I like to call encouragement rocket fuel because it is THAT powerful.