Banking is a way of holding something valuable in reserve.
It’s very possible that you might never have thought of creating your own Encouragement Bank. Why wouldn’t you want to?
Two reasons: awareness and preparation.
Creating an Encouragement Bank consists of intentionally making note of all the good things that you do and all that is done for you. This is a big awareness raiser. It establishes a place in your head (always portable – no branches necessary) where at any time you excavate those memories when you most need them.
When are those days? When every single thing is going wrong, when someone snaps at you for no ostensible reason, when your dog insists on going out in the pouring rain- any time things take a turn and you need a little shot of happiness, there the Encouragement Bank is.
It has no bricks and mortar but is every bit as substantial as one of the banks that stand solid with huge pillars indicating their strength and solidity.
The list of the good things you do is made to remind you on the days when you suddenly feel a bit worthless, that you are, in fact, a human with a good heart. We all need to be reminded of that from time to time.
The list of good things others do for us is to keep our hearts in a state of gratitude and hopefully, the generosity that expands our relationships, our consciousness, or our ability to do a little bit more than our usual.
How often you allow appreciation of yourself to be part of your thinking? It’s easier to appreciate someone else- right?
Taking the time to deeply remember what it took for you to do something special is a part of growing one’s confidence, determining one’s values, of reminding oneself what is really important.
It’s much easier to skate through life being unconscious. The trouble with that is that at some point, something will happen that is completely unexpected and is a life emergency.
If you have nothing in reserve, it will be hard. Life happens, there is no avoidance.
When you spend time depositing moments of joy, really appreciating the great moments, remembering those who were there for you, then you always have those memories to carry you through the tough times. Even better, it raises your ability to be more aware of what’s going on around you. Life gets richer.
Even better, once you remember those kindnesses, you can thank those who helped, even if you haven’t talked to them for years. Appreciation never goes out of style.
Appreciating yourself and others is a practice of taking good care of the person you are becoming. We are all on the road of discovery, like it or not. Appreciation is a way of turning the volume up on words that build up our strength. They make us more aware of how to turn down the volume of our relentless inner critic and replace it with a more balanced, loving message that we can draw on at any time.
My inlaws lived through World War II in England. Their stories were harrowing.
They moved here when Tony retired and his health declined as he aged.
One spring weekend they started remembering every detail of their lives. Starting on Friday with the time they met as young teenagers, they walked through every detail. They remembered the choice they made to marry since Joan’s family was scheduled to Kenya. It was 1938 and they all knew the war was approaching.
They remembered the Blitz and the Buzzbombs – so terrifying when their buzzing cut out and one never knew where they would land.
They laughed about their chance encounter with Joan on a train seeing Tony marching along the platform.
They shared a rich life and spent the entire weekend remembering every detail they could.
It was a joyful time for both of them.
Monday came as a normal day. Around 5 pm, Tony sat down in his favorite chair with a scotch in his hand and left life suddenly.
It is always devastating when someone dies suddenly. And everything had been said, everything had been remembered. The Encouragement Bank was filled with happy deposits.
Joan lived many more years and she often commented about how grateful she was for that weekend.