Showing posts from October, 2020

Be a Cheerleader: The beauty of affirmations, validation, and encouragement

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash Yesterday I received an email that made my day. I'd sent an essay to a friend and asked for his feedback, and he'd responded quickly. His first line gave me a rush of joy. "I am blown away by your writing skill, and your ability to be vulnerable and strong at the same time." He went on to praise my gift for writing and thank me for sharing my work. By the end of the note, I was beaming with gratitude. My friend could have just told me the essay was good, and I would have been pleased. But instead, he'd taken the time to be explicitly kind and encouraging. It got me thinking about the other cheerleaders in my life. From my friends' Facebook comments to my weekly visits with my writing partner to greeting card wishes, I cherish their uplifting remarks.  In my volunteer time with Stephen Ministry , we are trained to give each other regular affirmations. At first it sounded funny to say "Good job" or "You are