This post is dedicated to Grammy, Mimi and Auntie Shara. Three women in my life who have changed who I was and gave me permission to be Mitchell’s Mommy and be proud of that. Thank you ladies for all you have done for me and continue to do. Your prayers, words of encouragement and love have guided me, held me up and showed me a new way to be. Much love to you, always!
Positive words of encouragement and affirmation are contagious. When you encounter someone who is positive and smiling, your first instinct is to smile back. After the smile you are quick to return a kind word with a kind word. Award winning author, Mark Twain once said. “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”
As a single mother, words of encouragement are what got me through the first few years of single motherhood. I was encouraged to attend a bible study for Mothers. Please hear me when I say I DID NOT WANT TO GO. Every mom was married, no one looked like me, I was far from being the ideal Christian and I was not even a member of that church. Already afraid I was failing, why would I go into an environment where it was clear I had failed in my relationship and I was failing my child by not being in a loving relationship with his father? However, the words of encouragement kept coming and they soon outweighed the negative words in my head. I ventured forth into the great unknown. I had no idea what to expect but I held my head high and I walked in…best decision I ever made! There were two ladies in particular who held their arms open and said, “come in, and come as you are”. They were not referring to my attire or my color. The, come as you are, was in reference to “wherever I was in life and in my walk with Jesus.” I have never felt more loved, more understood or more encouraged in my life. Both ladies have vastly different backgrounds than mine, but it did not matter, IT NEVER MATTERED! What mattered was how their words, through prayer, praise and positive truthful mentoring were and still are my saving grace. They are STILL my mentors and encourage me often to give away what I have learned. I seek to encourage any one reading this to be empowered by words of hope. Here are some of the ways both ladies have inspired me and continue to empower me:
Positive people attract positive things – Let me just state the obvious, we all know NEGATIVE people. They are in our family, they are friends, co-workers, maybe even a spouse or parent. Sadly we cannot run away from some of these folks or convert them into a more positive person. However, we can change ourselves. Once you begin to exhibit more positive behavior, more will be shown to you. When I entered the bible study above, I knew ONE person and THAT WAS IT! I remained open and hopeful and most of all POSITIVE. What I gained in return was priceless. It would take days to tell you what happened when I stopped focusing on the negative, everything positive came my way. I was astounded and overwhelmed and I remain grateful to this day.
Positive words are easier to utter than negative ones – As I changed my negative world into a positive one, with the help of my spiritual mentors, other things began to happen as well. I stopped jumping to negative conclusions about certain situations. I stopped seeing things as impossible. I stopped saying negative things that came to mind and instead focused on the positive. I started to think about what came out of my mouth. My demeanor and attitude changed and I attracted some positive people into my life that helped me to become who I am today. I am not done, I am still evolving. This is a process, point is…..I had to start somewhere.
Negativity is toxic – ohhh, this one my friends, is so true it is scary! Just to test it, go into the break room at work and say something nasty or negative about the company and see how many jump on your band wagon. Or say something negative about your significant other and see how many others will begin to bash their loved ones. Negativity is a disease that is as easy to get rid of as it is to catch. You just have to put forth an effort and make a conscious change. The first step in that effort is to decide what you will and will not accept in your life.
Complainers lose respect – Who does not know a “constant complainer”? Sadly, we all do. What do we think about those complainers? We want to run from them, we hate to see them coming because we know the conversation, we know what they will say. The conversation will start off with how terrible something is and go straight downhill from there. What they do not realize is that the people around them slowly lose respect for them and leave their lives. Sadly, complainers will make excuses for why certain people do not call any more and it is NEVER their fault. Take stock of you how you talk to people. Try not to be the complainer in someone’s life.
Negative behavior is a learned trait – I should wave a white flag on this one! Negative parents breed negative kids! You can say what you want and do what you want. You can instruct your children on “how to be” and expect them to follow. However, if your instructions do not match your actions, your children will focus on your actions much more than your instruction. And I will leave you with that.
Being positive is just as easy as being negative…which will you choose? Which would you like your children to see?