When You’re Feeling Gloomy, Encouragement Is a Lifeline!

bright_yellow_tulip_green_leavesHow many of you have had to fight against discouragement? Every single one of us has been there—right? Whether you’re facing disappointment, despair, or another difficult condition or situation, unfortunately the following quote is true, and going through the ‘what is’ can be a challenge:

“In order to get from what was to what will be, you must go through what is.”
—Anonymous

Hopelessness seems to show up at the worst times—when things keep going wrong, when plans or dreams aren’t working out the way you hoped, when you’re being bombarded on all sides by challenges, and sometimes when you’re just plain tired!

We’ve all found ourselves in a low place and been boosted out of it by the support of other people who care. Reassurance and encouragement are lifelines that lift us above our circumstances.

Just like you, I’m not safe from discouragement. Sometimes everything seems like an uphill climb, and I wonder where the open doors are hiding. A thought suddenly pops into my head about giving up and walking away—and then I receive a note from a grateful reader and I know everything is worth the cost. I want to send a warm thanks to all who have written to me! You’ve made a tremendous difference in my life.

Isn’t it amazing how a carefully chosen word at just the right time swings the scales toward keeping on instead of giving up! Grief is that way, too. Just when you think you can’t take another step, someone shows up and says or does something that changes your whole outlook and gives you the courage and determination to stay the course. You’ve probably been that special person to someone else in the same way you’ve been on the receiving end of that ‘rope of hope.’

The bottom line is that we need each other during grief and also during every day of our lives. Encouragement is the tonic that resists discouragement. The right kind of encouragement changes everything!

Be sensitive to the people around you. If someone needs a ‘rope of hope,’ extend it! When you’re considerate and understanding toward others, you’re likely to receive the same in return when you need help the most.

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© 2012 Judy Brizendine

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About Judy

"Out of your deepest pain comes your greatest gift." Judy writes about grief and loss in a realistic, practical way - to help, inspire, encourage, and educate any who face loss in their lives. A fellow-traveler's approach to grief ...

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9 Responses to “When You’re Feeling Gloomy, Encouragement Is a Lifeline!”

  1. Karen says:

    Your website is very attractive. I totally agree with your ‘bottom line’ that we need each other during grief. I used to pride myself on being independent – until I lost my daughter – and then I discovered that I needed anyone who would or could help me.

    • admin says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Karen. I was taught to be independent and to do everything I could for myself. When my husband died, I realized that I couldn’t survive without the support of other people. Grief is too hard to try and do alone.

      I’m glad you found our website, and I hope you’ll return. Our goal is to provide support, information, hope and encouragement for those who are grieving. If you’d like to see something or know about something that we haven’t covered, please let us know. We want to provide the kind of relevant resources that people need, so if something is missing, we’d like to know.

      Bless you as you continue on your journey. Thank you for your kind words, and for stopping by and taking the time to write.

      Warmly,
      Judy

    • Teoman says:

      I’ve just read the Time article to get a smarmuy of the author’s thinking. As a clergyperson for almost 30 years, I’ve seen a number of people live through loss and grief in a variety of ways, and have done so myself. I have found that people often experience the feelings that Kubler-Ross’s identified (as well as others), but it is been clear to me for many years that we do not expereince those feelings in systematic stages, but rather in unpredictable roller-coaster fashion not unlike the oscillating graph shown on this site. My own (admittedly anectodatal) take on grief is that the plethora of intense feelings we typically have for some period of time are the psyche’s way of honoring the importance to us of the person (or job or marriage or ) that have been lost. Once we have done that to the degree each needs, we are ready to move on in our lives. What I continue to observe is that while the varieties of approaches to grief process described and debunked in the Time article are widespread in the culture, it is also the case that in practical terms our culture often leaves little space and time for grieving. People are routinely expected to be able to return to normal functioing, especially in the work world, within a week or two of a major loss as if nothing significant had happened. There seems to be a disconnect between the possibly over-developed psychological approach to the inner work of grief and an under-developed acknowledgement in the public world of the functional challenges that people in the early, intense time of grieving often face.

      • admin says:

        I couldn’t agree more with your observations, Teoman. It’s clear to me, too, that we experience the feelings Kubler-Ross identified, but not in definitive stages. I think people often get confused and discouraged over the concept of ‘stages’ because when their experience doesn’t mirror that of stages, they think something is wrong. The opposite is true because the unpredictable roller-coaster fashion of grief is the norm.

        I have found, also, that those who have not been through a deeply painful grief experience have no idea what is involved. They don’t understand the grief process and are quick to expect others to be back to normal far more quickly than is reasonable. They are not aware of the ‘functional challenges’ people face, nor do they know how to respond to or support those who are grieving.

        I think grief is greatly misunderstood and even avoided whenever possible. Some are afraid to find out about it before they need to, as though learning about it may hasten its presence into their lives. It’s as though talking about grief ushers in reality, and that reality is unwanted.

        Thank you for your insightful comments, Teoman.

        Blessings,
        Judy