According to the Oxford dictionary :
Encouragement : noun
- the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.
Noun: validation; plural noun: validations
2. recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid or worthwhile.
These two definitions are in no way alike, barely synonymous. However, they are usually interpreted to be of the same essence. The last few days I have been discouraged, terribly so and it is because of the massive weight of responsibilities and emotional turmoil that I have to reawaken due to all of these proceedings. I seek encouragement. I tried it with myself and said positive words of affirmation routinely but sometimes I think since we humans are constructed as “social animals” we need to hear it from external sources. My attempts however, proved to be futile and left me feeling even more discouraged and disappointed. Maybe it was the way I went about seeking a listening ear or some kind words to kickstart my dying out engine of my spirit. I feel almost guilty seeking help in that regard. I am someone who dares not even ask for help unless I really cannot see another way out, so this week’s turmoil is nothing short of devastating.
I personally do not think that seeking encouragement or kind words is the same as validation. I am not trying to prove myself or my worth to anyone else. Exposed to abusive/toxic relationships and environments in the past have made me disregard people’s opinion of me regardless if they are positive or negative, unless I personally first believed them to be true. It is one of the reasons why I personally do not pay heed to compliments or even criticism (unless they are constructive ones). I am proud of who I am and how I have come thus far. I know my capabilities, my strengths, my character and even my flaws and have embraced all facets of me. However, encouragement is different. It is more of reassuring someone that they are doing alright or that they will do alright eventually. We of course encourage ourselves by saying, “courage, dear heart, courage” but sometimes as humans it is only natural that hearing it externally could be more profound in helping us feel motivated about a situation. I think I need to become stronger so that instances where I feel like I need an external boost on my mental status is barely necessitated. It would also aid in me being misunderstood less.
I have learned that some things are meant to be internally regulated because there are just some things that people regardless if they are of the best intentions could not and render you that encouragement that you require so ardently. I am my own best support system, however, discouraged I am. I feel sick and discouraged even as I am writing this. I feel the need for anyone, just someone to just say some kind words to me, even now which is making me more angry and upset with myself. I am writing it all out here to get it out of my system, like releasing out toxins from my bloodstream. Maybe, I am asking for far too much. You tell me.
Oh wait! I will be alright. I will be strong. I AM strong and I will uplift others who are weak. I will choose love over being right and gentleness over vice. I am incredibly resilent and I am my own competition. Somehow, while writing this heartfelt post now, I have rediscovered my inner fire. No one but me have I ever been surprised with in terms of strength, resolute and unwavering determination. My life is my testimony for all to see and especially for me to see how much I have grown, developed and loved. When I look in the reflection , I see a warrior, I see a lover, I see a fighter, I see a caregiver, I see a woman who knows she has won. I see a passion, so fierce that its sparkle reaches my eyes , pure energy and life.
For Every Hill I’ve Had to Climb
For every hill I’ve had to climb,
For every stone that bruised my feet,
For all the blood and sweat and grime,
For blinding storms and burning heat
My heart sings but a grateful song—
These were the things that made me strong!
For all the heartaches and the tears,
For all the anguish and the pain,
For gloomy days and fruitless years,
And for the hopes that lived in vain,
I do give thanks, for now I know
These were the things that helped me grow!
‘Tis not the softer things of life
Which stimulate man’s will to strive;
But bleak adversity and strife
Do most to keep man’s will alive.
O’er rose-strewn paths the weaklings creep,
But brave hearts dare to climb the steep.
L. E. Thayer