Courage means full-hearted participation. Have you ever become discouraged, or lost heart, attempted to withdraw yourself from caring or hoping, and someone helped you return your heart to courage again? In other words, have you ever been discouraged and been encouraged? The person who helped you didn’t give you a pill or feed you a special potion. They didn’t find a supplement to make you whole again. What they did was offer you their hearts, and their hearts literally fed your own. You went from being malnourished to being restored because of the “heart food” they gave. We are created like that, made to be able to feed each other.
Here are some ways that we can feed each other:
Look into people’s eyes when they talk to you.
Say, “hello” or “good morning” and speak the person’s name.
Smile into another person’s face.
Tell the truth about your own struggles, without taking away theirs.
Ask about another’s story by saying, “And then what happened?”
Listen in a way in which your face shows that you are paying attention.
State the truth about your own vulnerabilities.
Say, “I’m sorry,” about another’s plight, no matter how small or large.
Apologize if you have hurt someone, without using the word “but.”
Stop saying, “It’s going to be okay,” because you really don’t know.
Stop saying, “It’s okay,” because it isn’t okay.
Stop saying, “It is what it is,” because that is discouraging.
Affirm someone without a reason to do so.
Say, “I love you” much more.
Reinforce “I love you” with actions that show the love you speak.
Tell others what you deeply appreciate about them.
Tell others what you are grateful for about them.
Say, “thank you” a lot more.
Do “unto others as we would have them do unto us.”
Know your own heart well enough to know what might feed another’s heart.