The Gift of Encouragement

“One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.” – John O’Donohue, Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong

I realized in a new way today one of the qualities which makes my parents so special. I have three younger brothers and I imagine that all four of us would readily attest to the fact that our parents, on the balance, nourished us with unconditional love throughout our childhood. That constancy of love in and of itself was a wonderful provision for which I am deeply thankful. But when I consider how incredibly encouraging their unconditional love was and continues to be, I consider what they so selflessly gave us to be nothing short of a miracle.

A house becomes a home when it is filled with unconditional love. That love purifies the hearts and minds of those who dwell in such a home, by putting pressure on that which is not consistent with its spirit. As uncomfortable as that can be at times, love also brings with it one of the greatest gifts that can be given: the gift of encouragement.

My parents’ consistent love forced me to question the times when I doubted myself. Their love carried me though the darker times, the times where their belief in me was all that I had. I never felt I had to earn their love, for it was always provided, but I always felt compelled to do my part – to bring the highest and finest of which I was capable at the time – in reply. Love is a magical spirit, really.

Love inspires the mind and heart to soften. When they do, when a person relaxes his defenses and pretenses, his soul finds easier and fuller expression from within outward. That transparency facilitates the unification of the inner soul with the outer soul, that is, body, mind, and heart. Love, in this sense, enkindles oneness by virtue of the encouraging forces which are intrinsic to its nature.




5 thoughts on “The Gift of Encouragement

  1. Isabelle

    Without encouragement, children can experience self doubt and a lack of self worth which can last well into adulthood. If you haven’t had the privilege of growing up in an encouraging household, you can focus on encouraging others – which can play a part in realizing your own value.


  2. Steve

    Giving thanks for what has been provided to us from our parents as well as others does bring a gratefullness in heart. In addition it does bring a compulsion to completely honor that love with all my heart,mind and body. As I feel the torch of love passed on to me I am in wholeness encouraged to so provide unconditionally to my world!


  3. Joy

    I too was blessed by parents who loved unconditionally, and what I’ve observed is that from that foundation even the future generations have been blessed. My nieces and nephews carry a quality of spirit that compels them to express to their highest and finest. My joy lies in encouraging such attitudes where ever they arise. I love your posts Gregg, because I feel you offer the same opportunity to your world. Thank you!


  4. Ernest

    Encouragement is one of the finest gifts that one can bestow on another. As you mention, from parents for sure. However, encouragement in the workplace is invaluable as well. So many historically become used to the workplace not being a place of encouragement, but can you imagine what might happen to the effectiveness and environment in the workplace where encouragement is genuinely shown to others. This is not confined just to customers, by the way, but is even more important to the employees that make up any given company, or even a division or a part of a company. We must remember the difference, however, between genuine encouragement and manipulation, which will destroy the atmosphere in the workplace. So let’s all use Gregg’s marvelous post today as a springboard to find those precious moments to offer genuine encouragement to others, with an emphasis in the workplace where most of us spend a great deal of our time.


  5. Lady Leo

    I too was blessed with loving and supportive parents and will forever be thankful for them. Encouragement is one of the many blessings that can become activated with the refraction of love through a heart that is sufficiently pure enough to distill it. There is a host of unbelievable advantages for the world when the spirit of love is magnified though a pure heart. I believe therein is the answer to every ill. Lovely post!


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