Giving Up: Words that Provide Emotional Strength to Keep Going
“Barter: to trade by exchanging one commodity for another.”
Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
Bartering. If you’re a woman, then you’ve done it. Guaranteed. The very term conjures up some interesting and colorful scenes in our minds. Think back to early days of our country’s history when money was scarce (er), what did women do? They traded one commodity for another, one’s own valued item for someone else’s. Whether it was a chicken or its eggs, a cow or its milk, women instinctively understood the importance of bartering both wisely and prudently. It would never do to simply give away one’s treasures without also receiving something by way of return. If a woman was careful and conscientious, she would walk away feeling encouraged and uplifted. By day’s end, both participants were recipients, more important, both were gainers.
If on the other hand, you had specific need, be it material, emotional, or spiritual, and no one with which to make a connection…. for direction, for guidance; then you’d end up in dire straits. Periodically stranded, isolated, or emotionally adrift, it’s no wonder women have found sure comfort in the company of their fellows. Who better to commiserate with over the silent pains of relationships gone awry? Career detours or even job elimination? Health or financial throwbacks?
It is here, in these common-life seasons of sorrow where women’s innate instinct to reach out shine brightest. One word of caution here, a giver’s mentality is a given in the world of bartering. Whatever the circumstance, bartering is the means to offering mutual constancy, strength, support, and a camaraderie that knits one female to another. As women, we live lives of intersection and not only were we born to become experts at it, we are blessed because of it.
Constructive Communication: where bartering speaks best.·
Build a relationship by looking for opportunities to gently enter another woman’s world. Look for common interests, goals, or similarities. Start with simple gestures of kindness and as trust slowly builds allow the friendship to take on a life of its own.
· Accept others as you would like to be accepted, unconditionally. Realize that affirming another person’s value doesn’t equate to agreeing with all her choices.
· Respect the fact that two people will never agree on every issue. Develop an active listening mentality; be proactive in attuning yourself to truly hearing what someone else is saying. Seek to understand the struggles in her world.
· Tell friends the truth. Speak constructive words that are going somewhere which are intent on a specific purpose or outcome, yet always tempered by kindness. Remember the power words wield, never heavy-hand another woman with this tool to simply make a point.
· Exercise a “what are the possibilities not the limitations” mentality. Encourage a forward movement mindset and pass it on. Refuse to stagnate in a specific place, position or circumstance (cheer your friends to the same end).
· Responsibly consider making suggestions (and offer tangible help to make changes happen) for a more healthy life spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Encourage decisions that bring life and wellness to your friend and walk alongside her, applauding her efforts day by day.
Takeaway Action Thought
A few powerful, well-chosen words of encouragement always make more of an impact than a litany of weak ones. Choose words well.
Weight Bearing Exercises for Body and Soul Health
Every woman can remember when the temptation to give up (or in) to failure and lingering discouragement felt paralyzing. What every woman needs at this pivotal juncture isn’t a plan, a fix-it, or a pep talk. All she needs is a friend who understands. Someone to listen without judgment, without comment, without casting blame. There will be a time for offering suggestions, the next step, or an alternative route, later on. As women, we need to be tuned in enough to one another’s deepest, most heartfelt needs to recognize there is a right time to lend advice and a right time to withhold it. Sometimes we barter best with the gift of presence alone.
· Barter – B: begin by listening. Sometimes words do get in the way. Emphasize the “b” in simply being there, present and accounted for, listening without mentally working out how to offer advice.
· Barter – A: assign no blame. Mercy rises above judgment. Give it completely, absolutely, and without hesitation. Even if your friend has blundered badly, realize every one of us is only a few steps (or choices) away from the same position.
· Barter – R: resist the urge to immediately problem-solve. Most issues of any significance do not arise overnight and neither do their solutions. Take care and be careful about swiftly offering remedies that may only add to the complexity of the problem.
· Barter – T: take all the time that is needed. There is no gift like the gift of being 100 percent present. No rush. No other agendas or pressing matters vying for your attention and time. Give this gift of focused attentiveness and let your friend know you’re “there” for the duration.
· Barter – E: encourage in a way that is seen, felt, and heard. Be aware that little of what you say will matter as much as how you say it. Let your genuine heartfelt care be visibly apparent through every part of your physical body. Engage your friend with the entirety of you.
· Barter – R: remember we’re all the same inside. Your situation may be different than mine; but inside, where it counts, we’re exactly alike. Respond to another’s distress, even when you don’t understand its cause, in the way you’d want to be treated after enduring your worst fear.
“You (God) stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.” Psalm18: 35, 36.