"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Loving Words and Praise ... Given in Time

Friendships and relationships and even family connections often pass through many cycles of stagnation, change and growth, and while frequently they then may rise to a new level, often they do not, and may wither and die. And sometimes they end because the other person has literally died.

When I was 21 my paternal grandfather - a rather pedantic and serious Prussian whom the war had misplaced into Germany, and at this point was already in his 90's - fell sick, and I heard of it from my father. No one thought he was very ill, and so no one thought much of it, but something made me write him a letter, which I then gave to my father who was on his way to visit him.

In the letter I told him of some of my favorite childhood memories of him, of some of the reasons I admired him, and I also told him what he really meant to me. My father later told me my grandfather had thoroughly enjoyed reading the letter. That same day he died.

My loving words and praise had been given in time. This has happened to me with another very important person in my life, with whom I had a telephone conversation as she lay dying, although I did not know it at the time, and the fact that I said the words that I did, made such a difference to me later on, in the way I was able to accept her death, in the knowledge that my words had come in time.

But those are extreme examples because they involve death ... what I wanted to address in this article was much more the fact that we are often too late with our loving words and words of praise in those relationships that leave our lives, but not due to death. Why are we so swift to say something negative, to criticize, judge, nag, and in general express our lack of approval of the other, and so slow, so agonizingly slow to say kind words, words of love, and words of praise?

This applies to any of our relationships, not only those with emotional ties. Why does it cost us so much to say something that is so simple, and can mean so much to the other? We can change lives with our kindness, our praise, our love.

Think of how you feel when you are praised, dealt with kindly and spoken to lovingly ... that's what you can do for others. Be kinder, more loving, praise more often ... make a point - from this moment right now - to behave this way on a daily basis with at least one person.

Photo Credit: Idea Go

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