One of my mother's favorite books during her long battle with cancer was "Balcony People" by Joyce Landorf. It wasn't a very long book, but it became priceless to her during those four years and after she passed away, I inherited it. In a moment of sentimentality, I passed that book on to someone. Today, I wish I had it. I sure could use it's words of encouragement.
The premise of the book was this--we all have two kinds of people in our lives: basement people and balcony people. The basement people spend their lives dragging us down into their pits of despair, discouraging us, throwing cold water on our dreams, and for the most part, making us miserable.The balcony people are the ones who encourage us to dream, believe in ourselves, and boost our self esteem by cheering us on. According to the author, it takes about 20 balcony people to counteract the affects of one basement person. And...we all tend to have more basement people in our lives than balcony people.
One of my friends likens those basement people in our lives to albatrosses around our necks, weighing us down. I like that analogy. I know that's how I've felt at times. And when you feel that way the hardest thing to do is look up in the balcony and see those cheering. The Bible speaks of these people in Hebrews as a "cloud of witnesses" who have been there, done that, and are in heaven cheering us on to "run with perseverance the race marked out for us". I know my mother, father and great aunt are standing in that balcony in heaven cheering for me every day.
So even though I feel dragged down at times, I know that there are those in my life and those who have gone before me, cheering me on.