The gift of empathy

7-christmas-tree-backgroundI bumped into a bad memory last night. It happens from time to time….

I allowed myself to think back to the people involved, the events of the evening, and the décor of the room.

The emotions were strong and I found myself gasping for breath. I was choking–trapped–in the moment and all I wanted to do was run out the door.

I’m sharing this story with you because I learned something in the process:

You can deconstruct the past, face the truth, and then move on.

The reason people remain stuck in the past is that they never learn how to see it from a place of freedom.

I am free from the pain, shame, and guilt of my past. (Notice that I didn’t say sadness of my past. It’s not possible to remove the sadness.)

With time and a year of counseling, I stopped seeing my past as a bully that’s holding my present hostage and casting a shadow over my future.

I can now face up to the memories instead of running from them.

Christmas will be here in 3 days and Facebook posts are already warning us to be sensitive to the hurts and pains of others.

No one can have a good Christmas (and don’t even think of sharing your joy online) because hurting people will be scrolling through their newsfeeds.

This kind of attitude is detrimental.

Even if everyone didn’t share about their holidays, there would still be hurt in the world.

There is nothing sympathetic about making others feel guilty. Likewise, there is nothing empathetic about walking around on eggshells.

Why don’t we comfort our hurting friends and family?

Take hold of their hands, give them a hug, and sit with them through the tears.

This is genuine empathy and it leads to healing.

There’s no magic formula for grief and sadness, but genuine empathy is the greatest gift you can give this Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s