Focus On Empathy
Do I fully understand empathy? I thought I did, but now as I am taking an online class called Living Brave I see a little differently. Picking up the lens by which another sees the world is impossible for human beings. We really can't walk in another's shoes. Our interpretation of the walk would be different even if we had their shoes on. So what can we do? There are some attributes that an empathetic response encompasses.
- Perspective Taking-Allowing others to share their perspective even if it is not our own
- Staying out off Judgement- Refraining from judging their behavior or motivations
- Recognizing Emotions- Looking at the emotions the person is displaying
- Communicating emotions- Speaking the recognition of those emotions
- Staying Mindful and paying Attention-
My truth is always right. Correct? Well, if you are trying for empathy you may start by listening to another's truth and allowing that to be correct in their eyes. Too quickly I give advice to set my friend on a better path. Often advise is not what is needed, just a listening ear and loving heart.
This focus on the anatomy of empathy is already paying dividends. I am doing a better job at being a wife, mother, and friend. Why, just this morning I was the recipient of generous empathy. I asked my friend to spare some time to talk. We did. She listened with a loving heart. I was blessed.
You know the only person that can walk in our shoes is our Savior, Jesus Christ. He alone has the capacity to see through our eyes because he has willingly taken our burdens, incapacities, mistakes, and sins upon himself. They are his when we surrender them to him and he knows how they feel. When I focus on being more empathic I also feel myself coming closer to him
I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully make sense.