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Posts tagged ‘Empathy’

2-2-22

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

On this day of “2”s – second month, second day, twenty second year – may we be prompted to move out of self into other. To the collective, to us. Expand, seek, reach out, connect with others. Partake on this shared journey, knowing that we are not alone, present for others, listening, walking along side in companionship.

When we cast light, the light shines back on us twofold. Compounding, multiplying, exponential. Go out of self and see other people. Tell them you see them with a smile, a hello, an invitation to go ahead in line, an embrace, a prayer for their well-being.

Kindness, concern, empathy, laughter, joy, understanding open our hearts, expose our souls, extend our hands to a wide world that needs our attention and love, one person at a time.

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa

Listening Points

“Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.” – Francis of Assisi

“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.” Francis of Assisi

In politics – public, work, personal – we create talking points. To win an argument. To sell our view. To get a vote. To get buy in for some corporate flavor of the month. To make “easy” money. To get more with less. Get rid of the old, bring in the new. Boiling down complex issues to sell the shortcut and scheme that will work this time. Make it simple. Even when it’s not, especially then.

If your philosophy can fit on a bumper sticker, it may be time to go a little deeper, to expand your view, to listen more and talk less. If we spent more time on listening points rather talking points, we might gain insight, understanding and connection. Finding substance through inquiry. Authenticity, belonging, understanding, patterns that lead to sustainable plans and outcomes.

We don’t have to boil everything down. Not everything is an argument. Conversation and listening lead to understanding, diversity and beauty. Spend more time honing your listening points rather than your talking points. Pay attention and listen to understand rather than craft a reply. Relationship over transaction. Right over righteousness. Compassion over correction. Empathy over apathy. Cast light, a single sunbeam.

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” – Francis of Assisi

The Other

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Jung

May you see yourself in the other.
Change me to we.
And be kind to both.

“If our love of God does not directly influence, and even change, how we engage in the issues of our time on this earth, I wonder what good religion is.” – Richard Rohr

Places and Spaces

“In every moment, the Universe is whispering to you. You’re constantly surrounded by signs, coincidences, and synchronicities, all aimed at propelling you in the direction of your destiny.” – Denise Linn

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

We are put in places and spaces for reasons. They often present themselves as distractions, delays and detours. While we may not know the reasons at the time does not negate the meaning and purpose woven in them. This is where patience and trust enter to carry and keep us going until the reasons are revealed, the pieces of the puzzle fit together into the whole.

In the places and spaces you are put in this day, be present and look for the blessing, the connection, the completion points of being human.

Less doing, more observing.
Less judging, more empathy.
Less complaining, more praising.
Less speed, more savoring.
Less scarcity, more abundance.
Less comparing, more gratitude.

The world shouts. God whispers.

“The universe is always speaking to us… sending us little messages, causing coincidences and serendipities, reminding us to stop, to look around, to believe in something else, something more.” – Nancy Thayer

Mirrors and Souls

“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” George Bernard Shaw

Look into the mirror first before pointing it at others. Deep into your own eyes, beyond the surface of being judge, prosecutor and jury, to your very soul, with kindness and understanding. Quiet the critic and advice-giver to gently examine and fully observe your whole life, blessings and burdens, progress and detours, full inventory. Gratitude over griping.

Criticism has never grown a flower. Light, dark, nature, nurture, water, patience and time are the ingredients for full bloom.

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” – Thomas Carlyle

When you have gone beyond the surface of the mirror through the door of your eyes to your soul, you are prepared to hold up a mirror for, not at, others to show them their own soul and light within. That is the purpose and the gift of the mirror.

Self-awareness, self-acceptance and love are the roots of empathy, healing and purpose. This individual lifetime journey will transform the world as we each discover our interconnectedness, the “we” beyond the “me,” the “us” and not the “other,” our similarities and the beauty in our differences.

Mirror and soul work – light the candle, be the mirror.

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

10

“To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.” – Confucius

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

News Flash – the entire world is in the midst of a pandemic right now, civil unrest and an election filled joy and delight. Uncertainty continues. Work from home. School from home. Fear. Anxiety. Unknown.

I can hear the tone and angst in emails, in conversations, on zoom calls. I’ve done my share of contributing in a similar fashion at times. I try to stop myself in my tracks to not become what I attest. In the past three days, I’ve gotten sharp angry emails, assuming the worst intentions rather than simple human error.

So here’s your Mr. Rogers lesson for adults since many are acting like children who have skipped lunch and can’t play with your toys. Count to 10 before you send an email or assume you’re the only person going through a difficult time right now. Mr. Rogers would also advise children to look for the helpers. Why not try to be a helper?

Be kind. Be patient. Empathy works, try it. Learn to breath, assume the best and count to 10. Reflect and think before you speak or send an email.

Tip of the week: Download the Insight Timer meditation app. I’ve been listening in the morning and evening the past two weeks and am finding a deep peace with a few hiccups during 10 hours of daily work filled with delightful emails. Meditate in the morning and evening to reflect on you, not others. We all, all of us, can do and act better.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Breathe.

Cast some light. Please. Let’s help each other carry the load and find joy right now when we need it the most.

“The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” – William Wordsworth

Empathy and Optimism

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – M Michel de Montaigne

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” – Romans 12:15

At the start of a meeting yesterday, each person was asked to share two words that described them in that moment. I listened intently and it was a mix. As I thought about my own words, I chose “empathy and optimism.”

When we are empathetic, we can listen and “weep with those who weep” and by harnessing the power and fuel of optimism, we can simultaneously “rejoice with those who rejoice.” Weeping is real, required and will pass with time. Rejoicing is a way to live, even in the midst of weeping moments.

We are a mix of opposites, contradictions, imperfection, resilience and beautiful music. Pursue awareness – self first so you can see yourself in others and genuinely feel empathy rather than judgment and assumptions. Awareness prompts action and necessary change. As Maya Angelo said, “when you know better, you do better.”

We need to both weep and rejoice, with a bias toward rejoicing and optimism. Life is fragile, strong, short, long and no day returns to repeat so seize today, let go of yesterday and hope for tomorrow.

“To live would be an awfully big adventure.” – Peter Pan

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