Tag Archive | empathy

Picking Up The Pieces

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When life throws you a curve ball, you have to re-evaluate your position in life.  You have to pick up the pieces from what’s changed and put them back together in a new way.  You may even have to release some parts of your prior life in order to make room for the new chapter that’s beginning.  We have to embrace the change in order to incorporate it into our lives and not be stymied by the upheaval.

There are many defining moments in life that create change.  What we forget in times of fluidity and peace is that change is inevitable.  Few of us get out of this life alive without challenges, for those are what make this life school a life-long learning process.  If we were only to enjoy smooth sailing for a lifetime then we wouldn’t have a chance to grow.  By enduring these challenges, we experience change.  Life school allows us to connect with others who have endured similar situations in ways that we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.  Nobody can understand how devastating a cancer diagnosis is if you haven’t experienced it yourself.  Nobody understands the all-encompassing grief that comes with losing a loved one if you haven’t been through it.  Empathy comes when you’ve walked a similar path with compassion.

I confess that I would have preferred to not have endured many of the challenges presented to me.  I could have done without the trying times that threatened to drown me.  But I persevered and through faith, love and friendship, I am still here.

I’ve been through a plethora of life changes as I am sure you have too.  Some have been good changes, while others defined me in ways I never thought possible.  Breast cancer, deaths of friends, family and loved ones, divorce, financial difficulties, Alzheimer’s in loved ones, just to name a few of the big ones.  Through these defining moments of upheaval and life changing events, I have learned one thing for sure:  I can survive and remain who I am innately and even be improved by having endured the changes.  Challenges, failures and triumphs sprinkled with love, hope, faith and kindness make all the difference.

Keep shining your heartlights!

Shine On!

xo

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On The Topic Of Guilt And Shame

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Guilt and shame are powerful emotions.  In the name of guilt and shame, people often choose differently.  For example, if you’re guilty for doing something wrong, you’d probably ask for forgiveness.  But sometimes, if you’re feeling ashamed, you might lash out in anger and be defensive.

Guilt and shame do things to people that other emotions don’t seem to in life.  While I haven’t read the book from Brené Brown yet, I have every intention of doing so because I find the topic so interesting.

Here’s a TED talk from Brené Brown which I found eye-opening!

Human beings are so complex, aren’t we?  Emotionally, mentally and physically, I’m fascinated by how people think, feel and react.  I think I should have studied more psychology when I was younger because the mind’s complexity continues to enthrall me with all its intricacies.

Let me leave you with the most powerful quote from the above talk for me:

If we are going to find our way back to each other, vulnerability is going to be that path.

Sending you love from my heartlight today in case you’re in need of a little comfort.

Shine On!

xo

We Are Here To Serve

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I’ve often wondered, why me? when life gets hard.  I think it’s a normal response when we feel overwhelmed by hard life experiences.  We’ve all had them, but to different extents and different types of experiences.  Dysfunctional relationships.  Cancer.  Financial problems.  Death of a loved one.  Divorce.  Alzheimer’s.  Childhood hurts.  Depression.  Family relationships gone awry.  Illness.  Just to name a few, I am sure we share some of the same hurdles, but maybe in different ways.

Life experiences teach us what we couldn’t have learned otherwise.  We can’t help others if we haven’t endured similar issues in our own lives.  What’s that quote?  Walk a mile in my shoes?  Maybe I haven’t walked in your particular shoes, but perhaps my similar experience is enough to connect with you and to help you on this life journey.

I am grateful for all that I have endured in my lifetime.  When we can see the gratitude in the hardships, we can change how we feel about them.  We increase our faith and our love quotient.  We rise above what we could have let hold us back from living a full life.

We are all here to help each other as we connect, we bond and we share our experiences.  There’s nothing better than someone else who knows what you are going through (by similar experience) who reaches out to share the experience with you as a friend, a guiding light to help you find peace within while offering a hand to hold as you heal.

The Why Me?  was answered recently by my soul who gave the response that if I hadn’t endured these experiences, I would be unable to connect so purely with others who may be in the trenches.  Without first-hand knowledge, I would only be able to sympathize and not empathize and put myself in similar shoes.  Does that make sense to you?

What I know for sure (thanks to Oprah for the phrase) is that we are here to serve one another in this lifetime.  To share experiences, to open our hearts with compassion and love and to shine our heartlights together!

You are not alone…take my hand and let’s…

Shine On!

xo

Genius!

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Gadzooks!  Eureka!  That’s genius!

Have you ever been given advice or learned something new that was completely mind-blowing to you?  Have you ever found an invention that you thought was genius?  Have you ever realized something that you found to help you and in turn felt like shouting Woo Hoo!?!

My life opened up in sparkling rare form when I began my journey spiritually.  I realized the genius in simplicity, kindness and love.  I had always known that I thought differently than others around me.  I saw things that others missed.  I had a knowing that I couldn’t explain why or how I knew what I knew.

For example, back in the olden days before caller ID or even message machines, I often had a feeling just before the phone would ring and I would often know who it was.  My family laughed when I told them, disbelieving my gift.  So after awhile, I just stayed quiet.  I didn’t try to expand the gift of knowing.  Instead I put my intuition on a shelf and let it get dusty from non-use.

I also experienced deja vu from a young age and would recognize strangers’ faces or maybe even their souls, but not be able to place how I knew them.  This caused unrest in me when I felt darkness in them.  But how do you explain that to others without sounding crazy or fearful?

It’s just in the last few years that I have begun to re-emerge by allowing my gifts to blossom again.  Feeling safe to do so has done wonders for the expansion of my spiritual toolbox.  Finding like-minded people has helped too.  I am pretty much an open book when given the opportunity to shine so I have begun to show myself a bit more slowly.

Empathy comes easily to me, probably I have too much empathy if the truth be known, by giving more than the chances needed to others who may not have deserved them.  Seeing how they felt when duality was evident has caused me much pain.  I have always wanted to see the good, the essence of good in people.  Forgiveness for myself and others has been healing to me.  I am not a perfect being though.  In a few situations, I’m still rough around the edges on certain points at this juncture in my life.  But, time is healing my wounded soul.

I enjoy bonding with others who are courageous enough to be vulnerable and to allow their heartlight to shine.  Closed-minded people who hold superficiality above all do not interest me.  It is with love and light that I surround myself now.

And that to me, is genius!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

Daily Post ~ Moved to Tears

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My younger son (not pictured above) went through a stage where he cried ~ a lot!  Things just got to his little heart and he just broke down in tears.  I remember when this stage happened because it felt like he cried daily (which he probably did) and everyone in our family was getting aggravated with him, including me.  But then one day I asked him why he cried so much and he simply said, “It feels good,” and I immediately understood.  Sometimes for me, it just feels good to have a good ol’ cry.  Not a cry of personal pain, just a good cry to clean out the tear ducts.

Have you ever just cried?

I love to watch all types of movies, but some of my favs are the ones which make me cry no matter how many times I watch them.  I thought I’d list them but I can’t think of any except Steel Magnolias which is one that I first saw in the movie theater with my Mom.  I laughed, I cried and I loved along with all of the characters.  Titanic is also a good tearduct cleaner as is Gone With the Wind for me.  All of which I’ve seen numerous times.  Schindler’s List is another which brings out the tissues.

My husband just doesn’t understand why I would watch and rewatch these movies when they come on HBO.  Why would I endure the sadness when I adore being happy?

Why you ask?  Well, sometimes it just feels good to get out of my skin and into the mind of another ~ understand and empathize with their issues ~ connect, cry and then return to my own life.  Refreshed as it were ~ ready to meet my next challenge.

When was the last time you were moved to tears?  You know that I just cried the other day when I had the MRI/MRA tests because I wrote about it here! which by the way, came back as normal as they can so that’s good news.  Yup, I cried when they came back normal too!  Guess the tearducts needed a really good wash out!

Shine On!

xo

Daily Prompt: Moved to Tears

Describe the last time you were moved to tears by something beautiful.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/daily-prompt-beauty/

Hugs for you!

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Hugs are quite useful.

They provide stretching exercise to short people & bending exercise to tall people.

My blogging buddy Ray posted this morning  here  and as always, he inspired me.  I have tried repeatedly to imbed the video which Ray posted, but to no avail.  Please, if you have a moment, click on Ray’s link above, say hello to an amazing fellow and watch the video.  You’ll find it when you click on  Can You Imagine? on his blog post.

We are all here in this journey called life ~ we make connections with others through empathy and sympathy.  We can connect through our words, our actions, our inactions ~ even a simple meeting of the eyes can speak volumes.

We all have difficulties in our lives, some of us have hidden scars and some of our scars are outwardly displayed.  There are few who are unaffected by trials and tribulations in life.  It’s what we do with our experiences, how we reach out to help each other by connecting, that we make the life experience more fulfilling ~ deeper, richer and more meaningful.

So day as you go out about your day, perhaps you can take a step out of your comfort zone to simply smile at a stranger, to hold the door for someone, to thank someone who does it for you.  Many times we are too busy in our heads to really see those around us.  By reaching out to help, we help ourselves as well.

Please watch the video and let me know what you think…it’s quick, but powerful!

Big hugs to all of you from me!

Shine On!

xo

Pink Post ~ Aloha

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Aloha means, “To consciously manifest life joyously in the present.”

I looked up the meaning of Aloha today and it was here  that I found the above meaning.  The meaning suits and is a lovely way to start every morning.  Simply speaking the word “Aloha” seems to roll off the tongue with a special sparkle, don’t you think?  Perhaps it’s because it conjures up thoughts of Hawaii to me even though I’ve not yet been there (but it’s on my bucket list!).   Have you been there yet yourself?  Is it as beautiful as I imagine?  It’s a dream of mine to go ~ one always must have a dream!

I’ve added the Pink Post title as well today, but truthfully I try to write so anyone can relate ~ anyone who has had difficulties in life.  I am a bit scattered this morning, so please forgive me if my musings aren’t organized too well.

I’ve met 2 women recently who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer and it reminds me of my past.  As each wrestles with the turmoil of uncertainty. fear and the unknown, I feel such empathy for I remember all too well those feelings, those sleepless nights when my mind continued to whirl with the unrest of what if’s and the complete and utter sadness I felt all the way to my soul.

I remember reaching out and being connected to a woman named Nancy who had been diagnosed a year before me.  Occasionally I would call her (there wasn’t texting back in 2002) and with her 6th sense, she would call me sometimes as well ~ always with the most perfect timing.  We didn’t meet for months, but talked on the phone for hours.  She understood what I was enduring and I felt a peace with her as she connected with me, soul to soul, having endured all that I was going through at that time.  She didn’t frighten away when I told her how I felt.  She didn’t shatter when I spoke of my night-time fears and thoughts.  I didn’t sugarcoat how heart-wrenching it felt to be so bereft of my hair, my breasts and what I believed was my femininity.  I didn’t mince my words when I was angry at the cancer which stole so much from me.  I didn’t hold back the tears which many times flowed during the outpouring of emotions.  In turn, Nancy connected with me, empathized, held me spiritually and stayed the touchstone of healing in my life.  She was and still is a blessing in my life.

When I asked how I could ever repay such kindness, she simply asked me to pay it forward.  So with every person I’ve spoken, I remember the priceless feeling of acceptance that Nancy gave me, that feeling of being loved and understood, that knowledge that I didn’t have to comfort her when I needed comforting.  I could take the comfort when needed and when I was strong enough, I could give it as well ~ and that’s been our story for 11 years.  True friendship ~ give and take when needed ~ pure love and understanding.

Do you have a friend like this?  Are you a friend like this?  I am blessed to have many friends whom I can count on and they can count on me.  I have enjoyed the heartfelt connections I’ve made though my blog as well.  Thanks for reading and for being you! ♥

I wish you

ALOHA.

Today and Everyday.

Shine On!

xo