Empathy, forgiveness, and hope are gifts we can give all year long.
Before I started my personal development journey, I wondered what the true difference between empathy and sympathy was, not the word definition difference, but the true feeling difference. Over the past six years, I have learned to feel the difference. I have learned to feel more deeply.
By definition, empathy is “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions,” according to Webster.
Loneliness can have have a strange power over us. It tricks us into believing we are the only ones who are lonely. So we stifle the desire to share our most constant nagging fears and insecurities, while nearly every other human walking around does the same.Jennie Allen in Nothing to Prove
To walk (or sit) with someone in their pain and darkness is truly a gift you can give all year round.
In case you’re wondering on how to be more empathetic, here are a few ideas:
- Show interest – ask questions
- Acknowledge their story, pain, feelings
- Be encouraging and supportive
- Listen without trying to fix or solve the problem/pain
- Holding out on judgement
We don’t have to forget what has happened. We can choose to forgive.
Forgiveness is mandatory; reconciliation is optional.Lysa TerKeurst in Unglued
Forgiveness is a beautiful gift to give to both yourself and the other person.
2020 has been quite a year, a rollercoaster of emotions, isolating, full of anxiety, depression, simple joys and pleasures, painful conversations, and lots of opportunities. Every day, especially this year, we have a choice to be kind, to ourselves, to our families, to strangers. It has a been a struggle for all of us. Connection and community are important – now more than ever. There is hope. We can give the gift of hope through connection.
We are so often dragged along in the darkness, unable to save ourselves from our thoughts and from our shame and from our mistakes.Jennie Allen in Nothing to Prove
Do you believe in signs or messages? Whenever I hear a message or see a sign twice, I know I am meant to pay attention.
There is hope. There is another side. One foot in front of the other. Baby steps.
- Keep going and never give up – My cousin gave me that saying engraved on a necklace. It’s kept where I can see it daily to remind me.
- Keep going, you’ve got this. I have a friend who makes cards and that saying is written on them, another daily reminder of hope.
- Know My Name by Chanel Miller…”I told myself what I wished I could’ve told them: You have to stay here.”
I know how isolating this year has been and how cut off depression makes you feel. Always know you can reach out to me, anytime. You aren’t alone. You have to stay here. Keep going, never give up, you’ve got this. Together we’re stronger.
For more ideas on how to navigate the mental mess, check out Juliette’s blog.
For more tips on managing your anxiety, check out Jeanne’s blog.