Sunday, October 31, 2010

52CP44: Empathy

Good things come to those who wait - that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it! We won't even discuss needy, elderly in-laws or husbands who need assistance with a home-improvement project (my kitchen floor - perfectly willing to assist, since I NEED that room frequently, and it NEEDED a new floor). Suffice it to say that the delay will more than be compensated, in my opinion...

A recently-discovered inspirational source is I Dance I Write. The author (and dancer) is Megan, and she has graciously granted permission for me to share an entire post from her website here. She originally posted this on her website on October 21st, with the title I Am Somebody. I Am Safe:

The reason. The skinny. The WHY.

Everything we do, the good, the bad, the embarrassing, the brilliant, we do to accomplish one of two things.


Once I let this sink in, I began to have more empathy. It blossomed inside of me. Empathy for myself and for….YOU.

I return to the people, the places, that make me feel one of these two things. Safe. Important.

I go to the studio, my legal pad, my computer, because this is where I MATTER.

I attach to my family and friends for the blanket of safety they wrap me in.

Are you doing something that you think is less than stellar? (Join everyone else on the planet.) What’s at the bottom of it? Comfort. Or for the need to feel important? We all, in varying degrees, sometimes miss the mark of loving ourselves in the best way possible. I will try never to judge someone else’s choices.

I don’t think the serial do-gooder gives unselfishly because she is better than you and me. I think she is generous with her love because what she’s doing makes her FEEL IMPORTANT. She found a place, an environment, an action, that fills this need for her. It gives her the I Am Somebody feeling. (We, as a society, like her choice.)

But other choices don’t look as good. The pregnant teenager on welfare? No- She should not get pregnant. But take a moment to step into her life. Her heart. She will hold her baby and feel IMPORTANT. I can feel her yearning to matter.

Or. The man with the gun. He doesn’t feel safe. (He can’t trust anyone to keep him safe.) And his human desire, his desperation to find importance, is heartbreaking. Wrong. But I feel for him.

When you wake up, and it’s a BRAVE kind of day. Ask yourself why you do the things you do. The LESS THAN STELLAR things.

The eating of crap.

The extra drinks.

Keeping yourself SMALL.

That thing you did yesterday? The one that felt good when you did it, but now makes you feel bad? Ask yourself WHY. You need to feel SAFE and IMPORTANT. Don’t beat yourself up, but wrap yourself in something soft, and imagine a better way.

Change your life with love.

Thank you so much, Megan, for sharing your insights with us!

One of my teachers (Reiki, Rapid Eye Therapy) used to say that - when we are faced with an issue of some sort - we should ask, "How does this teach me love?" Megan turns that question both outward and inward in her post, and delineates it brilliantly. When we come from a place of love, it is difficult to be too harsh or judgmental, and we are far more likely to treat ourselves and others with kindness and empathy.

Because I like to have reminders around me of what matters and where I want to focus my life, I decided that I wanted to make something that just said "Love". I had some very small antique brass-looking frames and some sheer black ribbon and some gold embossing powder and black paper and pretty alphabet stamps, so I made this:

Looking at the picture I can see that I might want to move the bow higher so there is a bit of ribbon showing between it and the first frame, but I'm still relatively pleased with it... Here's Mr. Linky so you can share what you make this week:

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