Empathy

“Me, too…”

A funny thing happens the moment the font pixels hit the blog page. I want to give thoughts, emotions, and my story wings. I send the words out and, if I’m honest, hope they land on someone’s screen, comfortably settling in to evoke something in their world. Just me? I doubt it.

This blog never had pretentious goals. If you’ve read my About Fragrant Grace page, you know it’s not about me “performing” for anyone.

Then something unexpected happens.

I share something. It might be funny, flowery, or really raw—

Someone whispers a barely audible, “Me, too…”

Want to see a fairly emotionally reserved woman begin to soften? Want to see her puddle? Tell her she’s not alone. Tell her she has company in the pit. Or on the summit. It won’t matter if it’s the valley low or the mountain high, probably. In that instant there is connection in the emotionally-charged experience. Isn’t that what we crave? I lean intellectual pretty often. I love to “know stuff.”  But, there is nothing more precious than being “known” in a deep, connected way.

There’s something in empathy:

em·pa·thy

n.   1. the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. *

There’s something different in sympathy:

sym·pa·thy

n.  1. harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another. 2. the harmony of feeling naturally existing between persons of like tastes or opinion or of congenial dispositions. 3. the fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, especially in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration. *

I always appreciate the empathetic response. I do! But, I hold a special place in my heart for the quiet, maybe shaky, sympathetic “Me, too.” Do you?

To those who extend precious empathy, thank you. To the few, the brave, the “Me, toos” in my world—you are brave, and I appreciate you more than you know. Keep whispering—quietly, if you have to—but keep doing it. Build stunningly beautiful connection with glistening diamond emotional bridges between you and others.

We can all be brave together.

~Jennifer

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*Definitions from http://www.dictionary.com.

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