Grieving with Others: Learning the Art of Empathy

This world is in a state of crisis. This morning, as I was reading the news, I couldn’t help but think that we’re consistently looking for new ways to tear ourselves apart. I was overwhelmed by the sheer terror of the things that people will do and say to one another — the immense hurt that is penetrating our world right now is weighty. The grief and pain felt by so many in recent months is palpable and makes it hard to breathe.

It can be difficult to connect with others when we’re living in such an incredibly divisive time, but it’s our privilege to try.

I can’t begin to put myself in the shoes of people who have lost loved ones or have lost everything they own. But I can choose to grieve with them. I can choose to say “I’m here with you” even though that is one of the most uncomfortable things for me to say. I can make myself available to them when they need and leave them alone when they need. I can let my love for humankind move me to action whether that means donating or volunteering or praying or encouraging.

Let’s choose to support others and, even if we haven’t experienced what they’re going through, sit with them. Be there with them in any way we can. Let’s reserve our judgements and instead offer our shoulders to cry on. Let’s choose to consider the viewpoint of another, putting ourselves in their shoes, making the bold choice to be there without fixing.

This is one of the hardest things in the world to do, but it’s also one of the best. This is part of truly connecting with others — let’s practice this fine art today!

Check out this video by Dr. Brene Brown on Empathy.

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