The End of Empathy
Stephanie Wittels Wachs
3.2K282

In my experience, people step on other people’s pain even when pain is revealed in Church services— that is, when pain in question is revealed to a close knit group of people — people who supposedly believe in loving each other.

You are entitled to your own words or story, whether here on Medium or elsewhere so do not misunderstand the words I am about to say as having intent of trying to change what you choose to write on or how you go about achieving your writing objectives.

One thing I have learned though is, “in the world we live in at present, learning to deal with your pain personally such that it ceases to be pain trumps sharing it, particularly sharing with strangers.”

Personally, I do not share pain if I am not already past it, as such sharing for insights or learning points, not inroads into my pain.

A former colleague stopped by my office once and I had to let him know I was not in the mood for banal talk. He proceeded to sit down in my office to ask me what was going on in my life. I politely and courteously replied that details of my mood were of no importance, only the fact that I was in such a mood.

I wish you could have seen the look on his face. It was as if I had dropped a bombshell on him. You see, he was not interested to hear because he cared. No, he was interested only because it would feed his gossip talk in other offices.

Most people want to hear others’ pain only so they can feel better about themselves.

Look if a marriage fails like mine has, even siblings sometimes feel better about themselves because their marriages are surviving. You sense the “We sure picked better spirit or attitude.” This does not affect my relationship with my siblings because first on the face of it, it appears to be true. Their marriages are surviving, mine gone belly up. Second, such feelings are human nature — only intimate connection with Jesus I personally have found helps counter such natural feelings in man.

People, even those related to you feel better about themselves when they see nature messing with your life not theirs. Biblical Job’s wife left him when nature appeared to be messing with his life.

I do not begrudge people in such situations. I do not even get angry. It makes no difference to me whatsoever because you know what, some of the people who became Jesus’ disciples did worse before they came around to believe, and this by their own testimony. See, if the thief on the cross had responded to Jesus before he was put on that cross, he never would have been on that cross to be saved at the last minute. The multitude of the evidence represented in Jesus Christ, including evidence produced right there on that cross won the thief over at the very last minute.

How did Jesus win people over? Evidence, Character, Good Motives, Not treating them the same when they got in trouble, Staying the Good Course etc.
No pain is worth giving up on life for, not loss of spouse, loss of a loved one, or any other pain because when we allow pain win, we lose, period.
If we hold on to our pain, pain wins, we lose, period.

When people tell me they are sorry to hear I am divorced. I ask them, “What are you sorry for? I have dealt with that loss and have joy in my life. Joy that is evident in how I live daily, in my choices, in the fact that 5 years post divorce, I never once have tried to discuss anything about the marriage or her decision with my ex. I dealt with the pain. I moved on.

In wake of my divorce, I have learnt to care more about building relationships outside of couple induced relationships — am sure you know what I mean. I have had to admit there were important things I neglected while married because having a wife and children made me feel good as a provider. I came to the realization my life had revolved too much around my ex and four children — but when all of your children are less than 10 years old, you sort of assume that is what it is supposed to be. You assume society sees you and applauds because what you do as a great Dad helps make the world a better place. My point is, naturally there was pain at timing of my divorce — only someone with a bad conscience feels no pain when a 19-year romantic relationship goes down the drain.

Personally, I have learnt how to give my pain to Jesus Christ and how to allow the Spirit of Jesus Christ heal my pain. No amount of sharing of my pain ever has done for me what the Spirit of Jesus Christ has helped me achieve in relation to my pain.

Jesus has taught me how to live pain free post any pain with joy.
I did not learn in a church service, no Jesus showed me how in my personal fellowship with Him.
If Jesus really is who He says He is, we should experience Him in our daily life, not only in church services.

All the best.

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