At the heart of empathy

My biggest lesson from living out what I write

Some of the kindest words I’ve heard recently were “Go easy on yourself — this is hard.” Since giving birth to my son almost two months ago, I’ve needed that reminder again and again.

Becoming a mom has been hard for me. Beautiful, but hard. It’s given me the opportunity to live out what I’ve been writing — to be compassionate toward myself.

I realized I’m my own worst critic — comparing myself on my worst days to everyone else on their best days. I expected perfection. I was afraid of needing people and terrified of asking for help.

“We always need others, we’re just more aware of it at certain times.” — Joey Tyson

Those words hit home for me. To need others is to be human. We’re wired for connection and community. And we all need grace and compassion.

I’m learning that being kind to myself is at the heart of courageous, sustainable empathy.

“Compassion for others isn’t fully possible if we don’t also have compassion for ourselves… Because what someone in crisis really needs is not your skilled perfection, but you.” Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card For This
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