Small thoughts on empathy

Life is precious and wonderful and fleeting.

And when there is terror happening across the world in waves I’ve never known before it illuminates just how fragile it truly is. How it can be so easily disregarded by some who have chosen to abandon it’s value.

I’ve spoken before about how becoming a mother had made me so much more anxious and vulnerable. And it has. I’m going to admit something so embarrassing right now. But maybe I share this with others. When bad things happen, when there are high profile terrorist attacks or shootings–I google the victims. I Facebook them and hold on dear to them as a constant reminder that WE are ONE. The only thing that separates me from them is time and place. That’s the only thing that separates any of us. And that thought is an utter brick in my chest, but also, it’s a blessing.

I want to have that empathy. I want to have the realization that I am not invincible. There is no “that couldn’t be me” about it. Because it gives me hope that others are thinking that same way, shrouding themselves in the kind of empathy that is born of fear and uncertainty. Hoping that the culmination of all of our prayers for peace and for others somehow lift us into a better, safer place-as a planet.

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I don’t like the way it makes me feel…doing that. I feel nervous to leave my house, anxious and edgy. And so much sadness. But beneath that, I feel so intrinsically grateful for every night I get to go to sleep with my family and every morning I wake up to them-days that I can fill with purpose. That gratitude is really what keeps me moving forward some days–getting out of bed despite taking the weight of the world on my shoulders. My husband sometimes has to remind me not to do that. Watch certain things, read certain things–because they become a part of my personality and I can’t shake them off very easily. This dichotomy of grief and gratitude is where I’ve found my drive. My momentum to do…anything and everything I can. NOW.

I let go of faith in a religious way, a long time ago.

I DO believe in higher power, in vibrations, in this mysterious universe with all of it’s unanswered questions. But I REALLY believe in people. I believe in communication, in helping others and truly, in empathy. Even when I have been the MOST PISSED EVER, I was still considering the other persons perspective. And if there is some kind of faith I can build from THAT and gratitude and connection, that would be the one for me.

When I connect with someone that was lost in a tragic way-I feel as though I take a small part of them with me. I want to live MY dreams, because they lost theirs. I want to hug my child tighter, where they can no longer hug theirs. I want to honor their lives by LIVING and never forgetting that WE are ONE. And always, always remembering that they matter.

-Beaufield

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