The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
I will never forget the first time I was introduced to the word Empathy and its meaning. I was sitting in my High School English class, freshman year, and my teacher handed us a sheet of paper with this definition on it:
Empathy (em-pa-thy); noun : the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
In other words, Empathy is when you understand and share in another person's experiences and emotions. My teacher informed us that empathy is different from sympathy in that sympathy is the feeling that you care about and are sorry about someone else's trouble, grief, or misfortune, and empathy is when you relate to and experience the feelings of another within yourself, as if you are experiencing the same joy and/or pain that they are.
I had never heard of empathy before but I knew it and understood it deep in my soul. It resonated throughout my body, and still does, in a way only profound revelations can. I finally had a word to put to all the deep understanding and shared feelings I had with others. I understood a bit more about what others called my “sensitive nature.”
I believe empathy is one of the key cornerstones to living a happy and fulfilled life, and it's something I've abandonded over the years. I used to see empathy as a burden, because why would I want to go around feeling everyone else’s pain? But I've learned that empathy also allows me to feel the abundant joy that surrounds me as well. Empathy brings us together. It’s a bonding agent that creates an environment where nobody has to feel alone. Empathy says “I see you. I hear you. I know you. You are not alone.” Who doesn’t want that? Who doesn’t want to be on the giving and receiving end of empathy? It’s one of our greatest gifts. And what's even more amazing is it's a gift we can offer ourselves. To be empathetic with one's self and not throw yourself out in the the cold dark night is the birth place for love, joy, belonging, and peace.
So today I want to share three songs that I love because of their deep empathetic message. I love love love these songs and I become teary every time I hear them on the radio. I hope you have people in your life who love you and see you for who you truly are; and most importantly, I hope you see yourself and love yourself for who you truly are. You are loved. You are not alone. xo
Hero by Family of the Year
Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.
Carry On by Fun
It's Valentines week so I thought I'd kick things off with my three favorite "love songs" of the moment. Wishing everyone a very Happy Monday and a week full of love, hugs, and kisses! xo
Love Love Love by Of Monsters and Men
Stubborn Love by The Lumineers
Lover of the Light by Mumford & Sons
This says it all...
A Pep Talk from Kid President by Soulpancake
Substitute Teacher by Key & Peele
A Bad Lip Reading of the NFL
Dance Like Nobody's Watching via Hello Giggles
I've spent a lot of time these past several years working out many things in my life, both internally and externally; and I am glad for all the changes and growth that's occured during that time, but I feel like maybe I've been waiting for something. Waiting to live my life perhaps? Or maybe waiting to get all my ducks in a row before I can start really living my life? I don't know, but I do know it doesn't feel good. And it turns out there's nothing to wait for. Life is here. It's happening. I can either let it wash over me and go peacefully, or I can continue to wait for...for...nothing. It's time to let life sweep me away. It's time to be at peace.
“You were born a child of light’s wonderful secret— you return to the beauty you have always been.”
― Aberjhani, Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black
“Peace is not a result inside us from everything around us. Peace is not
submissive nor passive. On the contrary, peace is an overwhelming force
which comes from within us, disrespectful of everything around us, a
firm coalition of spirit and soul standing against all the unrest that
― C. JoyBell C.
*The images I used are some of my favorites from 2012. Each one depicts a moment where I felt comepletley present and at peace.