Motivation with Empathy

Empathy

Over the last three or four days, I have found myself talking about the topic of ‘motivation with empathy’ with at least four or five different people, and so I thought that I may as well make a post out of it!

Everyone faces hardships and struggles in their life to some degree or another, and the pains we hear of most often are the ones that concern matters of the heart as these effect us not only physically, but also mentally and psychologically too.

We’ve all been there; down in the dumps, feeling the blues, trying to pick ourselves up after a painful patch in our lives. No matter how positive and optimistic one may be, we all do need time to allow those sore moments to become smudges in our pasts.

Give it time.

Depending on the extent of the pain, the length of healing time can, of course, vary.

“Just let go and move on. You deserve better”
“Just hang in there, it’ll all be fine”
“You’ll be ok, just try to stay positive”

It is so very sweet to receive these encouraging and motivating words from those around us, and I’m sure their efforts are much appreciated. However, when an emotionally down-trodden person hears these words without an attempt at understanding or any signs of empathy, it could come across to some as “just get over it, for goodness sake!”

We are like bottles; filled to the rim with stirring emotions that eventually need to be released in order to keep that bottle standing. Allow them to empty it, allow them to cry, before we decide to put an unintentional motivational stopper on that bottle.
It may not be our intention, but it could come across to them as this.

All my life, I have been known to my friends as the ‘foolish optimist’ or ‘optimistic fool’ (as mentioned several times throughout my blog – my apologies!) as I truly do try to always look on the bright side.
My faith allows me to see the blessings in even the smallest places, which is in itself a blessing, but a few times in my life I too have felt the wish for ‘empathy’ as opposed to just motivational words alone.

We truly do appreciate the thoughts as we understand that they just wanted the best for us; however, there are some cases that, when a person is left affected for long enough and deep enough by, you really do require ‘healing time’ and emotional release.
Those positive reminders really are crucial, but so is the understanding behind the tears.

That healing times allows us to become more contemplative, and through that time of contemplation we find ourselves becoming stronger as human beings; we begin to grow once more.

It shouldn’t be rushed or hushed.

Regardless of the level of pain, I would never wish for any of the tough times to disappear, as the best blessing in them for me was that they brought me closer to God.

It is never as easy as ‘let go’ for those deep and long standing situations, but in time – time which is one of the best healers – things do become distant memories. We learn from them, we change as people from our experiences with them, and eventually we move along.

Of course, ‘let go and move along’ is basically a summarized version of all of that; however, for those that are going through those pains in the present, rather than hearing “let go and move on”, what many of them truly may need is someone to sit and listen to their story, allow them a chance to empty their hearts out, pat them on the back as say
“You are strong. You are powerful. What happened might change you as a person now, but all we can do is keep going as time waits for no one. It may hurt now, it may hurt tomorrow, but eventually you WILL be ok.”

It’s ok to cry. You’ve been strong for so very long, it’s ok. Let it out and don’t hold back. Each tear will be a small release, so let it out. You have no need to justify your tears.
You’ll feel a little better once you’re done.

Speaking with someone who may have been through a similar experience can yield a deeper understanding, and yet, even those who have not can show just as much compassion in their own ways.

Recently, a very good friend has unfortunately passed through an extremely painful time – a situation which I can relate to because of my own recent experiences, and the depth of the conversation, understanding and motivation we received from one another was beyond what I can describe.
I don’t often find myself turning to others for support, as I prefer to only supply it, but this was truly a blessing from God that I could not be thankful enough for.
(If you are reading this, thank you, my friend. Thank you for holding my hand during this difficult time, and thank you for allowing me to hold yours. You are a true blessing from above!
As you described it, we really do mirror one another’s thoughts and feelings.)

I am thankful to each and every person who has shown support, and always pray for their happiness. Every “it’ll be ok”, each “let go and move on”, and every “just hang in there” has truly and deeply been appreciated.
Thank you to all of those wonderful people with whom I have been discussing this topic, too! You’re all wonderful!

For those passing through a difficult time, I do of course say “hang in there, be strong, remember the blessings, appreciate the blessings and don’t dwell over the losses”; however, I also say

It’s ok to cry, it will not make you any weaker – if anything – you’ll be left feeling stronger by the end of it.

It’s ok… let it out.

(Image taken from businessoverbroadway.com)

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