Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Empathy Comes From Experience

There is a saying that says, “Hurt people, hurt people.” It is very true. But I also believe that ignorant people hurt people.

Not everyone has gone through tough things in life. Some people have had a fairly easy go of it. That’s not to say they haven’t had trials and challenges. But some of those trials and challenges just haven’t been…….deep.

It’s hard to offer grace and mercy to someone when you haven’t had to experience that for yourself. You can tend to think that people need to “shape up”, “get it together”, or “buck up”.  For we don’t understand. We don’t FEEL. And why would we? We haven’t experienced.

Experience in heartache, pain, hurt, grief, loss, desperation, frustration, betrayal, anger, abuse, and depression – those things are not forgotten. They are not lost on us. When we understand, it is then that we can really feel and embrace what someone else may be going through.

Empathy for someone else comes from experience.  It comes from a place that has seen, felt, heard, and understood the hard places in life. The places that we all would love to avoid.

Compassion cannot be bought. It can be learned but it can also be grown. Grown from the lessons that only life’s challenges and trials teach us. Either way you receive the gift of compassion is okay. For others will need us. They will need our strength, love, support, and understanding when they have to cross the waters that we’ve already swum through. They will need to know they will make it and that they won’t drown.

Everyone needs someone. Someone with empathy. Someone with experience. Be that someone – for someone else.

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