How many times have I decided I knew what someone was feeling based on how I imagined the feeling or event? I’d pat myself on the back and feel I was being so caring. How many times have I been on the receiving end of someone else imagining they understood what I was feeling, and yet they were way off base. I felt discounted and misunderstood, or like my feeling was wrong, though I knew they had good intentions.
Note to self. I do someone a disservice when I do not believe what they are telling me, and see it as their reality, neither right nor wrong. Though I may have a similar experience in my life to connect with them on, it is only my experience, and not necessarily what that person must be feeling. Empathy is what most of us would like to offer, as we are caring people who want to express God’s love in our world. It just helps us to refresh in our hearts what empathy truly entails.
Jesus, thank you for the gift of empathy.
May your Holy Spirit guide me
to go the extra mile,
to stop and consider
how best to be empathetic
towards those around me.
Help me to let go of my imagined truth
to believe what is really being described -
what someone is feeling and experiencing.
May your love shine through me. Amen.