I didn’t want a lot of people in my hospital room when I gave birth to my kids. When I’m sick, I want to be left alone. If I’m upset, I want to be left alone to process. If I’m going through some serious change, I want to be left alone to think and adjust. After a while I’ll come out, and I’ll maybe talk to one person about what transpired, or I’ll write about it and make art from pain and change.
I extended the same courtesy to my friends and family for a while. I left them alone when big events happened because that’s what I need. I tried to put myself in their shoes and think what I would do—what I would need—if I was in their situation.
It took me a while to understand that empathy isn’t about walking around in another person’s shoes as you, it’s walking around in another person’s shoes AS THEM.
As in, how would you react if you were in their situation, with their personality, with their life experience, etc?
I realized that my friends and family couldn’t feel my respect for their space. They felt abandoned because I was loving them in the way I feel loved, not loving them in the way they needed.
I see what’s going on in the world today and observe a lot of people running around misunderstanding each other. We misunderstand one another so much that we label, categorize and push to the side rather than truly understand and view life through another person’s eyes.
Our ethics continue to lag behind our modern society. We have a bunch of emotionally immature people running around making big decisions. They’re so “logical” they can’t see a loveless society falling apart at the seams.
We make big decisions about the future of our world and haven’t learned how to love people the way they respond to, the way that creates change.
We’ve created weapons of mass destruction, but haven’t learned how to love our enemies.
If we would put as much effort behind learning to love one another as we do our policies and various projects of progression, we would see …
Well, I don’t know what we would see because it’s never actually happened.
I can dream though. I see a world of honor and compassion, where we all learn from one another and respect one another. I see a city set upon a hill that cannot be dimmed.
I see what so many have seen before me, and yet I know my dream will probably never be fulfilled in my lifetime.
I can try though. I can make my small mark on the world.
I now love people the way they respond to. I love them not as I receive love, but as they receive love.
Because it’s often not a question of whether or not people are loved, it’s a question of whether or not they feel it.
And my friends, we have a world that hasn’t felt loved in a very long time. ❤️