The Gift of Empathy-Begins with You

Empathy Opens the Heart and Mind to Learning while Frustration and Anger Builds a Wall of Defence. Love and LogicTM

Self-empathy is the act of giving yourself empathy, listening to your own feelings and unmet needs with compassion and understanding, in order to embrace peace, new strength and wisdom for true connection with yourself and others.

During the school holidays I had another  first hand experience of the ambivalence-  the tension and the gift, of Self-empathy. As I came to grips with the tension and allowed the disappointment to impact me, I asked myself how can I be kind to myself, and what do I need. As women or parents, how many times do we just continue on, sweep it under the carpet or carry on, trudging our way through the disappointment, anger, frustration or hurt? At this stage how well are we prepared for our children’s failures, poor choices or mistakes? Sometimes taking 5-10 mins out can make the difference of our default position when circumstances or challenges arise .

Instead of making dinner, I choose to restore some energy levels and have some left overs for dinner with my daughter and then had a nice long bath. My husband and son who were both on holidays, came home after soccer practice to a very relaxed person who was working on a Blog. They queried what I had for dinner and was surprised that I had some leftovers and that they needed to attend to dinner themselves. After some light discussion, about the news headlines, I shared with them that I was so sorry that I didn’t cook dinner.

I disclosed that my energy levels were so drained after being out 3 consecutive days with medical appointments and the little energy I had to make dinner was zapped by seeing the items that were promised to be put way the last 3 days, still all there. I then explained to them that I would be very happy to cook dinner again, once the items were put away. The issue that drained my energy levels didn’t come between our connection, and I was able to truely connect with my family.  The following night my energy levels were restored and we all had a lovely family dinner.

Healthy connection and empathy starts with us, then it overflows onto our family.

Attending to the tension of our hearts, isn’t all that fun a lot of the time, but the gift of connecting with ourselves with kindness, compassion and understanding builds a new neurological pathway that allows us to awaken depths of authentic empathy towards ourselves and then to important others- Our family, our children.

What are your thoughts, and how do you give yourself empathy?