What do you see
when you look into my face
what thoughts and images flash through?
What do you feel
as you hover above
acting like a clown?
What about when you cuddle up close
What about when you pat my chin
when you want attention
when you touch my skin?
We greet each other
a good morning
a grateful sigh
each day that arrives
brings a happy thought
we still have
just that little bit more time.
And every day
you do the same thing
you look puzzled, bemused
as the alarm starts to ring
you tilt your head
snuggle up close
no words need to be said
just another few minutes
a little more time
before I have to get out of bed.
I should be used to this by now
I tell myself each day
yet still I watch and wonder
as you move… startled
as the alarm starts to play.
How do you hear that noise
how does it sound
how much I wish you could tell me
how I wish I could understand.
People say that you don’t care
how can I know your feelings are true
but to connect so deeply to another
with such total utter unconditionality
to deny that instinctive elemental love
I just don’t get
I’ve always known that time will approach
I know I’ve done everything I should
I also know that when all is said and done
My self I will still reproach.
not enough time did I give
not all my words were soft
in ignorance I wanted to stay
to keep my world’s reality at bay.
I hope and pray this didn’t add
to any suffering and pain you had
I just could not believe it true
this day could come so soon.
And sure enough
that day did come
time to leave
our physical bond undone.
Together to that very end
you knew you weren’t alone
surrounded by love
wrapped in my embrace.
my very soul
into the mystery of beyond you go.
And so we’re in our Christmas week… only a couple of days to go! Have you got all your cards written and sent, all your presents bought and wrapped up? And let’s not forget all the food that’ll be eaten as well… always a highlight… must admit it’s the one time of year I actually get time to do some baking, even if it’s only the Pavlova that gets requested for Christmas Day and my favourite oatmeal & raisin cookies (yeah I know, not expected given my chocolate consumption…)!
Christmas means many things to many people… and given the diversity of beliefs and opinions (to which we are all entitled) that may read this post, I am not going to wax lyrical about any specific one. Suffice it to say, that from my (very small) awareness and perspective, all religions and spiritual organisations appear to have the same fundamental aspects at their very core, those of:
Treating others as you wish to be treated
And we all know, in our hearts, that just because someone may not agree with us, doesn’t necessarily make them wrong, it just means they have life experiences, societal/cultural learning and awareness differences to our own. Perhaps then, the most important thing we can do for ourselves and others that will benefit us all is to open our hearts and share “Christmas” spirit, not just today when you’re reading this, nor just on Christmas Day, but try to embody and incorporate those aspects into our very being, each day of our lives.
Please have a wonderful Christmas week… and a special Christmas Day with your loved ones. Send loving energy and thoughts to those who can’t be with you, healing to those who need it… and hope for those who have none. I wish that you all have a Christmas that is filled with love, joy, laughter and hugs 🙂
Affirmation questions for this week are:
What does Christmas mean to you?
How is your Christmas spirit/energy coping?
What Christmas message can you give to others
What Christmas present can you give to yourself?
How can you keep your Christmas energy going?
And since it’s that time of year, I thought I’d share that Band Aid song, which was released way back in 1986!
Synchronicity is a wonderful thing and it always amazes me when a theme will keep repeating itself. I usually find that’s because there’s a message I need to hear. It’s not always pleasant I have to admit, I mean… who among us wants to be constantly reminded of the areas we need to work on, let alone be sent enough messages for lightbulbs to start flashing!
I’m talking here not of being empathic in a healer’s, reiki or psychic sense (where we pick up on another’s emotions and/or feelings and literally feel what they are feeling), but more like what Wikipedia has to say in its definition of empathy:
“Empathy is the capability to share and understand another’s emotion and feelings. It is often characterized as the ability to “put oneself into another’s shoes,” or in some way experience what the other person is feeling. Empathy does not necessarily imply compassion, sympathy or empathic concern because this capacity can be present in context of compassionate or cruel behavior.”
When people come to us for help and/or advice and we listen, we give them a shoulder (whether literal or not) to lean on. We do not judge them for whatever has or hasn’t happened, rather we give them time and space to vocalise their feelings and thoughts …. and hopefully this in turn will allow the person concerned to feel as if some of the weight has been lifted, that someone cares… that they matter. Always an important aspect in my opinion.
But how can we do this if we have no real experience of what they are going through? This is where I believe Wikipedia’s definition of empathy comes in. As it states, we try to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, or to at the very least look at problems as if through their eyes, their perspective – to walk alongside them as it were. We can then try to visualise how this would make us feel, what our automatic reactions would be and how we would react. Yet because we are emotionally distanced or not physically involved (albeit slightly if it’s your best friends or possibly close family) we can then offer a different and more detached perspective to the person concerned, which in turn, may then help them to not take things so personally, to not hurt, to learn to react differently… or just give them pause for thought.
As Eleanor Roosevelt states: “No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent”
I always thought I tried to empathise with people, but at one point in my life when I was faced with some difficult situations, I realised that I didn’t empathise enough! And as a result of that, when I then had discussions with some people, those conversations degenerated because both parties were operating from an emotional and self-motivated point of view. Neither were empathising with the other. As a result, I learnt when to spot the warning flags rearing up… and when that happened… to detach, take a few steps back and try to look at things from the other’s perspective… I tried to empathise 🙂 It’s amazing what that can do, how much it can help you learn about yourself, about others… and how it can change your relationships! And when these lessons started appearing for me, personally, quite a few years ago, I never realised quite how important it would be to me professionally… today it’s obviously a fundamental part of my counselling and coaching work!
So this week, I would ask:
How do you view empathy?
How do you currently empathise with others?
In which situations do you empathise the most?
In which situations do you empathise the least?
What can you do to improve your ability to empathise?