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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Radical Empathy

What do you do when you don't know what to do? When someone you know is hurting and you're not sure how to help. When you feel overwhelmed and can't seem to uncover why. When society seems to be going to shit and no one has any answers...

I started reading a book that has come highly recommended by one of my soul sisters (thanks, Liv). It's called Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed. I have not had the opportunity to dive in deep yet, but within the first 50 pages I've found a quote that seems to resonate here:

"It's what most of us have to give a few times over the course of our lives: to love with a mindfully clear sense of purpose, even when it feels outrageous to do so."

I'm not sure what to do to help the best friend who is hurting, or the child who has experienced a trauma, or to help bring peace to communities who are being destroyed by race and judgment and bigotry.

So I'll love, and I'll love purposefully.

Reaching out to loved ones in need can be hard sometimes. Holding space for healing hearts can be exhausting, but we do it... because we love them. Our friends and families appreciate this of us, knowing we are there. They may not always reach out, but the peace of mind that a person can and will show up for you is a remarkable thing. But what about those who we may not agree with??

What about the bigot who lives on the corner, or the online bully who is brave behind a screen and a coward in person? What about those people who cause our loved ones pain? Is it possible to show up for people we dislike in the same way?

I think if every person decided to love purposefully on someone who may need it most, someone who seems impossible to show compassion to, someone they can not see eye to eye with... we could change the world. At I AM THAT GIRL, we have a saying "hurt people hurt people," and I honestly believe in the truth of that statement. It takes someone who is in pain to cause pain to another human being. Think about it... truly happy people don't treat people poorly, they lift them up.

So find that jackass, or that person in pain... seek them out, find them. They need you more than you know. Show them love and understanding. Ignite radical empathy and start a chain reaction. They probably don't deserve your love. Give it to them anyway. Actively practice loving with purpose... if it doesn't change their life, let it change yours.

Wishing you growth, gratitude and grace~
Allison

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