Tag Archives: Empathy

Healed ‘Cause It No Longer Hurts (and the New WOW)

I didn’t even know I was healed ’til that button got pushed again.

You know the button, right?  (Everyone has one.)

It’s the reminder button; the deja vu scenario that is a shadow of former pain, betrayal, abuse or loss, disappointment and regret.

It’s the memory of the place you survived and promised yourself, “Never again.”

You all know my QVC experience by now.  The big break that ended up being the first professional heartbreak of my adult life so wounded me that, though I lived practically across the street from the studio, I couldn’t drive by the campus.  For years.  And SHOP there?  Fuggetaboutit.

You’d think a year or two of that would be sufficient, but we’re talking DECADES.  To this day, I choose not to fund the place that hired me away only to drop me three months later, leaving me with a lease, a pixie haircut, and a severe crisis of confidence.

But from the experience itself?  Totally healed.  It is always the blip on my resume people want to discuss and a great source of stories to entertain others at parties.

Does time heal all wounds?

Perhaps.  If you let it.

My take on this is that if you learn a LESSON from the pain, it’s a silver lining that can help you avoid making the same mistake twice.

Fast forward to my toxic church experience (which came soon after the QVC debacle.)  You know this one, too, where my desire for purpose and to fulfill my calling in life was manipulated and abused by narcissistic “spiritual leaders.”

Well meaning people sometimes say, “How could you ever get sucked in to something like that?”  Hey, it’s not like it started OUT like the hell it ended up to be.

It puzzles me that people could be so smug to think they couldn’t possibly be lassoed in to something they later regretted…whether a business deal, a relationship, or any type of investment.

This just happened to be an investment of my very life.

The years that have unfolded AFTER have taught me so many lessons.  Primarily, that questioning is healthy; trust should be earned (not granted just because of position) and that when my gut screams, “No!” I should listen to it.

Most of the following years have been free of anything that even remotely smacks of the potential for control.  But I recently found myself in a gathering (I thought it was a professional, business networking group!) and it soon became apparent that there was a religious undercurrent that reminded me of the seductive beginnings of my long ago church life.

Instead of causing me anxiety or torment, the experience was necessary because it showed me just how healed I was.

Sometimes things come around again just so you can celebrate such a victory.  

I was fired up when I recorded this…

Going back to my church story, that good has come out of such bad brings me JOY.

And really, SO much good came out of a bad place.

Some of my dearest friends in my life were met at that toxic church.  Because THEY were real, they remain today.  People who have had an amazingly positive impact on my professional and personal life?  Yep.  Met them there.  All those scriptures that pop up just when I need them the most?  Also from that time…only now pure and not used to manipulate me or anyone else.  Which reminds me of a scripture (!):

Are you weeping right now or filled with sorrow?

Whatever has caused you pain can turn into the greatest life lesson; a tool to make you more empathetic and less judgmental.  It can give you wisdom that can save someone else from pain.  Remarkably, it can even end up being a source of joy.

‘Cause you’re not that person anymore.

May you find the joy in every little thing this week, my friends.

Love,
Brenda

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Testy Challenges on the Way to Understanding (and the New WOW)

My greatest UNDERSTANDING challenges occurred this week on the way to Philadelphia for a work trip.

Impatience produced eye rolls, heavy sighs and overall displays of irritability.

It later struck me (hindsight is 20/20) that my inability to have EMPATHY for the other guy and gal was related to just how much the world (that day) revolved around ME.

It was the tri-fecta of doom when traveling: A middle seat in the back, a crying/screaming child behind me, and a seatmate who was at the height of a horrible, coughing, sneezy cold.

Yes, I asked for a seat change.  No, there were no other available seats on the flight.  Yes, I caught the cold.

It’s easy to be understanding when nothing goes wrong, isn’t it?

Fortunately, I arrived to my sister’s haven of a home and was love-bombed, which I can always count on from her.  Then I traveled to PA for my meetings and stayed at my home away from home with my friends Renee and Steve.  Steve likes to say, “If I can choose who I can come back as in the next life, it would be one of Renee’s friends.”

True that.  I’d want a repeat.  (This is the woman who has soft music playing and fuzzy slippers waiting for me when I arrive.  She makes me protein smoothies for breakfast and sends me to bed at 8 PM if I need it.  Plus, we like the same TV shows and can watch The Voice together.)

My prayer for both households is that they do not catch the bug I may have brought with me from my Sarasota seatmate.

Even though I was starting to feel yucky, all the love I received made me a much more UNDERSTANDING and kind person on the trip back home.

Which leads to my point: If your understanding tank is running on empty, maybe you need to fill it up with some love.

Don’t feel bad about being testy.  See it as a signal that you need some self-care.  Then take care of yourself.

This commercial demonstrates this concept better than any words could:

You might just be one snack away from a more understanding day.

Parting thoughts on that here (and the new WOW!)

Yep – we’ve definitely got a progression going on here.

Be good to yourself this week – and then you’ll have something to give away.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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Simply Choosing Light (and the New WOW)

There are often simple solutions to daily conundrums.

The trick is to take action instead of allowing said conundrum to consume, overwhelm and otherwise wet blanket your joy.

Those little, trifling matters, like a wildly disorganized desk can be rectified by a good purging.

Then there are other events that stop you in your tracks.

I believe it is important to feel a thing; to be real about life and allow emotion to run its course.

However, I believe it is equally important to guard my heart from being immersed in the darkness of a thing.

I can only take so much. How about you?

The horrors of the massacre in Orlando this past week…the thought that innocent people enjoying a night out could have their dance so viciously interrupted just wrecked me.

To grieve for the lives lost and the pain caused to their loved ones is good and right.

Then I began thinking about the perpetrator…and the unknown others out there intent on spilling their hatred in unexpected places.

Like the obsessed fan who ended singer Christina Grimmie’s life.

And then, a child playing in shallow water, fatally attacked by an alligator.  Imagining the scene and how traumatized the family must be…

I can only take so much.  How about you?

Yes, it was a worst-ever week for Florida. If I meditate on it too much, it conjures up a forecast of more storm clouds and tragic thunderbolts that come out of nowhere to ensure our misery.

Not to turn off empathy or deny myself a good cry – but there comes a point where I have to take the simple solution.

My heart can’t take too much of the darkness.  I need to focus on the light.

Light in the form of good people, like the man who built 49 crosses to memorialize the lives cut down at Pulse nightclub.

And on a day like today – Father’s Day – that can often squeeze my heart with the pain of loss, I choose to think of the joy of a beautiful, smiling man who exemplified love in the ten short years I knew him.

 I can focus on what I lost…or on the joy of what I had.

It’s simple.  As the guardian of my own heart, it is what I must do to face tomorrow.

Yes, tomorrow it may rain.  But there’s also a good chance the sun will shine or a rainbow will appear.

Life is good and bad and horrible and joyful.  Yet I choose to live it because I believe in tomorrow.  And I believe that love ultimately wins.  And I’ll fight with all that is in for me fear NOT to win.

Which leads into my recap of SIMPLICITY and the unveiling of the new WOW…

Here’s my introductory thought on our new WOW, and for all of us who are going through a difficult time…let’s KEEP going.

a-contented-heart-is-a-calm-sea-in-the-midst-of-all-storms-quote-1

May our hearts find and embrace contentment this week.

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Compassion, Bathroom Trauma and the New Word of the Week

How’s THAT for a title?

A lovely series of pitfalls and roadblocks, professionally and personally, tried to hi-jack my week.  How about you?

But around every corner, I was looking for and expecting (and offering to myself) compassion, rather than the judgment that so often tries instead to win the day.

I mention this in the video, but THIS was the most “responded to” post on my Facebook page this week:

Sympathy-quotes-compasion-quotes-kindness-quotes-remember-that..

That harsh retort?  That grumpy receptionist? The driver who cut you off and provided a one finger salute?

Who knows what they are going through?

Taking a step back to entertain the possibilities in your mind opens the door to empathy and then, compassion.  

And the desire to strike back or lash out dissipates.

Which plays in nicely to the big reveal about our NEW Word of the Week…but first, a recap of COMPASSION (and in some cases, a little TOO MUCH information…):

Ahhh…so you see where I’m going?

If we seek harmony and it seems elusive, we can take a step back and remember COMPASSION.

Put yourself in their shoes.  Or give yourself a break for seemingly falling short.

Don’t judge.

Have empathy.

Extend the olive branch.

Isn’t life too short to live in disharmony?

Can you think of a time when you chose to be the bigger person, and it built a bridge leading to harmony?

There may have been a HUGE gulp first, like the teeter-tottering of a child getting ready to take a leap off of the high dive for the first time.

But you jumped.

OK, maybe violins didn’t play and perhaps you didn’t ride off into the sunset singing kum-ba-yah.

But you went to sleep knowing you TRIED.  You followed the Holy Spirit’s gentle prodding and did it.

Their response is not your responsibility.  Just be true to your best self, and let harmony fill all the inside places of discord.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. – Matthew 5:9 

According to Wikipedia (so blame them if this is inaccurate) the word peacemakers does not imply pacifism.  It does not refer to those who do not fight, but rather to  those who actively bring conflict to an end.

Wow.  I like that!

Here’s to a week of bringing conflicts to an end, both externally and internally (or at least trying) and increasing the harmony level in our lives and the lives of those we love.

xoxoxox

Brenda

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