The Spider

I found myself protecting a spider in the shower tonight. I got in. There it (he/she) was. It had been a long day of managing thoughts, organizing finances, and navigating support all around ‘the virus’. And my shower is not so big – not quite big enough for all this residual emotion. Imagine the old phone booths with the accordion door. Yeah, that’s my shower. So I did my best. I kept the water spray between me and the spider. I tried using my foot as a dam. I did everything in my power to cause this spider the least harm, short of removing and freeing him altogether. Give me grace, it was one of those nights… I had not much left to give. I could sense his feelings of shock, unknown, and what-the-heck is happening?! Minding his own business and Bam!, there it is…. water coming at him from all directions, not many options of escape to safety but to just to accept the moment that was arising. I felt empathy… the true essence of empathy.

Empathy is often overlooked, felt but not always expressed.

Em·pa·thy; the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

We’re often quick to complain rather than pause and inquire.

You know when you feel like someone (your boss, beloved, kid, etc) is breathing down your back – riding your a&$, micromanaging you – and you get irritated and start complaining about ‘what they are doing TO YOU.’? What if we stopped for a second to ponder ‘why’?. What if they are stressed, under some type of pressure in their own life. Empathy could be the beautiful answer. “Hey, boss/beloved, are you ok? Is everything alright with you?” It’s always really easy to make situations about ourselves as opposed to taking pause (a breath) to consider what could potentially be bringing such emotions up in the other. We could all use a little empathy. It is the little things in life that fill our souls. The words that ring ‘I Care’.

I cared. I cared about this spider… I paused… did what I could to understand his predicament. I felt empathy.

Sometimes it is out of our control or energy level to change a circumstance, event, or another’s feelings. But… we can sit in it with them. We can offer words of care. Have you ever felt tongue-tied or just unable to express care or concern… like a rock was lodged in your throat? I have. It’s been years of practice to understand and unwind this. According to a number of relationship experts, if you’re having a really hard time letting someone you know where you are emotionally, you are most likely holding onto old stuff from your past. This could mean past relationships, or even as far back as childhood wounds, but regardless of the case, it’s not usually about the other person that’s keeping you from speaking up and expressing empathy.

Dive into this a bit. It’s true. ~It’s hard to give that which you never received~ But it can be developed. Did you receive empathy in your relationships?… your childhood? The more we dive into the spaces within us the more we can enrich them. It’s hard to fill someone’s glass of water when there is no water in our own pitcher. Gotta love the analogies! 😉 I just hope this helps you understand what I am getting at. And remember… you just like me, me just like you… I am forever diving into my depths. Empathy may be easy for you, maybe not, however we all have improvements to make within. The more we heal these wounded, abandoned spaces, the more we have to offer those we love and care about. Yes! It takes courage.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” ~ Brene Brown

I only hope I always have enough courage to show up and let you see me…. Some days it sucks! Will you show me empathy? I will not give up.

At the end of my shower I realized, even with my heartfelt effort to protect this harmless spider, and all the empathy I could muster, it didn’t make it. I realized that although I strive to do my best to cause the least harm, I will not always succeed.

I accepted the moment.

I cried.

Tomorrow is a new day…

Big love. ♥

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