empathy

Building Empathy during Tough Times

IMGP6243 - Version 2As we deal with Martha’s impending death and the grief of her family and close friends, perhaps we can use this time to address how best to empathize with one another during hard periods in our lives. I know that SO very many of you care about her family and close friends, and you might not know what to say or do. There are some ways of showing your care that are easier for most people to receive. Let’s use this devastating event of the death of Martha to learn some tools that will likely serve you the rest of your life.

I’d like to start by recommending one of my favorite new books about offering empathy, There is No Good Card for This: What to Say and Do when Life is Scary, Awful and Unfair to People You Love, by Kelsey Crowe, PhD and Emily McDowell. It includes many great suggestions on what to say or not say, what to do or not do, illustrated with amusing picture and lots of painful and inspiring stories.

Here are two examples from the book of good ways of dealing with loss:

Instead of saying, “I can’t believe this happened,” you could say, “I’m sorry you are going through this.”

Instead of saying, “I lost my wife and I was devastated,” you could say, “This must be so hard,” or “I can’t imagine how you are doing.”

Read More…

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Pride in a Difficult Time

shutterstock_426023218by Daniel Sernicola

As the Arch City prepares for its 35th Annual Pride, bulbs in a hue of rainbow colors shine brightly from the arches on High Street and rainbow flags flutter in the wind. June is a month when we celebrate inclusiveness, love, and LGBTA+ pride. However, many of us are feeling spiritually wounded. The events in Orlando leave us with feelings of anger, hurt, and confusion. How could this happen? Why did it happen? How can we have pride when faced with such tragedy?
As a LGBTA+ community, we’ve spent most of our lives living in fear and aware that we are at risk. The Orlando shootings demonstrate that this fear is valid and very real. Many of us are reminded that the shooting could have taken place at any gathering or event. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been out or how far down the road of self-acceptance and love we’ve traveled, we are always aware of the fear within. Read More…

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