When you are a Big Heart Walking Around, sometimes you feel like an antenna for the emotions and experiences of those around you.
I think that is one of the sweetest, yet hardest part of being a big heart... is the empathy you feel for others...
Etymology: Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empathēs emotional, from em- + pathos feelings, emotion — more at pathos
1 : the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
Patti Digh has posted some wonderful videos on her blog today with lessons that we can all use and remember. The first one I watched was about offering our neighbors empathy and how valuable it is for our own hearts as well.
I am going to love on my neighbor today, quite literally.
On September 9th, it will be one year since my beautiful neighbor, Katherine, died.
I feel the need to let her husband, Stephen, know how much I am thinking about him and how I am sharing his pain. We haven't talked much in the last few months, just waves across the fence again. But I can't seem to let this anniversary pass without acknowledging it. So I am writing him a note to let him know I am thinking of him and sending prayers his way.
I also want to let him know about the beautiful hydrangea that David and I planted in our backyard this spring in Katherine's honor. It bloomed beautifully this summer in spite of the horrible June and July we had. I like to think Katherine had something to do with that. I like to think that Stephen will feel the same...
This day could go by without me taking action to show my empathy. I could just do what I do most every day and keep my thoughts of sadness and compassion for my neighbor to myself. I could let fear prevent me from offering up some extra loving to someone I am positive needs it.
But you know what ?
Life is too short to worry about feeling awkward. Loving makes the heart feel whole.
Life is too precious to not connect however we can with those around us. We are all in it together after all.
So this Big Heart is off to do some walking this morning...right next door...