Empathy

Several years ago, I was introduced to a book called “Strengths Finder 2.0” by Brian, who I had just recently met. The basic premise of the book is that we all have different strengths that form our personalities and character. There are 35 basic strengths and we all have a combination of some of those. The book takes the reader through several questions and scenarios and then based on those answers, the reader’s top 5 strengths are revealed. I must admit that I was skeptical upon starting the process, but I forged ahead anyway (I was trying to impress Brian!). I thought I already kind of knew my “strengths” – although I really counted them as personality quirks…not necessarily positives. When my results were calculated, I must say that I was quite amazed. They really seemed to be ME. Number one on my list of strengths was EMPATHY. I think I knew this to be true…I feel such strong feelings of empathy for others. That’s just kind of who I am. I guess I was just surprised that a book could see it too. So…all of that rambling to set up this idea…Today, I’m not so much feeling that strong sense of empathy as a strength. Today it feels like my kryptonite. And I don’t think I’m anything “special” for possessing this “strength” as I think that any woman who has ever called herself a mother carries such a strong sense of empathy for her children. Today I was nearly crippled with the desire to take my daughter’s place as I saw the fear and anxiety in her eyes. I saw the pain and worry in her face and I physically felt it in my heart. Today my empathy did not feel like a strength – but rather like a huge weight on my soul. As they wheeled my baby girl down the hall to her surgery, I wanted more than anything to be able to trade her places. I wanted to take it all away from her and protect her from any pain. I’m not feeling so “strong” at the moment. My empathy super powers seem to be my enemy at this point. I hurt for her.

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One comment on “Empathy

  1. Roxann says:

    Your powerful love as a mother compares to no other kind of love, Julie! The truly amazing thing is that God actually loves our children even more than we do…..He hurts when they hurt just like you did this morning as Carty was wheeled away from your protective arms. Then He stayed beside her down the hall and into that operating room! Amazing love : )

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