today’s s’es

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“i just feel so sorry for her.” those words just chap my butt – they really do – and i just now figured out why: feeling sorry for or pitying somebody holds them back. “i just feel so sorry for her” = “bless her heart. she just can’t do any better.”

now bring on empathy, and we’ve got ourselves a different ball of wax. empathy is a way of saying “i feel your pain” or “i know, sugar, i’ve been right there myself.” empathy supports. empathy props somebody up till they can push themselves off the couch and get on with it. pity stops em cold and mashes them down.

okay, now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s move on to giving and receiving . . .

if you’re like me, you’d rather have a root canal without anesthesia than ask for help. but you know, i’ve been rubik-cubing this around, and i’m sensing that while helping others can sure enough be a gift, asking for and accepting help can be a sure-enough gift, too. sometimes, it seems, the gift is in the taking, in the allowing others to experience the satisfaction and all the other fringe benefits of helping someone else.

short, sweet, and sassy, succulent and succinct are my little lightbulbs – my s’es – du jour.

6 Comments

  1. Sally_G

    Your sentiments are SOOOO true! Empathy connects, understands and even heals. Pity keeps us isolated – they are 'us' and we are 'them'. “I feel so sorry for her” is similar to “thank goodness I'm not her, glad she's over there and I'm over here”.

    I'm not good at asking for help either. In spite of knowing that it balances the Yin and Yang of Giving and Receiving … I suck at it.

    We are not alone!!

  2. julie daley

    I once had a body worker tell me that sympathy comes from the 2nd chakra, while empathy comes from the 4th (heart). Try it out. YOu can feel it in your body. The heart is the empathic organ.
    As for asking for help, sometimes you even get some pretty helpful help, something you never would have dreamed up yourself. That's co-creativity. Working with the Cosmos…pretty cool stuff.
    I love your sassy self, Jeanne.

  3. olive & hope

    I love being illuminated by your light bulb – which is not so little by the way 😉 Let your light shine beautiful one. Big love to you.

  4. AlanaSheeren

    This year has been a lesson in asking for help and yep, it pretty much felt like having my wisdom teeth pulled with only local anesthesia and double yep, it's been a huge gift. Life changing.

    Keep that sassy, succulent self showing up for us please! xoxox

  5. Jan

    I agree with you. Empathy is better, especially if it is from they heart.

  6. Dian Reid

    pity is pretty condescending, isn't it? i know in all my years of crappy things happening in my life, the line: “i'm so sorry for your loss,” has always irritated the crap out of me. i know people are trying to either help or be nice. and then i end up feeling guilty for being so irritated, at least for a minute. you're so right that empathy is a worldly different ball of wax =). empathy holds compassion and pity holds condescension.

    loving your s'es du jour =)

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