I have found myself experiencing a lot of empathy lately.
I keep finding myself in a place where I am feeling certain things and then I think of someone in my life who I think deals with this same thing and I get perspective on that person. It's happening so frequently actually that I know I am being taught some important lessons.
One example is that I have been trying to lose 10 pounds since January. I got down 3.4 lbs in March and now find myself right back up. I was so disheartened and frustrated that I thought, "Oh I should just give up. It took me 2 whole months to lose a lousy 3.4 lbs and I'm right back up where I was, all that effort was for nothing. I should just eat whatever I want and forget about it."
And then it hit me like a smack in the face.
This is how he feels.
After he stumbles.
The hopelessness. The disappointment. The yearning for a desired outcome that seems within reach and then vanishes suddenly. Back to the starting point. I'll never make it. All my efforts never amount to anything. I'm right back where I started...
I told him about my experience and he looked at me with fragile eyes and said, "that's exactly how it feels..."
This week I also read a blog by a friend who is the mother of an autistic boy. Her post also hit me hard. Her son experiences outbursts that seem beyond his control. They are followed by genuine remorse and even confusion about why he makes that choice. He knows that it hurts people, especially his Mom, whom he loves most in the whole world. It made me think of my husband, of all of our husbands, and their inability to control themselves at times followed by genuine remorse and self-loathing.
Please read her post here.
I need to cling to and treasure these moments of clarity. These are the moments that create Christ-like love and produce a natural inclination for forgiveness and mercy. They remove pain and judgment and bring me peace and understanding. A little bit at a time...