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Empathy and Caring

front door opening on an evening stormChallenges are a part of life, and being there for each other through the rough times is so important. Have you ever heard the expression “fair-weather friend”? Unfortunately, throughout the years I’ve encountered folks who meet that definition, but I’ve learned from the associations. When all was going smoothly and little was asked, they seemed to be smiling and supportive — but when clouds began to form, they wouldn’t share their umbrellas and made a hasty retreat to shelter from the storm. This is not the person I seek when embarking on a significant endeavor that promises to be difficult but wonderfully life-changing. I love Dionne Warwick’s song “That’s What Friends Are For,” because it defines the qualities I seek when “The Thunder Rolls,” as Garth Brooks would say.

Let’s focus on building a powerful circle of support that we can go to when the going gets tough. That circle is often critical in helping find the best path to deal with an obstacle. Building such an amazing circle must be done through time and tested through circumstances.

Search for those who display personal insight, self-discipline and unconditional positive regard for their teammates. The empathy and caring they have to give make a huge difference. Their actions will teach how to give those same gifts when called upon by others. For such a circle to function well, we must always remember that support is a two-way street.

My circle of support stands ready at any time to give me four priceless gifts.

  • They give me empathy. They truly work at going that proverbial “mile in my moccasins” in order to understand what’s going on with me.
  • They are non-judgmental and accept that the choices I make may be different from what they might do in the same circumstances.
  • They actually listen. I know my thoughts will be heard and kept confidential.
  • They are there for me, cheering and helping me along as I succeed, as well as when I’m struggling and wanting to quit. They aren’t jealous of my success nor do they take any pleasure from my failures. They don’t enable my excuses or counterproductive choices. They help me be the very best “ME” I can be.

I’m so grateful to have them traveling along beside me in this life journey and find comfort in the knowledge that they have my back as I have theirs.

I Care, Barb

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