I shared in The Most Liberating Verse of My Year and It Could Be Your’s Too how the verse “if possible, as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all”(Romans 12:8) became a liberating Bible verse releasing the chains of bad relationships. I shared how bad relationships will never achieve the peace you may desire yet peace ultimately can be achieved even if the other party will not respond in kind.
Placing on the eyes of empathy is the an important tool towards healing. It is the first part of your part. It is the step every one of us can take.
Empathy is not sympathy. Sympathy is acknowledging what the other person feels. Empathy is feeling what the other person feels. Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes. Continuing to see it from your side won’t help either.
Exploring empathy regarding the relationship or broken relationship leads to great peace. Empathy is feeling what the other person feels. It is walking around to the other side. Epathy is what we all can do. It is the first aid for a bad relationship and opens a dialogue which leads to a healthy relationship.
Dr. Brene Brown, an American scholar, author, and public speaker, shares her steps towards empathy. The first step is to take on the other person’s perspective. You do that by placing their eyes and their reactive emotions and place them on yourself as if you were them.
The second step is to suspend judgement. Jumping to prove our self right is a normal reaction. Suspend judgement until we gain insight from their perspective.
The third step is recognize the other person’s emotion. This is where self-righteousness fades aways and doing the right thing begins to enter the heart. Gaining insight to the other person’s emotion opens the window to their soul.
Last, communicate that emotion. If at all possible, get to a place where judgements are suspended and allow listening to begin. Hear the other person’s heart. You have already seen and felt what they went through. Hear their heart – not defend your actions. This is the most powerful step of reconciliation. Allow yourself to be an agent of grace and let grace rule and reign in the relationship.
Ashley Montagu, a British-American anthropologist who popularized the study of topics such as race and gender and their relation to politics and development, said human beings are the only creatures who are able to behave irrationally in the name of reason. In the times we live, we are encouraged to be right though at times we are wrong. We stake our flags on thoughts and reason and become immovable.
Empathy allows us to be movable. It gives us back our heart, our emotions, and our reasoning. It moves us to compassion to see the other’s person side and be graceful at the same time.
Relationships are tough. Bad relationships are tougher. Let’s Connect. I would enjoy praying with you today.