It’s something that happens quite frequently to her, or so it seems. One moment she is calm, happy, minding her own business. Then the next, she’s confronted with conflict or something that doesn’t sit right with her. The high pitch of wails are heard and the emotions fall from her eyes.
It happens so frequently that while on the phone, my close friends are courteous and talk a tad louder so that I can hear them. They know the drill.
Sometimes I laugh at her. Other times I take pictures of her funny scrunchy face. Times when brokenness of her spirit is on her face, I race to her and scoop her into my arms and draw her as close to my chest as I can. With deep breaths taking in the scent of her.
I struggle with empathy. It’s something I’ve prayed about quite often because it really is bad. I want to feel the hurts and aches of people I love, but I usually don’t. Instead I tend to distance myself. Aches, pains, problems of this world aren’t pretty. The mess isn’t easy to deal with so I avoid the dirty.
We are a broken people. We all have issues. I want to be the woman that draws her friends in to her chest and prays over them as if the brokenness were my own. And to go even further, mentor those coming up behind me. I want to guide and direct them to places of strength in that brokenness. Know that it doesn’t claim their identity.
I was scared to have a daughter. I knew she would take me to a place of vulnerability. A place where I’d have to be a role model. An emotional and spiritual leadership position in order to teach her how to be strong, know that it’s okay to admit she’s not, and know without a doubt she’s unconditionally loved.
The person my daughter is teaching me to be is one full of compassion and (gasp) empathy. It’s not easy. In fact it is definitely not the easy route. But because of the work God began in be when she was conceived, more often that not you’ll find me seeking out others, building community, building other ladies (or a select few gents) up whether it be over lunch, breakfast, text, social media… I’m there.
In the messy.
Consuming my time.
Why? Because it’s not about me.
And it’s happening again. It will probably happen another fifteen times today. The crying. The broken heart. The sad feelings. It’s my job, our job, to help our daughters (and friends and family) navigate those broken hurt feelings and encourage them through the mess. Are you up to it?