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Empathy: When Your Heart Aches

Today I have nothing to say; my friend said it all for me…

“With sad news coming from home of all sorts of wildness it’s hard to think of Jamaica as the paradise that the world knows it as. Hearing of kidnappings, the sex trafficking of 13-year-old girls, or of the lucky little girl who got away from her abductor by running through my yard and screaming is just heart-wrenching. Stories like these get to me on an emotional level and for multiple reasons I have never been able to shake those feelings easily.

I believe it was the Earthquake in Haiti that brought me to a conversation with a friend as she politely said to me “I think you might be an empath”. If you are anything like me I had no idea what that really meant at first. I thought of the word “empathy” but I had never heard anybody use the term “empath” before, and then I decided to do some light research.

“Empathy is the ability to read and understand people and be in-tune with or resonate with others, voluntarily or involuntarily of one’s empath capacity. Empaths have the ability to scan another’s psyche for thoughts and feelings or for past, present, and future life occurrences. Many empaths are unaware of how this actually works, and have long accepted that they were sensitive to others.” *Wikipedia and ‘Traits of an Empath’

There I was thinking that empathy was just a regular human emotion.

This isn’t really about me though; I am probably just looking for an excuse to hide how a lot of these tragic situations really make me feel. After the crisis in Haiti during the last half of January, there was a pretty strange feeling floating around in the air. I couldn’t help but let my mind try to imagine what these people in Haiti were going through and what level of hurt family members and survivors are feeling for their lost ones. I have steadily been trying to process the devastation that is taking place over there.

Yesterday when I heard about a girl who passed by the name of Patti Ann Lothian, the heavy feeling that came over me is hard to put in words. It was the build up to the horror that is now the truth that really caught me off guard. First hearing that Patti Ann was missing, possibly kidnapped, and then receiving another message I thought was alluding to her safety now that she was no longer missing but “found”, only to realize that a car crash had taken her life. At first I was just disheartened at the fact that this was a tragedy but my feelings grew deeper as some of my friends expressed their feelings about the situation due to the fact that they either knew her or watched her grow up. It’s hard to fight the sad feeling that overcomes you at that point.

Disaster, tragedy, and devastation affect me badly because I know that most of the time the victims never had much of a choice. Naturally, no one gets up and actually chooses death but when death makes that call you have no choice but to answer. So what does that say for life? We actually have no control over being alive; it’s in the hands of some higher power. I can’t help but be reminded by all these events that if I have life, health, family, and friends then in reality I already have all the wealth that this world has to offer. Every given day needs to be another day that we are thankful for because we have been given another chance to fulfill a purpose.

Aside from just giving thanks for still having life I believe we owe something to those who have passed. We owe it to these persons to give life our best shot; we owe it to them to make the best of the rest of our days. Yes we may not know all of these people but why do you and I deserve to have life more than they do? We have been given this heaven sent opportunity so we have no choice but to make something of it!

Remembering those passed and gone.. We will keep them in our prayers..”

Alexander Day

*Yes, that is a link. Go ahead and click on it 🙂


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