Empathy deepens relationships, fuels understanding, inspires reconciliation, unites us in our differences, and pushes us to act in love. But it is also dangerous.
When I found out about the rainforest, the first thing I did was think about it long enough that I felt a hint of something. Then I researched it, found out facts, and then scrambled to find something--anything--that I could do. But what can I do about something far away that only the rich and powerful can influence?
We are not made to find all of the answers in our own individual experiences. When we share stories, we pile hope into an already vast collection of shared hopes and triumphs--stories of faith and overcoming despite all of the reasons to despair.
Doing hard things makes us stronger. The more I have been stretched, the bigger I can dream. I used to confine my dreams to my backyard, but now there is possibility. Because I know I can do anything for an hour.
Right now, email subscribers receive a free PDF of a brief nonfiction piece that I wrote in graduate school about an experience I had with debilitating anxiety. I wrote it to process this time, and it became something I hope will encourage others.
You are not alone, and many like yourself have completed the journey you are just beginning who are ready to tell you that you can do it.
Ever since I was a kid, I have had people tell me to eat more, to get "some meat on those bones," or that I was "skinny," "bony," or just "skin and bones."