Thoughts on empathy, self-compassion, and acceptance

Most of us know somebody whose struggles with the “black dog” can become crippling and the worst case scenario can almost seem inevitable and yet perhaps there is a way out and I thought this post was a must read. xx Rowena

Time for my thoughts...

“Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?”
— William Blake, “On Another’s Sorrow”

The theme of this month’s #1000Speak post is acceptance. I’m not sure if I’ve quite managed it this month. I began the piece that follows only a couple of days after the suicide that precipitated it. It was weighing on my mind, for the impact to my daughter and her friends, and because it brought back mixed emotions for friends that I’ve lost over the years. I think that, perhaps more than any other type of death, suicide bears down on those left behind with a stream of mixed emotions, including anger and guilt, in a way that an accident or an illness doesn’t. It brings out our empathy (too late), and our guilt (we should have been prevented it). But of…

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts on empathy, self-compassion, and acceptance

  1. New Journey

    Suicide no matter is tragic all in its self….I myself have know more than one person who ended there life…sadly its true there would of been nothing any of us could of done to prevent it…After the first person I knew took there life, (high school for me) I was guilty for not doing more, not seeing the pain they were in, even though it didn’t show through, how could none of us had known what a dark place she was in….guilt stayed with me for many years. until I matured enough to understand that sometimes there just isn’t anything you can do to help save them form there demons. I was in the position of one of jobs to hire and fire medical ward clerks who worked under me…we were hiring, and a man in his 50’s came in, he was nice, intelligent and seemed like a good candidate for the job, I felt like he deserved a break, more than a job, after hiring him, he asked me out for coffee, as a friend, I didn’t date co-workers ever…and we met, life stories were revealed, he had been fighting alcoholism for years, he was living at a clean and sober house here in town and he felt he had finally reached a turning point in his life and was on the road to recovery….I was very happy to sit and listen to his story and give him encouragement to continue….he had started the job and was doing well,…then I got a call from his case work at the house he lived, he had hung himself the night before from a tree outside one of the meeting places and he had not only used my name to get to stay out later than curfew he also left me a note….I had her read it to me over the phone, it simply said thank you for being my friend and believing in me…nothing more, nothing less….I talked a long time with the case worker and like her we never saw any signs of depression or gloom from him, just happiness and he was so grateful for doing so well…like she said, you never know what demons someone is facing inside….I have forgotten this gentleman name, its been over 25 years since this incident, I can count on one hand the number of times I met him at work and only once for coffee….I am glad I had an impact on his life in a positive way, just so sorry that he thought he had no other way out….Ro, your post make me think and reflect on the days past in my life quite often…thank you for that….I can smile to think he his somewhere out of his pain and I became a better person for having met him…kathy

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