Choose Empathy By: Amanda Cordova

For the past 9 weeks I’ve been working from home and have experienced the whirlwind of blurred boundaries that I’ve worked so hard to create. I learned through many years of intentionality to leave my work at work as much as possible and be at home when I’m at home. I’ve been intentional about wherever I am being “all there”. This is not an easy task, and I still fail all the time- it’s hard to be still in a sea of distractions…social media, television and other “noise” flying past our ears and eyes almost constantly. The first few weeks of working from home were INSANE. Sleeping, eating, working and never leaving my house day in and day out took quite the toll on me and I learned lots of lessons.
During those hard times, instead of giving into the mindset of defeat I chose to lean in. Lean in to what God had to say, lean in to the lessons that God wanted to teach me, lean in to the processing of my feelings, lean in to grabbing a pen and a journal to help process my feelings.
Then, a few weeks in, I finally got a rhythm that worked for me. I found a good balance of outside activities like riding my bike and talking walks. I would work for a few hours, take a break, then come back and work. Once I was finished for the day, I closed my laptop and did other things that needed to get done around my house.
I took a deep breathe and thought…“Ah, now I know how to do this. I’ve got this!” A few more weeks passed…. My structure began to crumble. I found myself feeling so “meh”. Apathy was seeping in. I was still doing my work, but I was just going through the motions. I wasn’t excited or passionate about it, I just did what I had to do. I stopped doing things I enjoy, like reading, crafting, doodling on my iPad, listening to music, etc. I began to just go through each day with no joy, day in and day out. I noticed that my joy was gone and decided to do something about it. I took out my journal and I began to write and talk to God about how I was feeling. I felt Him say “Stop being so apathetic and choose empathy”. My pen stopped in its tracks. I grabbed my phone and looked up the exact definitions of the words and dug into what that meant to me.
 
Choosing empathy over apathy means…
  • Choosing to remember the heart behind the matter
  • Choosing to trust God even when there are no “answers”
  • Choosing to check in on friends and to stay past the “how are yous” and to see how they really are feeling
  • Choosing to give yourself grace when you don’t finish all your tasks
  • Choosing the right things over your feelings
 
I want to encourage you to choose empathy.
Let’s be the difference in this broken world. Let’s spread hope, joy, laughter, and most importantly, the gospel. Let’s love like Jesus, especially when it’s hard, especially when we don’t “feel” like it. Together, let’s choose empathy.

I made myself a phone wallpaper as a reminder, feel free to download it and use it too!