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I Deserve Empathy (Je Mérite De L'Empathie)

In a world that often feels divided, disconnected, and uncertain, it's easy to forget the importance of empathy – both for others and for ourselves

That's why I want to take a moment to remind you that you deserve empathy

 

This week's affirmation is…

I Deserve Empathy

Je Mérite De L'Empathie

 

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others

It's about stepping into someone else's shoes, seeing the world through their eyes, and responding with kindness, compassion, and understanding

But empathy isn't just about how we interact with others; it's also about how we treat ourselves

In times of stress, uncertainty, and self-doubt, it's essential to practice self-compassion and extend the same kindness to ourselves that we would to a friend in need

 

“An exchange of empathy provides an entry point for a lot of people to see what healing feels like.”

Tarana Burke

When empathy is turned inward...

Enjoy this self-empathy meditation from Calm

Radical Self Compassion with Tara Brach

Radical compassion is our evolutionary capacity to include all living beings in our heart and to actively express our care

In this meditation, you learn RAIN (recognize-allow-investigate-nurture), an applied meditation for cultivating mindfulness-based compassion

Let's start with the person who wrote our featured quote, Tarana Burke, in conversation with Brené Brown

Tarana Burke and Brené on Being Heard and Seen

from Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

In this episode Burke and Brown discuss Burke's theory of “empowerment through empathy” and the possibility of changing the way the world thinks and talks about sexual violence, consent, and social justice.

Next, a how-to… as some of us struggle with giving and receiving empathy - this may help

How to Be More Empathetic

from Claire Cain Miller (NY Times)

More and more, we live in bubbles. The result is an empathy deficit, and it's at the root of many of our biggest problems. It's because of how homogeneous people's social circles have become, and also because humans naturally hold biases.

Great news!

Empathy can be developed. There are steps you can take to acknowledge your biases and to move beyond your worldviews to try to understand those held by other people.

Next, an impressive work I highly recommend.  Yes, this book will challenge you, but in the best ways

Radical Empathy: Finding a Path to Bridging Racial Divides

by Terri E. Givens

In practice radical empathy means: A willingness to be vulnerable, opening yourself to the experiences of others, taking action, becoming grounded in who you are, practicing empathy, and creating change and building trust.  Political scientist Terri Givens calls for 'radical empathy' – moving beyond an understanding of others' lives and pain to understand the origins of our biases.

Empathy is usually something we see in the subject matter of the film, but far less often in a filmmaker. Here are two beautiful filmmakers who show empathy thru their stories.

Filmmaker Minhal Baig lovingly tells a lyrical friendship tale tet in 1990s Chicago against the backdrop of the city’s Cabrini-Green housing project.

We Grown Now

(in theaters now - go see it!)

starring Blake Cameron James, Gian Knight Ramirez, Jurnee Smollett, and S. Epatha Merkerson

“We Grown Now,” is a thoughtful and serenely paced Chicago-grown tale, following the ebbs and flows of a childhood friendship. With immersive beats and warm-hued visuals that sneakily envelop you, it’s the kind of evocative film you just comfortably slip into.

James and Ramirez both bring an extraordinary sense of resolve and wisdom to their respective roles, a kind of actorly maturity well beyond their years, accompanied and elevated by Jay Wadley’s melancholic score. Even in its quietest moments, “We Grown Now” feels alive through the kids’ joint triumphant spirit and Baig’s discernible love and care for them. (Variety - 2024)

The Inspection

starring Jeremy Pope, Gabrielle Union, & Bokeem Woodbine

The Inspection leaves one hopeful and excited for the future of cinema… The film exhibits a respect for the craft and an empathy for human tribulations that have historically been ignored. As a tribute to knowing thyself, it is the story about Elegance Bratton submitting his body and mind to the abuses of bootcamp in order to win the respect of his mother, and in the process, learning to respect himself and nurture his own identity. Only then is he capable of fulfilling the credo he's sworn to uphold: protecting the soldier to his left and to his right.” - critic Jeremy Lawrence

“Love without empathy, without forgiveness; love without accountability or boundaries, isn't actually love.”

Joel Leon

 

as always, affirmations from previous weeks are available here

 

you'll be hearing more from me soon. Promise.

 

tamara charese

 

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