Irony is when we judge others as lacking empathy

The person
whose love,
validation,
and respect we need
is often also the person
whose need for love,
validation,
and respect
we neglect
to appreciate

or understand fully.

When they
do not fulfill our expectations,
we may say
they
have an attitude problem.

When we
do not fulfill other’s expectations,
we may still say
they
didn’t set clear expectations.

Sometimes,
we need to feel trusted
by others
first
before we can trust
ourselves.

Sometimes,
we need to be shown hope
by others
first
before we can see hope
ourselves.

Sometimes,
we need to feel loved
by others
first

before we can love
ourselves.

There are times
when we cannot reconcile
the conflict between
what is right
for us
and what is right
for them.

A paradox.

This is a place,
where we may recognize
what is right for others,
but feel stuck
because what is right for us
seems negated
by their’s.

Let us learn the choice
to give and receive support
in this place.

A place
of struggle.

Support
that can help us all realize empathy
so we can finally see
where it is
we previously did not look
and respect it
so as to let
the paradox dissolve
and give rise
to a new way
of being
together.

“Can you hear the time?”
asked the art teacher.

“What??”
he responded,
bewildered.

“The time.
Can you hear it?”
she asked again.

“What the hell
are you talking about?!”
he asked,
now annoyed.

“…”
she paused.

“Can you tell me what time it is
without looking at your watch.”
she eventually spoke again.

“No.
I can’t.”
he replied,
indignantly.

“Just a few moments ago,
the church bell rang
to indicate noon.
If you want to make art,
I want you to learn
to be present enough
to hear that.”
she replied.

If responsibility
is response + ability —
as in our ability to respond
to a given situation —
then
it is only human
that when we experience too much tension,
our responsibility
gets hampered,
the range of our responsibility
gets diminished.

Others
may wish to hold us accountable
or our own sense of duty and obligation
may haunt us,
but neither
helps us recover
our hampered
responsibility
or restore
our range
of responsibility.

To take responsibility
back,
our tension
has to be released.

You didn’t create
unless the form of the output
was unexpected.

If it was,
then you were manufacturing.

Nothing wrong with either,
but it can be frustrating
if you enter the manufacturing process,
with the desire to create
or if you enter the creative process,
with the desire to manufacture.

It’s easy to acknowledge luck
when its credit
is not tied
to our self-worth.

It’s hard to acknowledge luck
when its credit
is tied
to our self-worth.

When someone gives us
an apology
we need to receive,
the load of a burden we’ve been carrying
becomes shared
with the person
who gave
the apology.

When someone accepts
our apology
we need accepted,
the load of a burden we’ve been carrying
becomes​ shared
with the person
who accepted
the apology.

To find out
with whom
or what
you’re hyper-empathizing,
notice how you react
when things
or people
other than your “self”
are threatened.