Imagine a world where people have the time to spend with, learn about, and empathize with people faced with an unforeseen catastrophe. Imagine a world where family and friends would unite to take challenges head on while supporting one another through the hardships of life. The synergistic effect of embracing “we” instead of “I” would create a place of belonging for all. Below, I will share four important keys to making the world a more empathetic place!
Mindfulness: The first approach in advocating for an empathetic world must take place from within by practicing mindfulness. We can better help each other if we live by the motto: “Our actions taken should be in the best interest of others.”
What does mindfulness mean? Mindfulness means being aware of the world and all of its wonderful opportunities. Mindfulness is acknowledging individuals, welcoming individuals, and accepting individuals. Mindfulness is listening carefully to how our “self” interacts with others. Mindfulness is being attentive to how we make others feel. Mindfulness is engaging in conversation with our self in a positive tone. Mindfulness is allowing ourselves to serve a greater good. Mindfulness is discovering a greater purpose in life. The state of mindfulness is awareness.
Compassion: People need compassion in order to survive hardships! What is compassion? Compassion means giving of your time not for a few minutes or for a few hours, but for days, weeks, months and years. Compassion means being there for your loved one when they are at their lowest point in life. Compassion means wiping away their tears and soothing their pain. Compassion means knowing who your loved one truly is even when no one else does. Compassion means being an advocate for your loved one when he/she isn’t able to advocate for themselves. Compassion means not giving up on your loved one. It means sitting by their side to calm their sorrow, pain, and fear. Compassion means going the distance. It means believing. Compassion means validating your loved one. Compassion is value. Compassion is a choice. Compassion is a kiss and a hug. Compassion is a well-meaning thought and wish. Compassion is healing. Compassion is kind. Compassion is powerful. Compassion is love.
Acceptance: People need to be accepted in our world and especially those living with an invisible illness! What does acceptance mean? Acceptance is welcoming. It is letting go of your disappointments. It is seeing the positive. Acceptance is loving the person as they are and not trying to change or fix them. Acceptance is not blaming. It is not demanding. Acceptance is understanding. Acceptance is inclusion. Acceptance is love. Acceptance is what every person needs especially when going through a chronic illness. Acceptance is checking in with the person that is struggling. Acceptance is sharing a moment in life together. Acceptance is being kind. Acceptance is having time. Acceptance is approval. Acceptance is sticking around.
Forgiveness: Forgiveness is important to heal and move forward in life! We need to learn how to forgive ourselves and others! What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is letting go of the pain and suffering others may have caused you. Forgiveness is letting go of a person’s wrongdoing, and letting go of the differences with those who may have ill will towards you. Forgiveness is a release from the pain which offers the feeling of being free. Forgiveness opens doors for new opportunities. Forgiveness is that light at the end of the tunnel. Forgiveness is hope. Forgiveness is turning a new leaf, a new chapter in life. Forgiveness is accepting your faults and loving yourself. Forgiveness takes time. Forgiveness sets you free. Forgiveness paves the way for a better future, a future that only you can create. Forgiveness is realizing a future with no limits, no setbacks, and no guilt. Forgiveness is being vulnerable in order to build strength. Forgiveness is liberating!
Through my advocacy efforts for Invisible Illnesses, I hope we all can create a more empathetic and caring world by being more mindful, compassionate, accepting, and forgiving.
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Alanna was a Special Guest on The Doctors TV Show on Wednesday November 19, 2014.