Today, I learned a lot about empathy. For the sake of really making a point, I am even going to define it as to what it means to me… empathy denotes a deep emotional understanding of another’s feeling.  Today, I experienced it first hand from a stranger, as I sat weeping in a church bathroom. I then encountered it from someone who saw my pain and unselfishly consoled me when he easily could have made an issue of it.  He showed me empathy.  Today, I become conscious of so many things that I can’t begin to write them all down…. I have so much to say it overwhelms me to the point of tears. Here is my attempt to try, I am unsure of the consequence of being too personal…. But still typing nonetheless.

I am simultaneously impressed and pissed off at my own ability to move effortlessly into autopilot mode as required, particularly at work. Because this is where I spend the majority of my time.  Nobody would ever guess what is going on in my mind.  That I can superficially keep it together, that my outside doesn’t match my inside, makes me feel like a phony. Sometimes I just want to say “I’m not coping,” but I don’t think that anybody would believe me because, for all intents and purposes, I kind of am.

Today I could not cope. The raw and real emotion came pouring out unexpectedly and embarrassingly.  I’ve been told many times… be careful what you write on your blog. Once you hit publish, It’s out there for all the world to see, and you can’t take it back. I understand the severity of revealing too much, though I laugh a little when thinking about the publish button… isn’t “hitting publish” a little how life operates? There is no UNDO button. Wow, I wish there was… Don’t we all?  What would you UNDO?  If we could we just hit ERASE. Does it matter? Some would say “Whats done is done and stop living in or looking to the past” Well, I regrettably tend to do it anyways… “live and look to the past,” that is. This will all come together, you’ll see. I promise I’m not just rambling. Well, perhaps a little… but… well it’s been a long day.

Today I ran into my first love. He wasn’t my only love. He didn’t turn out to be the one. But he was the first. I was taken aback when I saw him… after so many years, after so much hurt and regret… Sadly, instead of happily wishing him well and feeling nothing… I felt as though a brick wall slammed against my face.  First love is tough. It usually happens when we are young. Our hearts are free and unaware of the possibility of loves shattering consequences. You let them in totally and with your whole heart. The art of constructing walls to keep your heart protected has yet to be learned, because you’re unaware that your heart needs protecting.  Unaware of the ties this innocent sort of intimacy creates, we all dive in head first. People say, “You never forget your first love,” that is definitely true.

After I saw him, I snuck out of the building, not knowing what else to do because I could feel my heart breaking and tears forming. I headed to the ladies room, and there, the tears started to flow.  Many women came and went with no comment, only strange looks.  Thankfully, a lady, a stranger, put her arm on my shoulder and said, “Are you okay? Is there anything I can do?” of course, this made me cry a little bit harder.  She sat down on the couch next to me and while weeping, I told her my story. (And THIS is the part that will be kept private, I hope you understand.) She comforted me and then said the most interesting thing,”You know Katy, I’ve been married for 15 years, and I still think about my first love sometimes… when I do, I pray for him and wish him happiness. What you’re feeling is normal and don’t feel ashamed, God has the perfect man for you. And I’m sorry you’re hurting.” I felt relief to hear those words of encouragement. They were exactly what I needed at that time.

Readers, friends, please hear this…. sometimes all people need is someone to come along side them when they’re hurting and say, “I’m so sorry that you’re hurting,” no matter what the case may be. That’s it! It may be the best and only thing you can do, and it is so important.  Stop trying to fix and learn how to comfort. Yes, I put that in bold because I feel like few people understand this concept.

Here goes nothing.