Colleen did an excellent job of comparing empathy and compassion and showing how they interconnect. Take a moment to also visit the two blogs of friends she mentions in the post.
Recently, I won Kathryn Chastain Treat’s book: Allergic to Life – My Battle for Survival, Courage, and Hope. Her experience with Environmental Illness makes my experience look like a pleasure cruise. Her response back was an epiphany. She pointed out that our experiences may have been different but that didn’t make mine any less traumatic or painful.
I believe that empathy and compassion are two of the most powerful and transformative forms of love on the planet. They are the key to world peace. Both involve an opening up of one’s heart to embrace another’s pain. The subtle difference being that compassion you don’t have a foundational experience to understand what the other person is going through but you choose to show up anyway. Empathy you have experienced a very similar pain, for example, you both went through chemo or have MCS.
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