Here’s what the world is missing…

Brene Brown is an incredible author that has dedicated most of her adult life to studying shame and vulnerability. I ran across one of her quotes the other day and it’s been playing on repeat in my mind ever since. She writes “in order to empathize with someone’s experience you must be willing to believe them as they see it and not how you imagine their experience to be.” 

Wow. How often do we shame or judge others because they describe their experience differently than what we think they “should”? Calling them dramatic, over the top, a hypocondriac, or something else. The question is, have we ever been in their shoes? Ever worked three jobs to make ends meet? Ever been a single parent? Ever been in the exact same circumstances they’re in? Simply put, the answer is no. No because no two circumstances are the same for every person.

In fact, just reading this email, your experience is going to be different than someone else’s. Last week, the email went out and I had someone unsubscribe. Ok, it happens, I wasn’t meant to help that person. Not but two minutes after getting the unsubscribe notice, I had someone else reach out to me and thank me for writing the message that I did. She needed it at that time and it helped her. Same email. Completely different responses. 

Life is even more complex than reading an email. Yet we shame others or find ourselves being shamed because our circumstances are different than someone else’s perception of what they should be. 

How connected to your neighbors are you? How well do you really know your friends? How well do you really know your spouse? Not who your spouse was when you married them but your spouse now, in this moment?  We are always evolving, changing and growing but we hold onto the way people were ten, twenty, thirty years ago. 

Empathy and compassion are two of the most powerful forces in this world. They are also two that are most lacked and most sought after. Our deep human desire to be seen, heard, known and accepted is lost in the sea of other’s need to check things off the list, get through each day and prepare for the race of the next day. 

This week, I challenge you to reach out to someone you think you know and get to know them on a different level. Ask them about who they are now. What makes them tick? What are they passionate about? What experience have they gone through that you weren’t there for them when they needed you most? Be open to understanding their situation not as you believe it should be but as they experienced it. If you’re married, start there. Often times empathy is the most lacked emotion in our marriages simply because we’ve been with our partner so long that we take them for granted and see them as they used to be rather than how they are. 

The world would be a much better place if we showed the same empathy and compassion for others that we so desperately crave ourselves. 

Enjoy your week and check out the FREE challenge I am running next week in my Facebook Group!! It’s going to be powerful!! 

XOXO,
Kameran

Your Current Reality Doesn’t Define You

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been rough for everyone in different ways. 

For myself, I have found myself in this limbo where I’m teaching from home and feel so guilty talking about the difficulties that come with that, pregnancy, having to handle everything on the home front while Moe is flying, and everything else because the flipped side of the coin is that I am teaching from home while my co-workers are back in school and dealing with a whole other level of hard there. There are so many women who would kill to be uncomfortable, exhausted and 4 weeks from having a sweet baby and in the aviation industry, many women are scared and grieving because their husbands have lost their jobs altogether. 

Oh the guilt. I was journaling on this a few days ago, trying to gain some clarity around it all and here’s the revelation I had. 

Your reality doesn’t define you anymore than mine defines me. Our realities are based on past decisions we made. Decisions to or not to get married, decisions to or not to adopt, invest our money or spend it, pay off debt or buy another thing we think will make us happy off of Amazon. Choices to work for a certain company, go into a certain industry, etc. 

Your reality also doesn’t dismiss the hard just because someone else seems to have it harder than you. Both realities can be hard. It’s not a competition on who has it worse. Both are hard and different. The last part of my pregnancy can be hard and I can also have empathy, sympathy and compassion for women going through the hardship of wishing so badly to be pregnant and being disappointed and heartbroken month after month when it doesn’t happen. I’ve been there as well. It can be hard for me to juggle 30 plates of my own while my husband is flying and it can be hard for those women who have their husbands home and not flying at all. We don’t have to choose. We don’t have to feel guilty because our hard is different than someone else’s. 

The judgement we have for someone else as they talk about their hardship comes from our own ego of feeling like we have to have more sympathy than they do because our hard is harder. How selfish of us as human beings! The judgement we have for ourselves comes from a place of shame. We are shaming ourselves into believing we are horrible people for feeling a pain and a struggle that we shouldn’t be feeling when we do. There is no should/shouldn’t. It just is. It’s there. It’s teaching us something- gratitude for what we have, perseverance, to choose a different path. Each lesson is different for every person. 

Above all, we need to let go of the shame and guilt- society gives us enough of that anyway. We need to check our ego when we start shaming our friends for going through a hardship that may be hard to them. Have compassion and empathy- it goes a lot farther than judgement and resentment. Again, not a competition. Lastly, we need to give ourselves grace. Our hardship is validated just as much as the next person’s even though it may look different. 

XOXO,

Kameran