Empathy: The Key to Overcoming Shame and Finding Healing Together
Empathy in My Shame
Walk and talk with John Enslow
Hey there, so as I am continuing on this journey of discovering shame, exposing shame, overcoming shame, I see one element of shame that is really key to overcoming it. Empathy! Empathy plays a huge role in how others help us overcome shame and heal from shame. So I know that as people of had empathy for me, and who have just stood with me, understandingly in my shame, it is caused the tremendous amount of healing. Just to know that somebody’s there with you, in it. That somebody’s not just saying, “Oh, isn’t that bad for you!” But that they’re really saying, “I understand that. I’ve been there. I can empathize with you.”
I’ve thought about how Brené Brown, she has an amazing video talking about the difference between sympathy and empathy. And she talks about empathy as being the evidence of somebody feeling WITH you. And there’s a huge distinction between the empathy and sympathy. Sympathy isn’t entering it with us. It’s not being with the person in there shame, in their situation. It’s literally being like, “Ooo, that’s kind of dirty…over there. Sorry for you!” But empathy gets in it. Empathy gets in it with us. And the difference between empathy and sympathy is connection versus disconnection.
Our connectedness really helps with shame. We can overcome a whole lot of things when we have those around us, surrounding us, to handle it, to deal with it, to face it, to overcome it. But sympathy is just… if you sympathize with me and you just say, “Oh, isn’t that horrible for you. I’m so sorry that you’re in that deep hole.” There’s no heavy lifting with that. To empathize with me, it is heavy lifting. You are literally getting in it with me, you were standing with me you, you’re understanding with me and you’re helping to be a part of the solution. You’re helping to be a part of the connection I need in order to get out of shame.
Shame is incredibly isolating. Shame is debilitating and I don’t need somebody to sympathize with me. I need somebody to empathize with me. I need somebody to see me in my moment and take my hand. You don’t even have to fix it, just to know you’re there. My Lord fixes shame. My Lord fixes the situation I’m in. But to have somebody there, a member of the body especially, the body of Christ, just to sit there and just say, “I see you, I see you in you’re shame, and I love you and I’m with you and I understand, I’ve been there.” That’s brilliant and that’s huge and it also makes me feel supported, loved, attuned to. Those are all amazing things to deal with shame. I know that as I’ve dealt with my shame, attunement has been one of the hugest things. That I’ve been attuned to by brothers, and they’ve sat with me in my moment of shame, in my belief of shame, whatever kind of shame it is. They’ve sat with me in it, they’ve seen me in it, they’ve helped me to overcome it and heal from it because they were with me.
So I’m celebrating. I’m celebrating those that can enter empathy and give us the ability to overcome and conquer shame. It’s beautiful! It’s beautiful and the Holy Spirit will use our brothers and sisters to really heal from the deepest parts of a shame, the deepest parts of our story that are shameful. We enter in and then we can come into a place where not only are we healed from the shame, but then we could be a healing force in the lives of others. Because we could be there, empathizing with others in their shame and bringing healing. Holy Spirit is amazing how He moves among the body and in the body just to allow us to really be there, and enter into victory, His victory. But we don’t do it alone. We don’t do it isolated. Shame is isolating and we’ve been isolated in our shame, and in community we heal. Usually shame comes from relationship and in relationship we end up healing.
So I love you, I appreciate you, I thank you for watching, and I look forward to really getting into more and more of discovery, in the shame and overcoming shame. And as I write the book on overcoming shame: a man’s manual to overcoming shame. I am looking forward to it to really be dynamic to crush shame. And I’m seeing it evidenced just in relationship, just in connection with men, beautiful men who have experienced deep shame, and who are overcoming it, and who are rising above the false narrative, the false faith that has crushed us. That has allowed us to be debilitated and they’re rising up, and they’re entering into the joy of their salvation, where they can experience wholeness, healing and Spirit. Unfortunately, shame put a separating block between us and God, on our side not His. And when we get rid of shame, all sudden the doors and windows are open and we can experience Him in an amazing new way, like fresh wind coming through the doors in the windows. And we can finally relax and leave those debilitating times of shame. I love you, I’ll talk to you soon.
Empathy in My Shame – Episode #861 – DivineDesigned.Life
A personal reflection on the importance of empathy in overcoming shame. Having empathetic people around us helps us heal and overcoming shame.