THE EMPATHY FRONT: MISSION #1
I’ve always known I was meant to help others and to teach. I knew from the time I was 10. I’ve been a teacher my entire life, from basketball coaching to swimming lessons, to university seminars. I knew that I wanted to educate people and leave the world a better place.
LITTLE DID I KNOW THIS WAS A SILENT SCREAM TO SAVE MYSELF.
I grew up in a dysfunctional family and grew into a dysfunctional adult. Shortly after I graduated my life and identity fell apart. At 21, I had failed out of university, began a 5 year spiral of escapism leading me all over the world, addicted to serious drugs and working in the sex industry. I had hit rock bottom.
I eventually started making small yet slightly more positive changes in my life, but the six years to follow that fateful day of March 16 2011 (my dark night of the soul) were not easy. Those years were filled with chronic stress and anxiety, taking on multiple jobs, attending university full time, drinking in excess nightly, and dating unreliable men. I was escaping, hoping beyond hope that the pain would just go away.
In 2016 I had had enough. I had a relationship end that destroyed the very essence of who I was, my health was the worst it had ever been, and I predicted that I was about to start using drugs again, after being 5 years clean. That’s when I entered therapy.I was looking for any way in which I could “fix” myself.
TURNS OUT THERE WASN'T ANYTHING TO BE FIXED.
Society instills in us the idea of never being enough. We’re not smart enough, white enough, straight enough, sane enough, able enough to be worthy of love and happiness. This then gets into our heads - literally. These beliefs that we don’t want to believe, but have bene told our entire life to be true, create such resistance and unhappiness inside, that we don’t know how to move through these overwhelming emotions. Which lead me to my next point.
Of all the research I have done, most led me to the root of our suffering. The actual root.
HUMAN BEINGS ARE VERY RARELY TAUGHT HOW TO DEAL WITH TOUGH EMOTIONS AND INSTEAD ARE ENCOURAGED TO PRETEND THAT THEY DO NOT EXIST.
Plain and simple.
Another core finding from my research in psychology, neuroscience, self help and even religion is that they all focus on two main themes for a happier life, and thus a happier world. The themes are: unconditional love and unconditional empathy.
I know you know what love is, that is simple. While empathy requires a definition and begs not to be confused with sympathy. Sympathy (which is not what is going to save the world), is when you feel pity and sorrow for someone else’s experiences. Empathy on the other hand is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Brene’s Brown video explains it perfectly here.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE EMPATHY OR SYMPATHY. IT'S VERY SIMPLE.
If you have true empathy for someone there is no way that you would be able to hurt them.
When you have a true empathy for the Earth there is no way that you would be able to pollute it.
If you had true empathy for all living beings you would be happy, truly happy.
Teaching Empathy and love, although seemingly so simple, is a huge task. It requires us to unpack years of systemic issues, individual biases, and mistakes made. It brings up those heavy emotions that we’re told to pretend don’t exist; the ones were told to hide from.
You know, the emotions that we're told to cover with bandaids.
I WANT YOU TO THINK OF THE EMPATHY FRONT AS AN ACT OF REBELLION - A WAR CRY.
I won't lie to you - you're going to need to fight.
It’s time to stop ignoring what is going on in yourself, and ultimately the world and take ownership of the one thing you can control - your actions which are driven by emotions.
It's time for us to come together, to join the front line, to take a stand, and create a world not only for ourselves, but for each other, where empathy and community save us.
The Empathy Front focuses on areas of mental health and mental wellness often overlooked. It’s an educational hub with information on various topics from healthy coping mechanisms, to how to communicate through mental health conversations, ideas for self care practices and so much more. Most importantly, it’s a resource for people from all backgrounds, religions, countries, age groups and genders.
THE EMPATHY FRONT FOCUSES ON THE WE, NOT THE I. WHICH CHANGES IT FROM MENTAL ILLNESS TO MENTAL WELLNESS.
The Empathy Front recognizes that every single human needs to take control of their emotions for a happier, healthier, better future. For each and every single one of us. That is why the Empathy Front focuses on destigmatizing mental health.
Our educational resources will be in the form of blog post, youtube channel, podcast episode and social media posts (list below). You can follow along below
Most importantly, the empathy front is a collective effort for the great good of humanity. It is not one person who will change the world, it is all of us.
Are you ready to change your life? Are you ready to change the work? Join the rebellion.