Monday, September 27, 2010

Worry vs. Empathy

Don't Worry!
The older I get the more thankful I become for the Truth Tools. Just last week I went to bed so full of consternation about some problems that I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned for awhile and finally realized what I was doing. “What is the Truth here? Is my worrying helping the problem at all?” I asked myself. “The answer was an obvious, “NO!” All I was doing was making myself miserable—vexing myself.

So .  .  .  I began reciting over and over to myself one line from the Charge, “The Lord thy God is with thee.” I had been doing that for a couple of minutes when all of a sudden peace washed through me like a tidal wave washing the beach and I was able to go to sleep. It was a beautiful, peaceful experience, and the next morning I found myself pondering on it a great deal.

The thing that struck me as I pondered is that sometimes we confuse worrying with empathy. We think because we are worried we are empathizing. We feel that it is good to worry. But empathy is experiencing another person’s necessary pain. It is sorrowing because they sorrow or hurting because they hurt. But worry is unnecessary pain and is something I couldn’t comprehend God experiencing. There is a fine line here between concepts, but it is an important distinction to understand. Some vexing emotions such as sorrow accomplish something and have some positive uses. For example sorrow is as a step in the letting go of a loved one, or it is an important part of repentance and acknowledging that we need a Savior. But worry is a lack of faith and accomplishes nothing. Therefore, when we replace the worry with the affirmative statement, “The Lord thy God is with thee” we are filling ourselves with faith and courage and allowing the Spirit to direct us. And that can be a very real, very tangible experience as it was for me that night.

We do not have to suffer unnecessary pain. We can let it go not because we are so strong or disciplined or wonderful, but because Jesus Christ is.


Miss Amy said...

beautifully said, as always. This pairs perfectly with my post on peace this morning! Looks like Mondays are a day where we need a little extra peace in our lives! Thank you for such a perfect explanation.

Wendi said...

It is a fine line between the two. And I really appreciate you discussing the difference. :)