Empathy (google) “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”
Einstein states Special Relativity is that time & space are experienced differently depending on one’s state of motion.
We can add to that General Relativity that time & space warp and curve with the presence of matter of energy.
My mother says empathy is the feeling after living in someone else’s shoes.
These are the proofs that empathy is harder to envision than we could ever know. “If it were me” syndrome never takes into effect the nuances of another state of motion or the warp and curve at the moment energy passes through.
It finally happened. A year and a half of teaching Friday Lunch Drop-In Yoga and I was unable to get to my class. I didn’t have any way of getting to the room to post a sign. I didn’t have anyone’s information to text a single one of my regulars to let them know I couldn’t get there. I didn’t even have the opportunity to panic on my students’ behalf. When life intervenes it is best to be present where you are. I was present in the moment even as I watched the clock tick past my opportunity to get to class slightly late.
When I was finally able to get to my email I sent out an apology. I sent it while class would have been in session, 45 minutes into it. It was my first opportunity. I apologized. It’s all I could do. And the response, 20 minutes later, was lovely. One of the ladies sent back, “We are sorry you couldn’t make it today. We knew something was up. Shelly stepped in and guided us through.” The reason this is so lovely is my class still did yoga. They didn’t walk away and go back to their desks or their jobs. They stayed and did yoga. I am proud of Shelly. She has never led a class. Yet she stepped up and into a role I’m sure she has been curious about. Shelly became the instructor. Shelly is a seasoned yoga practioner, she enjoys yoga and fully engages in her postures. Shelly was the perfect choice and she didn’t miss this opportunity. I am proud of her.
I can’t wait to meet up with my peeps next week. I ache to be there.
In my lifetime I have seen people become friends simply by spending time together. That’s all it takes. There may be no other “thing” in common, only the time we spend together, yet quite naturally we become friends. Things in common will increase with the amount of time we spend together. I suppose it is a no-brainer, yet I am always a little surprised to realize we have become friends.
There is a Friend Effect going on with the Friday group. Every week now as we get together, once a week is all, just one and now several of the group hang back while each person cleans their mat and rolls it up. They wait for each other as shoes are put back on. The chatting I overhear is both job related and weekend related. They leave the room in subsets, little groups.
This week the whole group waited for me before anyone left the room. I put the room back the way it was when I came in. I roll the cart of mats, straps and cleaner into the closet and close it back again. This is a multi-purpose room. I re-set the lighting back to how we found it as well. I grab the bundle of used towels to drop them in the soiled linens bin. I look around for left articles from my group or myself. I just never hurry leaving the room. I kind of relish the time. I like feeling responsible for getting everything back as it was. So for the group, en masse, to be waiting for me was flattering.
I didn’t notice at first. Everyone was chatting as they do. I asked a question for clarification is all. The talk continued around me as I took care of business. I was half listening. As we all walked down the hall together is when I realized they had waited for me. I felt part of the group.
I suppose it was bound to happen. We see each other once a week. I put the room back together for the next group without even thinking about it these days. In other words, I wasn’t asking to be included. It was organic and I am feeling rather blessed today while we continued to breathe.