1 02 2007

The journey from empathy to aggravation can be as effortless as sipping your morning coffee, while munching away on a slightly burnt piece of toast, and staining your figures with news print, completely oblivious to the fact there’s a hint of poison deluding your morning ritual.  It doesn’t require much poison for the results to be lethal. 

I caught myself recently feeling increasingly frustrated and annoyed with some of the very people I’ve gone out of my way in the past to be there for; people I truly care about.  My inner voice (not my conscious, the other fellow) had become more and more irritable and nitpicky and I’m sure my mental eye rolling count was rising at a rate to rival the gas prices.   

Yes, there are some obnoxious people in the world, but if you feel the need to put them all in The Stupid Box, pretty soon it’ll just be you and the local shrubbery (which honestly doesn’t always sound so bad, but that isn’t the point right now).  

It wasn’t the people and their both irritable and concerning quirks that frustrated me originally; it was the looming problems on the horizon, which they were unaware of, so consequently where walking headlong into. 

I was frustrated because I cared about them, and the last thing on earth I wanted was to see them get hurt, but somewhere along the way I’d lost sight of why I was even upset in the first place.  There was cause for concern and frustration, because there were real problems, but I was getting tied up in knots over the minor issues and irritations.  My concern for them and developed into frustratoin wtih them.    

It’s amazing how just a slight change in perspective can completely alter everything from our mood, to the way we interact with those around us.  It doesn’t take much to lose your focal point, and in doing so, completely miss your target.    

Oh, that’s right, I do like people.  Duh. 

Empathy is a curious thing.  It’s a wonderful gift, but if you don’t keep a regular tab on it, it can easily turn into something hideously narcissistic.  Maybe even our best traits can become disfigured without a careful eye.  Proverbs 4:23 puts it nicely, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” 

Perspective can make all the difference in the world, but it needs some looking after.




7 responses

1 02 2007

When I was at a conference in Toronto a few years ago, a prophet named Cindy Jacobs mentioned that she had just finished a book. One of the chapter titles was ‘I Love You Lord But I Can’t Stand Your Kids.’ I don’t know if she was kidding but I love that title. I’m pretty certain if she was to ever spend any time with me, I would also be included in that chapter. We’re all a bit obnoxious at times are we not?

Yes, we’re all obnoxious in our own ways. I’m sure I’d be in her chapter, too, if she were to make a list.

“Stop Dating the Church: Fall in Love with the Family of God” by Joshua Harris is a good book. It deals with loving God’s kids, which I’m sure most people (or at least I’d like to imagine I’m not the minority) could use a little practice at. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.


2 02 2007
the hobbit

Amen to that. You sumed it up, so often I become so frusterated with those people I want to see grow, that I forget that they have been and are continueing to grow. Even and especialy when it isn’t growth at the speed or direction I had in mind.

Yes, it is hard when people aren’t growing in the way, or at the speed you’d like, and even more so when they seem to be walking the other way entirely.

Thanks for stopping by.


2 02 2007

Kelsey, I thank you for sharing this post. Reading it has really made me stop and think. You have helped me clarify things in my own mind. Perspective so important. but so easily lost.
Kelsey, I am so glad you take the time to share your thoughts, with every visit I gain, learning something new or having my mind opened in some way. Thank you

Thank you, Bill. It’s nice to know someone’s reading my postings. It’s more fun to write when you know someone’s going to read it, and will comment. 🙂

You’re right, prespective is very important, and it’s easily lost.


2 02 2007

I try to keep this in mind when I find “someone” who is difficult to love.
How did Jesus treat Judas?
Great thoughts Kelsey! His blessings to you.

Yes, that is a good point, but the people I was talking about, who are in my life right now, aren’t people I’m at odds with, they’re people who I care very much about, and they’re making some very poor choices, but aren’t able to see that for themsleves. Its more dealing with learning to focus on the real problem, and then giving it to God.


6 02 2007

You have awesome insight Kelsey, i struggle with getting frustrated with the people i care about a lot more than i like to admit.

Yes, I deal with it mokre that I’d like to admit, too. Join the club. 😛

Thanks for stopping by, Des, and for commenting. I always enjoy getting one from you.


8 02 2007

I hear you…………there have been times I’ve wanted to shake my friends, I was that frustrated. I never know what to do when I get to that point. I have, myself, gotton a good shaking a time or two, and I appreciated it. To shake or not to shake??? That is the question.

Yes, that’s the question alright… but what’s the answer? It’s hard to just watch anyone make poor choices, but you can’t live someone’s life for them either. I guess, sometimes, all we can do is be there for them, even if that means picking up the pieces if everything falls apart.

Catherine, thank you for stopping by, and for taking the time to comment. 🙂


9 02 2007

Empathy can be a wonderful thing but you’re right, perspective is key in all things. I liked your comment about empathy spiraling into a narcissistic thing – very good point and one that had never occurred to me before. thanks.

It just recently occurred to me, too. I don’t think I’d ever realized something good like empathy could turn into something else, until it was narcissistic and I had to try to get back to empathy once again.

Thanks for stopping by, WC. I always enjoy hearing from you. 🙂


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