I'm a big mental health advocate and each May, in honor of mental health awareness month, I try to post things a little more geared towards the mental health world. Whether it's posts about my journey, ways to support your own mental health, or just shedding light on this pandemic and letting people know they are not alone, I find it so important and in need of more voices talking about it.
This May, in support of these efforts, I decided to finally create a line of tees that goes along with mental health. I've already dropped two, the "You Are Worthy" pullover and the "You Are Enough" tee, both of which you can find here: Mental Health Line
I think of empathy like it's a super power, but one that everyone can attain. One that people need to choose to use, as it lies within all of us, just maybe not as active.
Approaching or handling a situation with empathy looks something like withholding judgement, holding space for others, putting yourself in their shoes, really listening and connecting emotionally so you can convey the ever healing statement of "you are not alone". It also requires a level of vulnerability. You need to sit with that person in the uncomfortableness and maybe even face some of your own demons. It requires you to not brush it all aside, dismiss them, or give an antidote, but to truly pause, listen, think, and approach with understanding and caring. To maybe think "well how would I want someone to help me with this?" and go forward with that.
The thing with empathy though is it's not the easier option to use, it's the harder one that needs constant work. It's the super power that can lay dormant in us until we decide to shed light on it and give it a daily workout, honing our abilities. It is not our natural instinct to choose the more vulnerable route, but to instead protect ourselves and our feelings. However, choosing to use it is life altering, and once you find it and see it, you can't unsee it. You will see the changes both in yourself and others. You'll see that it's the thread that keeps us truly connected to each other, making us more compassionate all around.
So, I decided to create a simple design to remind us of a big choice, to choose empathy, because when we choose empathy we bring more compassion, kindness, support, and love into a world that desperately needs more of it.