Empathy cuts sharper than blades

Is it as painful for you as it is to me to watch a relationship falter? To watch it fail? I don’t mean from abuse or betrayal, that’s something else entire. No, I mean from missteps, from mistaken interpretation, from inaction, from neglect. Watching it all unfold and being unable to act. Because this is completely personal and I am on the outside. I can’t say something because I am not a good enough friend to say something. But it tears me up to watch it. I want to help. To show them what I see, but I can’t do that without trust. So I’m relegated to a watcher role. Helpless as it falls apart.

I know I’m not great at seeing the same fault lines in my own relationships. But maybe that’s because a little suspicion,  in that case, is more destructive than trust.  If I trust and it fails then at least I can feel OK that I acted in good faith. If I give in to my more cautious mind, then at the end, I will always second guess that action. That’s a greater burden than the truth.  

Maybe that’s why it’s so painful to watch in others.  I just want to shake them and say, share what’s in your heart.  It may hurt but you’ll rarely feel so hurt that you don’t heal.  Doubt and regret are worse than loss.  

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