A useful quality for this social time of year is empathy. Amid the merriment hurt feelings will be present, little wounds and abrasions will happen. For many the Yuletide doesn’t hold much gaiety. It can be hard to be jolly, especially in the face of so much happy-ho-ho. I can slip into feeling diminished or dismissed all on my own, let a lone in a crowd. It’s empathy that can welcome me back in.

“If we’re going to find our way back to each other, we have to understand and know empathy, because empathy’s the antidote to shame.” says Brene Brown. Shamed is how I feel when I am judged or criticised for not being how I am not. If I can not meet the demands and expectations of the season, for whatever reason, there are sure to be jibes. This three minute video is spoken by Brene Brown, I found it published on her site, thanks to friend who pointed me that way.

Empathy is valuable because often sources of sadness can’t be changed, darkness can not easily be brightened. Even when you don’t really know what to say, connection is possible just by saying “I don’t what to say…”