Both these books drive home a principle I’ve bantered around for years: the only love that’s real is love that’s demonstrated. You gotta’ do something or love is just an idea. Just words.
But I think there’s another level to love. It’s sort of “pre-love.”
It’s empathy. It’s “feeling me.” Feeling what another person feels. Right now. In the moment.
“Feeling” someone is more than acceptance. More than tolerance. It’s choosing to care about them as a person and really listen to them, what they’re saying AND what they’re feeling.
Sometimes when I’m in a conversation, I find myself running ahead. “Yeah, I get it. I know. I know!” my brain says. “Come on man, I got it words ago. Stop talking and let me say what I’m thinking here!” I’m so focused on what I want to say back….I totally miss what they’re feeling. My intent may be good. I may have something that could really help them. But they won’t care to know until they know I care.
“Feeling” people is rare. We’re in such a hurry. We text rather than talk. So much to do, so little time.
And it takes selflessness…at least for a few minutes. You can’t be thinking about yourself and “feel” someone else at the same time. You have to put yourself and your agenda on the side table and focus on the person you’re with. Exclusively.
Check out these lyrics from one of the “great philosophers” of our time…Lil Wayne.
And that’s just my point right there
That’s what I’m always trying to stress, you know what I’m saying
If you don’t understand me, if you don’t feel me then you ain’t real
In my eyes, and that’s all that count to me you know
From “Feel Me”
You may love your wife with all your heart. You may be passionate about being the best father in history. The love of Jesus may consume you in your quiet times. But “if you don’t feel me, you ain’t real in my eyes, and that’s all that count to me you know.”
Here’s an assignment for you.
For the next 7 days, in every conversation you’re in, “feel” the other person. Be fully present. Watch their eyes. Listen to their heart as well as their words. Don’t think about what you’re going to say. Don’t think about how you can help them with their problem. Don’t think about how to “fix” them. Just “feel” them.
Here are some of the words from my journal. They’re from the “letter from God” experience I wrote about earlier this week. I think they’re God speaking to me (and maybe to you too?)
“Don’t miss the fact that I do the work. You can’t add anything to what I’m doing. You can’t speed me up or move me to your time frame. I love “your guys” and the people in your life. I have a plan. Trust me.”
God doesn’t need me to fix anybody. He wants me to “feel” them. One at a time.
Question: Do you “feel” people or fix them? Chick here to comment.