True empathy is not about waiting to understand another person; it is about proactively seeking to do so. It takes effort to give another person your full time and attention; to ask others how they are feeling and if they coping well with things. And don’t overlook those closest to you. Never take anyone for granted. Avoid being too preoccupied to sit down and talk with your children, partners and colleagues.

I’m always telling myself I don’t have many feelings. Even when something does affect me I’m only moderately moved. I almost never cry. It’s not that I’m stronger than the ones with teary eyes, I’m weaker. They have courage. When all you are is skin and bones, feelings are a brave thing. I’m more of a coward. The difference is minimal though, I just use my strength not to cry. When I do allow myself a feeling, I take the part that hurts and bandage it up with a story that doesn’t cry, that doesn’t dwell on homesickness.

When the river of emotions bursts its banks and expectations go over the edges of reality, the brain creates hallucinations. Ringxiety-stricken people feel illusive vibrating alerts and hear phantom phone rings, since absence of ringing generates scaring emptiness and destroys their self-esteem. (“Kein Schwein ruft mich an” )

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