The Gift of Empathy

I think we can agree that we’ve all experienced pain and that there were circumstances in our childhood that caused emotional trauma, which as adults, we learn to heal from, and move on in spite of (hopefully).  Dysfunctional home life and bulling just to name a few…  But the older I get the more I have come to realize that the healing process is like that proverbial “onion”…  Damned if there isn’t always another layer.   And damned if every time I get to what I believe is the center of that “onion” I don’t discover there is more healing to experienceNote to self:  Stop thinking you’ve hit the center!  

There are moments of pure love and selflessness that come (rather unexpectedly I, might add) in our adulthood that eclipse all the healing we think we have done and once and for all provide us with wings to take flight…  I want to share a message I received on Facebook from a friend I had in my teens.  I don’t think she had any idea of the impact her words would have.

“Hi again Michael……awesome book! You made me laugh out loud while reading it on a 7 hour car ride with 2 boys in the backseat – now that takes talent!! Still have the same sarcastic, witty humor that I remember.

Initially, I felt very sad while reading it, wishing I could’ve done something to make life easier for you while we were friends in high school – guess i was too busy trying to fit in somewhere.

Towards the middle of the book, I felt very angry at your circumstances and again felt sad that you endured such heartache and betrayal by family and friends. Once I finished the book, I felt/feel admiration for the strength you have to have overcome so much and not once claim to be a victim!
Have a lot more to say, but time to get kiddies to bed!! I will continue another day, but will say that you truly have talent – as a writer, obviously, but more importantly talent at being a decent, honest human being who has the ability to touch lives in such a positive way! Talk again soon……  Bernadette”

There is peace in healing but there is freedom in empathy.  Thank you, Bernadette.



About the Author

Michael Foley

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Michael Foley currently lives in Los Angeles where he pursues his passions. Writing, psychology, spirituality and politics. He has been a fierce advocate for LGBT rights since the early 80′s, during which time he was part of New York City’s Act-Up and a volunteer at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. He has worn many hat’s over the years including nearly a decade in Corporate America where he was an Operations Manager in the Insurance Industry (please don’t hold that against him). Today he is a produced playwright and actor who continues to support and fight for LGBT equality and the healing of the LGBT Community.