Website Featured Image Lisa Precious 07.06.2024

Guest Article: The Empathy Ingredient: The Gift of the Trauma-Wise

In this article written by Lisa Precious of Smiley Blue, we look at the importance of developing Empathy. 

Trust can blossom when we connect with people who, perhaps like me, have known adversity and broken. The individuals who have worked through their trauma are some of the strongest, most resilient people you could ever wish to meet. They possess a magical ingredient called “Empathy”. Be warned, though, never confuse these people’s kindness or softer qualities with weakness. They have a kindling and controlled fire within that is the warmth that fuels their mission. These individuals have known how it feels to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of despair. 

Yet, that inner strength didn’t arise from resilience or empathy. It came from a dark place, it came from broken. Once healed, these individuals adopt a no-bullshit attitude and are not people to be messed around with. To some, they might seem harsh or hard, but scratch the surface and you will find pure gold within them.

Setting high standards for ourselves is a mark of self-respect, the bar is “high” for a very good reason. The low bar is just not a great place to sit, and we know because we’ve been there, with no intention of lowering the bar again. 

I recently had the pleasure of sharing a coffee with Simon Lee Maryan, we both connected through our mutual work and mission to help people heal beyond trauma and shared interests in mindset and self-development. As Simon and I sipped coffee we both shared a giggle as we recognized we had both been in that dark place of hopelessness, rocking in the corner of the room. Reflecting upon the conversation later, I thought how wonderful it was that we had been fortunate to pull through and sprinkle some relaxed humour upon what was at one time the depths of our despair.  

I share this interaction with Simon to give people hope that they too can reach this place with the right tools and people supporting them along the path of healing.


Back in the nineties, I was on an intensive sales training course, it was the first time I gave some thought to the word, “Empathy” and how powerful it is to possess the ability to empathize with customers to generate a sale. It would mean asking lots of questions, remembering the answers, and in short repeating the answers back to relate to the product. We were taught to sell the dream. 

The Cambridge Dictionary defines empathy as the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation.

Walking along the path of empathy is similar to having a friend who shares the journey and allows the freedom, time, and space to describe what is seen and felt in depth. These individuals don’t minimise your experience or interrupt or dismiss your feelings. They possess eyes and ears for seeing and hearing with heartfelt intent, but more than that, they can heighten their senses to read the room, knowing when to speak and when to listen.

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”

― John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love

Developing Empathy

Next time someone tries to talk to you about a painful and traumatic event such as a death, a procedure, a birth, an injury, an accident, or perhaps a health diagnosis, try using a little empathy. 

Watching my father pass away in front of my eyes was one of the most traumatizing sights I have ever witnessed. Falling to my knees and throwing up as the event unfolded, I suffered flashbacks for many months after, yet all people would say to me was, “Well at least he’s at peace now” –Not helpful! 

Are we hardwired and programmed to avoid talking about the uncomfortable realities of life? Do we have to try and sprinkle positivity over everything?

It takes a special person to know the real meaning of empathy, to give the gift of time and space, and to allow for thinking and talking. To hear the music to the ears when someone asks, “How did that make you feel?” And they listen, truly listen from the heart.

Thank you for reading today. I hope my writing serves to help, support, and uplift, you the reader. 

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