Back when I started this blog, I started it as a way to vent the increasing pressure I felt at work with a tremendous caseload and not enough time in the day. I was experiencing what we call in the industry, "compassion fatigue," or "burnout" in general.
Part of what this meant is that I had no room left in my mind for another drop of empathy for anyone but the people I was already taking care of. I am still on the prayer email list for the church I was a member of before I was married and, and I couldn't even read the emails anymore - "So and so is sick in the hospital and we don't know what's wrong," "Please pray for someone's grandchild, who is going through a divorce," "Please pray for so and so's best friend's uncle who just found out he had cancer." I couldn't stand another drop of other people's burdens, especially people who I didn't know. It felt the whole world was full of sorrow (which it is!) and I had to hear about every bit of it.
So I marveled today when I found myself reading that email and actually praying for the people and having empathy again without having to squeeze room from the corners of my heart that weren't already crammed with other people's burdens. I think I was afraid I was turning into a monster- its such a relief to find out I do still have compassion left for other people.