Feeling others is a gift.
Understanding others is powerful.
This post is about being an empath and how that 'gift' can go unused or turn on us and how to be a more skilled empath in a world that needs so much compassion and deep understanding.
In this post I distinguish between compassion and empathy and the necessity of boundaries to be skilled empaths.
I am mastering being an empath. I'm finding the balance between feeling deeply, sometimes intensely and safeguarding my sensitive heart.
What is an empath? Someone whose feeling sensory is heightened to the degree of psychically tuning into the emotional experience of others be it persons, animals and/or places.
Empathy is being able to put ourselves in the shoe's of the one experiencing pain or suffering. It involves some imagination along with strong feeling for the sufferer's perspective.
Empathy offers a space for emotions to flow freely and safely.
Offering a safe space free of mental chatter and solutions can be a tall order in today's world of rampant non-compassionate dialogue and quick solutions.
The difference between empathy and compassion is the degree of understanding.
Compassion is feeling concern for another who is suffering or in pain, without sharing the intensity of the sufferer’s experience.
Compassion is a universal language as it does not require verbal skill just basic understanding of common human experiences.
No words must be offered to convey basic understanding or compassion. Sometimes, our presence conveys understanding. Sometimes, just listening is enough. And sometimes what we ask reveals our desire to understand more deeply or empathy.
Without boundaries we cannot care with also hurting ourselves.
Feeling others stuff can be very painful when our boundaries are poor and our need to control is so alive.
I am still in the process of learning to feel 'their pain' without wanting to change it. It's challenging to detach from wanting to make it better when I feel those I care about in so much pain.
Feeling for others wont' heal them.
Boundaries means I understand what is mine or what it is within my territory to change and trusting others to take care of themselves.
I can only heal myself by feeling my heart wounds.
I'm learning to master being an empath through self-care, self-compassion, and self-empathy. Yes, I am turning these gifts on myself.
I must be willing to feel before I arrive at true understanding.
Feeling without having to change or do anything allows stillness to emerge. In stillness, deeper understanding emerges about my wounds. However, arriving at stillness has meant plunging into emotions anything but pretty!
Self-compassion allows me to sit with the unpretty or dark emotions.
To feel others makes us empaths, but, to feel others without understanding them is not giving the gift!
The power of the gift of understanding is that it is healing.
To deeply understand, we need to take time to feel our wounds without rushing. Rushing means we postpone feeling the depth of our wound and our healing.
Healing comes from feeling understood.
As inhabitants of planet earth we need to give ourselves the gift of compassion to pass it on or offer it to others.
If we share our wounds, we reveal our humanness. If we can be witnesses of the scars of our wounds, then, we can see the resiliency of the human spirit which is the beauty of our journey.
The world needs compassion to move to greater empathy.
- The difference between compassion and empathy is the level of understanding from basic to deep.
- Just because one is an empath, doesn't mean we automatically use our gift to be empathic.
- Poor boundaries make it confusing to know my feelings from others and what is mine to control and what is not.
- Empathy offers a safe space to express emotions free of solutions and mental chatter.
- To gift deep understanding is to give deep healing or love.
- A skilled empath fosters boundaries through self-care and turns the gift on self before passing the gift to others.
- Compassion is a universal language as it conveys basic understanding of feelings and can build to deeper understanding or empathy.
Are you brave enough to gift yourself and others with deep understanding (empathy)? And if so why?
Test your empathy and compassion:
Can I allow others space to be when they show me -their not so pretty side?
Do I give my 'not so wonderful aspects' understanding?
Being an empath in a world that is inconsistently caring and hostile is challenging.
Gifting understanding is deeply powerful as it is healing the wounds of humanity.