Saturday, April 29, 2017

Empathy is our Natural State - let's enjoy it!

I am a fan of Seth Godin.
I am blessed by his work, and today I happen to have a different take than him, on empathy.
I am sharing below an iteration of my response to his post: Empathy is the hard part    

thanks for original picture from Maksym Kozlenko 

Amen, we cannot outsource empathy... compassion, love, experiencing the oneness that we truly are behind all the distraction...
and what a shame if we could outsource this, really,
what a loss to miss the delight of connection.

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I so agree, we learn to make empathy SO hard.

But I believe empathy is our natural state, we are One.

Unfortunately, for most of us, experiencing this Oneness in this life usually involves the expereince of pain, fear, shame...
And we are programmed by almost everything and everyone around us to shut-down - so most of us do.

Meanwhile, I believe our natural heart state is like a sweet, gentle flower
- open to the sun, swaying in the breeze, so present, so joyful, so beautiful, so delicious.

But our flower gets covered-over - often with many ouches, scars, various armorings.
It becomes hard for many of us to even see the flower - to experience that it is there - in ourselves, in others...

But the flower IS there - our natural state of Oneness... its still there, under all the crap.

So I believe from this perspective,
it may be easier to see:
WHY getting to this oneness, enjoying empathy,
can - at first - be very confronting, painful, scary, sharp, full of resistance... wearing.

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Actually BEing with another means
actually BEing present,
in the moment, with what IS
- really with ourselves and with them and with this reality.

This can be Really!! Tiring!!
- all the getting over the crap - ours and theirs and our culture's crap.
For many this is way too hard.
We do half-measures, or some just give up.

But the road of opening the heart is available to all whole want it 
- it is not easy for most of us, but the fruit is delicious.
And the good news is: 
From a healed and open heart, empathy is like falling off a log, it is our natural state.

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So, most of us have closed-up our hearts, deep within ourselves.
And we are blessed with the challenge and the fruit of opening our heart.

But some of us are blessed with even more to learn and practice. 

(yes, where we trip IS our Treasure - so let's dig ;)

Very central to this conversation - what can be seen as the other side of the coin:
some are too open; in ways that are detrimental.

Some terms used for this are being an 
Empath, being a 
Sensitive or an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)

BTW, this is not a heart-issue - our deep heart is made to open and expereince our natural connection.
But, Some of us, because of our background and choices, are too receptive in other ways - to others thoughts, feelings, experiences, will, desires...

Within, we have not learned things like:
  • Dancing our own power and volition;
  • Enjoying comfortable boundaries;
  • Interacting-with and learning-from emotions, and then letting them go;
  • Balancing within ourselves, not dragged along by our own or others feelings, instincts, drives, judgements;
  • Belonging in this world, being safe and well regardless of others opinions and behaviors...

We can learn these things.
And it is important to note, there are always very compelling reasons why we have learned them yet.
So compassion around this learning is really helpful.

We can learn and shift inside, and then in our outward expereince.
But, until we learn how to live comfortably, safe and empowered in and with our body, in the presence of others,
we suffer, we are overwhelmed, we take-on other people's stuff, our lives don't work.

This really is a super-draining way to live, and often painful, debilitating - certainly ineffective.
But, this (also) is not our natural state.

Naturally, we are powerful, and we can find and live in that natural flow of power.
And we can find and learn to own our free will, again.

Naturally, we can learn to turn our internal senses up and/or down, comfortably as needed. 
Within ourselves, we can turn down the volume of others feelings, experiences, communication 
- so we can comfortably be with others, without getting bowled-over.

Naturally, we can learn to shift our intention:
although we are all, already One;
we can learn to happily play the game of I/Thou in this life of dichotomies.

In this world of 10,000 things, we can be our own selves, enjoy our own body our own life, our own challenges, our own choices - and not get lost in everyone else's journey and expereince.

We can be blessed in a relationship with all others - with a space between us - so we can see, love, and play with others - and not be a big pile of mush one finds, for example, in co-dependency.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but truly honoring another and ourselves as separate unique individuals, can support us to show-up to Be With them, in a safe and loving way.

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Here I go, on and on
because
I am passionate that
our natural comfortable empathy, connection with each other, understanding and being-with each other very deeply
really can be easy, delicious and enriching.

I believe it is our natural state.

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Archimedes said:
give me a firm spot on which to stand and a lever long enough and i will move the world.

As in sports, business, etc -
it helps to stand-in and act-from an efficacious place
and have many levers/practices to utilize
- so we can be equipped and empowered to be who we are and do what we are here to do - more easily, more gracefully.

I believe it is useful to know,
this is possible regarding empathy, as well.

If we are willing to learn and shift:
Showing up in/with empathy can be easy & fun, 
and true connection with others can actually help fill our well, not drain it.

Empathy is our Natural State - let's enjoy it!

Thanks for reading.
Blessings on your Unique Journey, Wendy

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After I wrote this, I realized it goes very nicely with a class I am offering, starting in a few weeks: Enough! Receiving & Giving... and Boundaries! with Mother Mary - online workshop

you can read more about being an Empowered Empath

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