Is Your Empathy Helpful to Others?

My stomach feels anxious and I’m having trouble sitting still.  My daughter is upset, so I’m upset.  I feel her in my head, heart and stomach.  Her pain is mine.  I can’t shake it off.  Does that make me a good mother or am I adding to the problem?

Empathy.  It seems like a good thing to have.  It makes me sensitive and responsive to the feelings of others, but does it really help anyone when it throws me out of alignment?  When I’m feeling distress because my daughter’s feeling distress, how is my empathy helping her?  It doesn’t raise her vibration and it certainly doesn’t raise mine.  It puts me right where she is, which is in a place of disconnection.

How can I help her, or anyone else for that matter, when I’m in a place of disconnection?

What if the minute I was alerted to some discord, I didn’t identify with the feelings and changed my response from empathy to strength?  To clarity?  When she’s upset, she can’t move easily to a better feeling place because she’s already in the middle of the emotions . . . but I can.  I don’t have to go there.  Instead of losing my alignment, I can hold myself in a higher place where I can fully assist her.

We all consider empathy and compassion virtuous emotions, and they are wonderful tools for helping us understand what others are experiencing, but if we join them in those emotions, we are not in a place where we can really benefit them.

In order to help others, we have to be in a state where we can lift them up.  We have to be in a place where we are feeling that powerful love and clarity and can offer a hand to get them there, too.  Healers don’t join in the distressful emotions.  They offer their aligned energy.

Being sensitive and experiencing the feelings of others deeply has been a gift for me, but it’s also felt like a curse at times.  It’s turned me inside out in hospitals and doctor’s offices.  It’s made me sick to my stomach without knowing why or what to hang it on.  It’s caused me anxiety and sleepless nights.  I’m learning, through self-awareness, to disengage from outside emotions and protect myself while keeping an open heart.

Using our sensitivity to notice, feel and understand someone’s pain is an incredible tool, but we have to know how to use it without depleting our own energy.  We have to learn how to separate ourselves from the feelings and stop identifying with the pain so we can stay in a place of strength and alignment.  This is challenging, but it’s necessary to keep ourselves in a healthy state.

We can be understanding and compassionate when others are going through difficult experiences AND stay connected to source at the same time.

Stay centered and aware.  Question and evaluate any unwarranted pain and stress.  Know your energy levels and keep them as high as possible with love and self-care.  This is when we are most capable and of value to others.

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