From FIELD OF DREAMS: “Ease his pain.”
Like many of you, I wake up in the morning, fresh from dreaming, bringing back some kind of message or understanding. The lesson downloaded into my brain this morning was about empathy.
What is empathy anyway? Most of us would define it as feeling what another person is feeling, relating, and being able to step into their shoes. You feel the sadness and relate when someone posts on Facebook about saying goodbye the last time to their beloved dog. Your heart hurts for them. You feel when your friend is sick and want to make her better. You watch the devastation on television of those who have lost their homes in a tornado and your gut aches for what they are going through.
There is different levels of empathy–how much it is turned on. When I was in high school, I remember feeling so much pain in middle school that I learned feeling was a not a safe thing. I shut that part of me off. I stayed on the surface. It wasn’t gone; it came out in stomach aches.
There are folks who are very extroverted who only feel their own space and don’t always feel the space of others. They have empathy, it’s in there, they are just more focused inward.
There are folks who read this blog who are Empaths. We feel everything. The empathy button is on so strong it can be overwhelming and debilitating. We feel times a hundred. That’s why sometimes it shuts off and we numb over or we couldn’t function.
There are many closet sensitives out there who appear un-feeling who are really our fellow brethren who felt way too much at some time and were seriously hurt, and so they can’t feel anymore. It isn’t safe to.
Then there are folks out there who have no empathy. They came in for special purposes, some of them, and perhaps, feelings would get in the way of that mission. They don’t feel when you are hurt. They don’t see how their actions affect others. They don’t hurt when others hurt because they don’t know how. The parts of the brain that feels that is broken. They live a different life. Do we have empathy for them? Maybe we can just understand what’s missing and see them differently.
I watch empathy in my dogs. If I am crying, they can feel my sadness, and will rush over and try to comfort me. It goes beyond instinct.
In my life right now, I am being asked to live at a deeper level of empathy, to put my feelings aside, for what is best for another. My little family lost a member the other day. Bun-Bun, my parakeet of almost nine years died suddenly. Before she died she had communicated very strongly that she missed Prosperity who had crossed over in September. She loved us but her body was starting to slow down and her heart ached for her companion. I’m being asked to look beyond my selfishness of wanting her to be here–to hear her beautiful little song-y chit chat throughout my day and having her companionship–and to honor her wishes. In this situation, I need to step into her spirit feet, feel her happiness and joy now of being reunited, and honor what she wanted and what is best for her first. It’s here where my empathy is a gift I can give her.