Posts Tagged‘suffering’

Are You Repressed and Don’t Realize It?

I refer to the first 35 years of my life as “the Great Repression.” I suffered greatly because the Readers Digest condensed version of me showed up in all my relationships. I remember a moment when I was 7, when my best friend announced her favorite color was pink and I told her, “Mine too,” because I wanted her to like me. Truthfully, I didn’t know my favorite color, so this was easy—it didn’t feel like a fib. I was pleasing people early, yet the people-pleasing wasn’t what bothers me in this story. What’s more disturbing to me now is the idea that a 7-year-old girl didn’t know her…

Are Empathy and Compassion the Same? A Treatise

Okay, this is not technically a treatise; it’s more like a few paragraphs about very important ideas that confuse people (me) at times. Many people use compassion and empathy synonymously. They are light years apart in terms of mind/body states. I think we get confused because we practice one to get to the other. We dare to look at the suffering of others (empathy) to awaken this powerful state (compassion) that we scarcely remember. When we practice empathy as a response to witnessing another human suffering, we are relating to that person through similar feelings of suffering. In this way, we awaken our…

The Spiritual Purpose of Empathy–PART 2

Empathy is one practice of an awakening being. When others suffer and we align without judgement or anger, we move into a deeper understanding of the universe and our relationships. We are living and functioning at a different level than when we were angry and unconscious. We feel freer, more peaceful, and less reactive in our relationships. Yet the practice of empathy teaches us something difficult. There are people in pain everywhere and we are almost drawn to them. The universal desire to empathize with others as you recognize suffering in them is designed to help you discover and resolve your own pain. Every emotion (or tiny urge to help) you…