“As sleeping humans start waking up, they wake up to their empathic nature. Empathy is one of the first sign of awakening in humans.”- Cynthia Payendee
Experiencing others’ experiences through our being is the way we connect, we communicate, we commune, we support, we give, we receive, we create and we destroy. Humans are designed to relate, to belong and to move in togetherness and empathy is the key that deepens compassion and ushers us to reach out and to be reached out to and for.
Humans are empath and there is no such thing as being more or less of an empath but rather how much open we are to witnessing, listening, feeling, receiving and giving to, through and for life within us and around us.
As humans, we are wired up to read the energy of others, places, instances, context, history and much more. Reading energy is natural to our energetic make-up. There is no one single human on earth who cannot read the energy of others, space, instances, context and much more.
Most of us veiled, we live our lives robotically, blinded to life unfolding within us and outside us.
Others are woken either intentionally or through cumulated circumstances.
I sit in conversations with women who speak of “draining energy and tiredness at feeling what others’ feel.” These are women who coin themselves as empath and I know it is no different for men and children regardless of age, space and time.
A recent conversation with a young woman, left us both beautifully shaken
“It is a lot for me. I know what people go through when I am physically close to them and this leaves me drained when I leave them.”
Here are my whispers
At times, it feels like we feel for the world. We are doing the feeling job when most of our fellows are racing.
Often times, we see, hear and feel what will take the other to the next stage and we wiggle at the sight of the other’s unwillingness to listen to his/her self.
Empathy is this innateness to all living beings to feel with and along others.
Empathy calls that we move to a space within, a space that allows us to connect to our own feeling and to relate to the other, our stories need not be the same.
Empathy calls for showing up vulnerably receiving the told and untold stories of the other.
“Empathy is a choice. A vulnerable choice. In order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows this feeling.” Brené Brown
There is a huge difference between feeling with someone and feeling the feeling for someone.
There is a huge difference between making your story mine and understanding that you are the owner of your story and it is solely your responsibility to own it, reclaim it and heal your way through it.
There is a huge difference between standing by someone and trying to fix someone.
What are you sitting with?
What feelings? (not thoughts but what are you feeling instead and where is that feeling in your body?)
What is this word “empathy”?
How do you define empathy?
Have you ever experienced empathy in your life?
How do you do empathy?
Empathy is taking the perspective of the other and honoring that this is their truth.
Empathy is recognizing emotion in another and holding space for that emotion without judging and without fixing.
Empathy is showing up and saying “I hear you and I see you, our stories may be different, I may never understand least be moved to experience the intensity of what you are going through right here right now, know that you are not alone.”
“Empathy has no script. There is no right or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting and communicating that incredibly healing message of “You are not alone.” ” – Brené Brown
What about persons who are are drained after encountering others whether as facilitators and/or fellows on this journey?
Do you go back home with others’ stories imbued in your energetic space?
Do you struggle in cutting off?
Pause | Check
Whose story did I take back home with me?
Am I trying to take ownership of someone else story unconsciously?
How do I navigate through?
I am still learning to navigate and negotiate through with boundaries. I stand in truth that as much as we are all connected, it is not my responsibility to fix someone’s life. I stand as a witness and a space holder.
Boundaries are about what I allow in my space and what I will not allow and much more.
Boundaries are fundamentally built from and through my core values.
2. Space for Discomfort
I allow space for the discomfort, the unease and the opening that happens with each encounter. This is the flow of life, consciously and unconsciously we are all facilitating journeys for each other. Encounters are energetically imprinted, so I stay present to the discomfort that may show up at all levels, especially after the encounters.
3. What is calling my attention?
Often times, if I remain unsettled heaving through after my encounter, I pause and ask “What is being mirrored back to me through this person? What part of my own story is showing up? what is awaiting to be acknowledged, held and embraced?”
Unsettled or not, I will always use that encounter as a space of learning and ask myself what is showing for me and allow myself to grow from that space.
4. Who to save?
Am I trying to save myself by saving someone? Am I trying to fix my own story through someone’s journey?
This is tough conversation. This is standing naked in front of self but this is the beginning of empathy.
One cannot demonstrate empathy towards others unless one can stand in empathy with and through self.
When we land in groups (regardless of their size), the energetic and systemic wiring that is re-membering and deepened is such that, we can easily leave that space with others’ imprints as others.
Discernment is needed most now onwards.
Take what belongs to you and leave what belongs to others
In a world that glorifies “Oneness”, we fail to voice out that “oneness starts with self reclaiming, re-membering and integrating parts of oneself and this applies to all humans on earth irrespective of age, time and space.”
If you are struggling right now to navigate through feeling intensely, for you are a sensitive being and it can be confusing, complicated to feel the depth you do, below are three tips from Jeff Brown, he whispers how to keep the heart open consciously:
“We don't want to deaden our capacity to feel, but if we feel too much, we get run over by an often heartless world.
I have found my best answer in three places:
(1) Selective Attachment; that is- carefully discerning between positive and negative individuals and environments, and only attaching to those people and places that can hold our tender heart safe;
(2) Strong energetic boundaries; that is- being physically and emotionally charged, so that we can more effectively repel unwelcome energies;
(3) Conscious Armoring; that is- learning how to put on armor when necessary to manage the world and difficult situations, and, consciously removing it when it is no longer needed.
If we cultivate these practices, we stand a much better chance of preserving our sensitivity.”
May we be reminded that sacred lies in our experiences, no matter how ugly and dirty they seem, see, hear and feel.
May we be reminded that we are called to stand by and support one another
And true support emerges through supporting self-first
May we be moved to reach out, to talk about our stories, our pains, our wounds, for that which is spoken of and about, losses it’s propensity to shame and guilt.
May we be reminded we are wired up to belong
Our belongingness is catalyst to teaching us what we need most from each other is trusting that the other has all it takes to own one’s life.
Love from my heart to yours
Image source: @travel-now or crylater @Unsplash
Post © Megha Venketasamy, 2020. All rights reserved.