Ultimately, our psychological wounds are formed in relationship and therefore they can be healed in relationship. It is empathic disconnection that is at the root of our emotional wounding and empathic connection that can heal this.
Empathy demonstrates our capacity to relate to the emotional stories and feelings of others. We are empathically connected when we ourselves are not pulled into these and/or losing ourselves in our own stories.
We are empathically disconnected when we project our experiences on to another/others and/or when our minds are more preoccupied with trying to find answers and solutions. Empathic connection is not about ‘fixing’ or ‘fading’ the emotions and experiences of others but listening deeply and sincerely, and often silently, from the heart.
Empathy speaks of our capacity to stay fully connected to the one who is sharing yet also remain emotionally neutral. Our unconditional presence and ability to hold a loving space without imposing our own agendas or needs is the foundation stone of empathy.
An empathic individual demonstrates a marked ability to resonate with the feelings of others. They are able to sense and feel into what another is sharing. In empathising we do not try to make anything better, we are simply listening quietly and reverentially with a sensitivity borne of deep wisdom.
Empathy and Sympathy
Whereas empathy expresses our capacity for the above, in sympathy we may become overly emotionally involved with and attached to the pain of others. Sympathy may try to distract another, fix the situation, or feel the need to say or do the right thing. It has an element of ‘doing’ whereas empathy is more about ‘being’ there for another.
With empathy we are fully present. With sympathy we are not so neutral.
Sympathy identifies. Empathy relates.
Sympathy offers hugs and comfort. Empathy validates and gives space.
Empathy is deeply felt connection and understanding and sympathy is deeply experiential resonance.
Sympathy amounts to a sincere ability to identify with the pain and suffering of another. It can also invoke the ‘rescuer’ within us who may react as if the other were somehow broken.
Sympathy expressed as a response to bereavement is undeniably and crucially supportive and a necessary part of the healing of one who is mourning. It may also bestow a similar healing upon the sympathiser as they reconnect with their own story of loss and/or bereavement.
Empathy fulfils a basic human need to feel seen, heard, valued, validated, and acknowledged. It is a profound facilitator for conflict resolution and can tremendously accelerate both personal and global healing.
Empathic Connection Decree
I choose to empathically connect with myself to heal my psychological wounding that has occurred as a result of experiencing empathic disconnection from others.
I have reached an understanding that it is empathic disconnection that is to be found at the root of trauma. Therefore, I choose to empathically connect with myself to heal the wound of disconnection within me.
By empathically connecting with all sentient beings I contribute to the co-creation of an empathic world.
I am an empathic, compassionate, understanding and unconditionally loving human being.
Today, I will empathically connect with all, especially those who are judged to be the least worthy of empathy and love.