Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Case Against Empathy: Through Understanding

Where ever it is you are looking, so there it is you will go, the thought came seemingly out of the blue.

I let the thought coalesce fully into my barely awakening mind as I laid there in the dark and cool of the morning.  How many times have I experienced this very lesson?   

Admittedly, in some matters I’m apparently a little slow in spotting the theme of a life lesson when it is woven so subtly and intricately throughout my every day existence.  But, when you find a way, a tiny space in time to step back from your life and re-focus, there it is – the theme and pattern of the true life lesson emerges.

We are unconsciously seeking many things for a very good number of reasons and seek them we will until we gather from our seeking, that which satisfies our hunger for life lesson learning.

The words beg for my consciousness again, Wherever it is you are looking, so there it is you will go.   

What have I been observing lately?  I can tell you it has been disharmony and it’s all around me but not me.  I see it and feel it in those who are near and yet there is nothing that I can or should do about it.  That might sound callous or harsh but there is a point to my mental meandering so stick with me a moment if you can.

I’ve realized of late how silly it is of me to think that it is my job or role to empathically take on the emotions of others.  It does nothing for me or for them except double the chaos of emotion even if shared from alternative perspectives.  All those egos fighting for an imaginary pole position in an illusive race are thirsty but what they reach for will not quench them.  It will only leave them dry and parched and that is where the guilt rises within me along with the empathy. 

I see what is happening inside of them and I feel it and have this warped sense of obligation to do something just because I see and feel it.  It seems like the right thing to do but then I wonder about the concept of the thought of right?  Who decides if it is right to interfere if even via my own emotions as I watch the roles played out before me.  Where I look, I will go.

I do not like where I have been as the burden has been too much for me to carry.  I didn’t realize the answer was there all along.  It is not that I should stop seeing what I am seeing but rather how I am seeing it and taking in the experience of it in empathy.

Now with understanding, I can look and see the shining souls rallying to experience this dream as they intended without my emotional interference or empathy.  Rather, I can hold a space of compassion and understanding for their life lessons as others have done for me.

© 2015 Photo and Words

If you enjoyed this piece, you might also enjoy my books:

No comments:

Post a Comment