Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Empathy as a Spiritual Discipline

     As you have read plenty of times in this blog, I'm an empath who often struggles with being able to function in our hyper-saturated world.  We empaths often feel overwhelmed, not only by common sensory stimuli, but also by the feelings, moods, thoughts, and physical ailments of others.  It's not an easy path!

     For most of my life, I've vacillated between feeling completely overwhelmed and exhausted by it all, or else putting up a hard protective shell which makes me feel confined and unfeeling.  Lately, I've discovered a third way.

     Years ago, I asked my guides about how to function as an empath, and they gave me the visual mental image of a mollusk at the bottom of the sea.  The mollusk can open itself up or close itself off whenever it wills, and can take in whatever it wants whenever it wants.  That image, frankly, didn't make a whole lot of sense at the time. 

     But recently I've learned that I can safely open myself up to others and all their stuff if I do it with a heart full of compassion and love.  Somehow, that full heart acts as a counterbalance to all the stuff that pours in to me.  I can take things in, and then process them with love and then say appropriate words or take appropriate actions, or just give a kind smile and go on my way.  Things don't "stick" the way they used to, which is great.  I'm able to function so much better now!

     If only it hadn't taken me my whole life to figure this out.

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