Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Empathy as a Spiritual Discipline, Part 2

     In my earlier life, I attended conservative churches on a regular basis.  And of all the hours of sermons I heard, only one has stuck in a positive way.  Its theme was that we need to have the same internal strength as the forces around us.  The analogy that this pastor shared was that of a deep-sea fish.  Its internal pressure is extraordinarily high, which counterbalances the high pressures of the lower sea depths.  If this fish were to be brought to sea level, it would explode because of its high internal pressure.  Interesting.

     I think this helps us empathic types focus on what is needed to get through a normal day.  The internal pressure needed here is NOT the "wall of protection" or highly resistant attitude that one often hears about.  Rather, I believe it is the force of love, which will counterbalance most anything coming at us. 

     Yes, I still have many days when I'm so tired or off my game that this seems unrealistic.  Still, it is something to aim for.  Imagine if we all made the force of love our goal.  What a world we could have!

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