I’m grateful for empathy. Feeling empathy for someone else who is hurting can feel gut wrenching at times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love celebrating people’s joy and supporting them in their sadness. It’s because of my empathy that I don’t discount other people’s experiences. It helps me to see people instead of politics, religion, race, culture, gender, economic status, and lifestyle, because the truth is we each have our own journeys in this life and will process our journeys differently.
The other day, I shared that I believe in God’s plan, but I also believe in God contracts, which means I believe that everyone has a purpose to fulfill here. Some contracts are short, some are long, some are harsh, some are light-filled, some are dark-filled, and on we go. Like I’ve said before, I don’t expect or ask anyone to believe what I do, I choose beliefs that help me live my best life, and this is one of the beliefs that fit into my garden. This belief helps me to feel empathy when others will choose to hate. The combination of God’s plan and God contracts has helped me get through the US elections thus far. My empathy for those who have experienced trauma right now is breaking my heart wide open.
I honestly wish some people could see that this election for many was not about republicans and democrats. There are so many different reasons people vote and to just lump everyone into these big heaping categories on either side strips us of our humanity and decency, because we have dehumanized them by doing this. We can’t even begin to acknowledge the person, if we label them as wrong, evil, or bad because of their political views (which we have NO IDEA what their views are because we are only looking at things from our side). Many people on both sides of politics are full of fear, lack, and separation over a variety of different subjects. If someone is being hurtful to someone else, they are hurting. People in a healthy mindset don’t intentionally hurt others. If we are filled with love, abundance, and peace. We are not quick to believe in every conspiracy theory that passes us by. Conspiracy theories feed on our fears and can quickly make us dehumanize individuals with our personal fears.
As a narcissistic abuse survivor, and as someone who has studied narcissist abuse for ten years to fully understand how it works, I didn’t want to carry the weight of the abuse around with me for the rest of my life. I wanted to fully understand it because I needed to heal myself, but I also wanted help others. Through my education, I found empathy for my abuser, but also was able to set healthy boundaries and create new behavior patterns to project energy that wouldn’t attract another narcissist abuser to my life. I was once a victim, and that helps me feel empathy for people who were victims of all kinds of injustices. Some of those people have healed so the exchange can be compassionate and loving. Others have not, and so they may take it out of me, a group, an institution, etc. I know that isn’t my stuff, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t empathize with their pain, because I know unhealed pain comes out ugly (rage). I know how challenging it is to come up from the trenches when you have felt beat down.
So right now, I’m feeling empathy of joy, relief, peace, hurt, sadness, anger, and forgiveness. I know and love people who voted different ways for much different reasons. I don’t personally understand all the reasons, but where I can connect to people is through feelings. To be able to put my foot in another person’s shoes for even a few minutes is a gift. Being able to do this brings out the best in our humanity. When we can be empathetic, humanity wins.
Today, I commit to being empathetic to my fellow humans. When we can listen openly to hear someone’s love, anger, fear, joy, hurt, sadness, authenticity, compassion, kindness, separation, lack, abundance, etc., we become better humans. When we can hear them express their feelings and put our feet in their shoes while we are listening, we grow exponentially! Some of my favorite stories are those from people who once hated each other because of their differences, and ended up becoming friends. Once they connected in their humanity and could take the time to feel the other person’s experience, the barriers came down.
Now, if a person is very unhealthy and toxic, it may not feel or be safe to do this personally, which is why you may choose to look at them through education. Example, if the person is an addict, read about addiction and how it starts. If someone is a narcissist, research narcissism, but not just from the side of the victim. Learn about the brain and psychology. Gain understanding that what they do really isn’t personal. It truly is about them and not you. If a person is an abuser, try learning through documentaries and books. Remember, this isn’t about changing another person or fixing them, it’s about you just being able to empathize to the point where you don’t have to carry the weight of hating them. That is toxic energy we carry around if we just let it sit and fester. If we hate a person that hates, we are carrying around the energy of hate, AND that WILL EFFECT the reality we are creating.
Today’s challenge is not an easy one, and I find myself needing to consciously focus on having empathy for the people who think differently than I do right now. I also have to remember not to take others hate personally. When I feel someone’s hate, I have to remember that comes from fear, lack, and separation. I can feel empathy for someone who is so miserable with themselves that they take it out on others. I can feel empathy with someone is so fearful that buy into conspiracy theories instead of seeing facts. I love feeling people’s authentic joy, because that comes from a place of love, abundance, and peace. I’ve cried many tears of joy listening to people’s stories of triumph and celebration.
The point of all of this is to see the human. We are all just human. None of us are perfect. We can only ever look at the big picture through our own straw, so where we aim it is important. You can focus your straw on love, abundance, and peace or fear, lack, and separation. Wherever you choose to aim your straw is all that you will see, and each moment you get the choice where you want to aim it. Choose wisely!
Remember being an empath or being able to feel empathy for someone else is a gift and an honor. We have so much to learn from others, we just have to be open enough to listen with our whole heart. Try not to judge them as right or wrong, just observe if they are coming from a place of fear, lack, and separation or love, abundance, and peace. It’s just a little tip to help you see someone else a little clearer.
With Love, Abundance, and Peace,
©Rachael Wolff 2020
Author of Letters from a Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World