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Empathy: Medicine for a Wounded World

Monday, November 14, 2016 0:35
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empathyby Traci Pedersen

Here are eight ways to shift your thoughts to develop deeper empathy and help raise the vibration of our world.

Have you ever felt so close to someone that his or her pain felt like your own? Perhaps you have this connection with a family member, such as a child or a spouse. Many of us are capable of this type of deep empathy with close loved ones, but why does empathy seem so hard to come by in the outside world? Why are people so rude to the waiter or their co-workers? Why do people start fights with total strangers on the internet, saying horrible things they would probably never say in person?

We seem to have forgotten who we are and why we’re here. We are caught up in the false perception of living in a world fueled by fear, competition and lack. Somehow, we have forgotten that we are deeply connected to everyone around us and that our actions and reactions make a huge difference in the world’s overall energy.

In our present culture, feelings of separation and hate seem to be rising to the top in order to get our attention for healing. The world is in desperate need of more empathy and compassion right now. If everyone was more empathetic, it could help bring us all to a higher level of emotional well-being, and perhaps in time, even end world hunger and war. Empathy alone could stop so many negative emotions and actions in their tracks: hostility, violence, jealousy, bitterness, ridicule, bullying and unforgiveness.

A mindset change is the first step in developing empathy. Here are eight ways to shift your thoughts to develop deeper empathy and help raise the vibration of our world:

  1. Be flexible in your thinking. Empathy requires flexibility of mind—an ability to think abstractly and not in terms of black and white. It is avoiding the temptation to group people together and label them as a single entity: all females, all males, all democrats, all republicans, all people of one race or one religion. After all, how can we have empathy for others if we don’t see them as individuals? Get to know one or two people this week who are completely different from you. Find out why they believe as they do. What makes them tick? Then accept them as they are.
  2. Remember: We are all connected. Philosopher Alan Watts once wisely said, “But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest, and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.” In order to develop empathy, we must remember that we are energetically connected to everything and everyone. It’s like living in a web—when we send out positive or negative vibes toward someone else, that energy has no choice but to bounce right back to us. When we live under the false illusion of separation and disconnection from others, we are more likely to lash out or treat someone in an unkind way.
  3. Love yourself deeply. Have compassion for yourself. Forgive yourself. Don’t say mean things to yourself. You will naturally begin treating others with more compassion when you end the war against yourself.


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