Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Some thoughts on empathy for the "me, myself and I"


 When I  think of the things this world might need the most, empathy comes to my mind. Empathy is kind of a gentle power (gentle vs. soft which often means simply getting your way in a nicely-coated fashion)- the power to change how we feel in this world, and how we are with other people.

To me empathy is  for example trying to listen to the other person first before making a judgment, or at least noticing the judgment when it comes, and talking to yourself in a loving way. 

I wonder why sometimes being empathic toward yourself is so hard. It's easy to be over-critical ("I always screw up"), it's no so hard to be sympathetic ("Poor me"). 
But it's not so easy being  a gentle observer of oneself: (''Hmm I am not feeling so great right now, because I did something I didn't like, but maybe there is something I could do about this?")

This has been puzzling me, because I have been practicing empathy in many ways and I am becoming acutely aware of situations when my "I-need-empathy-alert" goes on. But empathy seems a gentle remedy, and in situations when my inner critic goes wild or my pity party wailing voices sing, I want to be drugged. "Let's pretend it never happened", "It just doesn't make sense"

I have felt the positive effects of self-empathy, it calms and soothes  the "me, myself and I" and makes me look around and ahead. But it takes time to absorb it, to learn to talk to myself this way.

So even though self-empathy can be spontaneous, is always there if I take the effort to switch my thoughts and words, but it's not a quick fix once for all, rather something that is (at least for now)  conscious decision and effort.

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