Empathy is being fully present and connected to another being. It’s not sympathy, or pity. It doesn’t imply agreement. Instead, it reaches out to acknowledge another. It facilitates understanding and true communication.
Nor does it even have to agree with another’s point of view. Empathy is simply being genuine, present in the moment, and relating to another living being without judgement or ego. it allows others to truly be seen and heard.
You can grow your empathy!
Notice empathy in your relationships, and notice when it is absent. When we feel judgement, or the need to give advice, we’ve slipped out of empathy and fallen into relating from ego. When this happens, take a moment to breathe, and instead, allow yourself to feel fully present in the moment. Truly be here. Let yourself really listen. Be fully present. Now you’ll find that a connection happens, as the other person can relax and allow themselves to be more vulnerable and open. Now you’re being genuine with one another, and you’ll feel that effortless connection happen.
So often our conversations with those closest to us, consist of “defend and attack” – in which neither party is actually seen and heard, because we’re so busy defending our selves or thinking of retorts. It can become a habit, as if we’re psychically holding onto our shields and swords. Empathy allows us to stop that pattern, and instead, to truly connect.
And connection, without ego, is pure love.