Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing. Instead of offering empathy, we often have a strong urge to give advice or reassurance and to explain our own position or feeling. Empathy, however, calls upon us to empty our mind and listen to others with our whole being.
I woke up this morning completely angry and frustrated. This happens from time to time, and the more that this happens, the more random it looks. I’ve plenty I can blame for a bad mood if I want to, but I keep finding that this doesn’t really do me any good over time. Once I blame something and manage to get it out of the way, something else always shows up — and I become frustrated with that instead.
It’s like being on a merry-go-round I can’t get off. Every time I catch the gold ring it’s replaced by another just a little further of reach.
There’s a common fantasy that comes with being a human being, that once we take care of a certain problem (a better job, better relationship, more money, new pair of shoes, hotter coffee, change the color of my bicycle) everything will be settled, finished, fine. But that never happens. Something else always goes wrong to take its place.
And on closer examination, none of the things that piss me off are really what’s pissing me off. What’s beneath is just a sensation that I find unpleasant, and that I want to do anything possible to get rid of.
Evidence seems to support the conclusion that nothing will make this unpleasantness go away go away permanently. So I’m teaching myself to tolerate it. Just sitting with these feelings I don’t want do deal with, without changing anything or judging them, is an enormous challenge. It’s not an escape, but it’s a different direction, the only one I’ve left to go.
Page 1 of 62