I used to be sympathetic… because I did not want to connect with how someone else was feeling.
I used to also be extremely apathetic… because I did not understand why people were always coming to me with their “stuff” nor did I care to connect with them in that way.
Nowadays, I am empathetic… because I choose to feel what shows up! I choose to feel it all… the good shit and the not-so-good shit.
Some days, I make this choice consciously… inviting people into my circle so I can empathize with what they are going through in that moment.
Other days, I am very much unconscious. This really sucks on a physical level because my body gets all knotted up. It gets knotted up because I am feeling the pain of others without the conscious connection. When I am conscious, the knots are gone.
Needless to say, I do my best to be aware of what I am feeling as much as possible in any given moment in order to be a conscious shoulder for someone in need. #WorkInProgress
In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.
You may also want to watch Dr Brené Brown’s complete talk, The Power of Vulnerability, in the video below.