Empathy has become a trendy buzzword and a soft skill much sought after by many in this digital age. A digital age where technology has become a catalyst for people to invest in their soft skills, skills no technology can compete with.
Few understand the power of empathy let alone know how to use it in daily life. You see, only those with a resilient mind, a detoxed ego and an open heart are truly capable of being empathic.
For some, it may come naturally, but for many, it is an art they learn to master. An art with deliberate intentions every single day.
I am fortunate to count myself in the category of emotional empaths, a personality type I initially saw as a curse instead of a blessing.
Now I am learning how to use my gift and shine bright like a diamond so others can shine too.
Being an emotional empath means having no membrane between our own emotions and those of the outside world. Our senses are incredibly heightened, and we feel everyone else’s energy, both the negative and positive.
It is bloody exhausting I tell you! Especially when you feel the negative energy of those you love and care for. Especially, when those you admire the most put a knife in your heart. And those whom you trusted and considered your friend can let feelings of envy and jealousy get the best of them.
So how do you love with empathy? How do you give to those that have hurt you in one way or the other?
Over time, I adopted some principles which have helped me take the higher road and release negative energy, an energy that was holding me back. I still struggle at times, but I always revert to these three principles.
Forgiveness is setting yourself free
If you are like me, you hardly forget anything. I used to think if I forgive someone who has hurt me, I must forget and they win.
What I discovered is by forgiving others I set myself free from negative energy.
I set myself free from constantly re-playing scenarios in my head on what could have been and why. Oh, why would they go down that path? Instead, I learned and was better prepared for the future. I let go and focused my energy on building the new. I discovered that forgiveness is indeed the hardest thing and yet the greatest gift of love you can give yourself.
The power of non-judgment
Judgments fuelled by both conscious and unconscious bias put love on hold. When we judge, we create a narrative in our mind about others. A story which is often based on our own subjective opinions. A tale fuelled by our negative emotions.
Judging others says more about you than about them.
When we enjoy the experience of meeting new people or spending time with those we care for without judgment and with an open mind, love prevails. And when love prevails, your experience and narrative changes.
The power of surrender
We all struggle with the “what if?” question; a question that tortures us inside. We contemplate endlessly on potential scenarios that are unlikely to take place. In fact, over 90% of our worries are trivial.
Instead when we let go of attachment to outcomes, when we let go of expectations and surrender we experience freedom. When you surrender, you save your energy and you use it to build your life and your legacy.
Seek to understand the other, let go and surrender to the flow of life. And as Gabrielle Bernstein says, trust that the universe has your back!
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