How Empathy Flew Home to Heal Herself

Empathy Heals

Photo Credit: Blue Pansy – photopin creative commons

With empathy, as in life, what goes around comes around.

The Facebook quiz revealed that I am an empath.

I can’t argue with the esteemed researchers at Facebook.

Empaths can ~

1. Sense the emotions of others and can experience their pain and joy.

2. Have double vision to see the world through their eyes and understand it through someone else’s.

3. Experience someone else’s happiness as if it were our own and feel compassion for their sadness which makes their own problems seem insignificant.

4. Imagine what it is like to be someone else.

Each of us makes multiple empathetic decisions a day.

We let someone buying one item in the supermarket line-up go ahead of us. We let a taxi cut in front of us in traffic because he is on the clock to earn his pay.

Empaths show others their worth which in turn enhances their worth and builds relationships.

They feel empathy for people like artists whom we have never met.

I have never been to The Guggenheim Museum. But I have heard that Frank Lloyd Wright designed the building so the art on the walls look different at various times of the day as the light from the windows changes.

I imagine the place would fill my senses, and make me grateful for my own existence.

When Rihanna sings the song “Stay” she sings to my soul, similar to the author of a book who expresses my own attitudes exactly.

Artists feel empathy for us.

Empathy is a smart, beautiful, social butterfly roosting with its’ peers and brightening their world, suspending self-interest by expressing interest in them.

My empathy acrostic:

E — Ego put aside

M — Meditation connects you to yourself and all beings

P — Put yourself in another person’s shoes

A — Always be open minded

T — Think how you would feel if it was you

H — Helping people

Y — Your empathy increases with reading and relating.

The best thing about empathy?

Understanding someone else’s feelings, helps you better know your own

If you aren’t able to vicariously experience another’s feelings or thoughts, your imagination can take you there. You will never know exactly how someone else feels, but by imagining how you would feel in their situation brings you closer.

I imagine I would feel cold, scared, and unloved if I were homeless. When I buy a coffee for the man sitting on the sidewalk outside the coffee shop, I am also buying him a cup of care. The look in his eyes when he grips the hot beverage in his dirty, weathered hands shows me that.

It could easily be me sitting on the sidewalk if my circumstances were different, and I would want someone to feel empathy for me.

When you are in pain, it is hard to feel empathy for others.

First you need to heal yourself.

The most important person to feel empathy for is YOU.

Then you will find your wings.

And your beautiful colors will be altered in the changing light of the day.

photo credit: Blue Pansy /photopin creativecommons

Previously published on Medium – all rights belong to Ann Hoy

Review of Optimizing Yourself – Week 43 – My Imagination Paints My Dream

This week I wrote in my dream journal and felt a good vibe.  This is what my dream feels like:

I am walking down a street that is made of stones and feels bumpy beneath my sandals. The sun warms my back as I touch the soft petals of the hibiscus flowers in the blue flower boxes outside the store windows.

I feel healthy and happy and energetic.  I am doing what I love – walking and writing and reading and sitting outdoors and learning a lot of new things, while meeting interesting people.

The villa I am staying in has cypress trees growing near the windows providing cool shade in the evening.  I can reach the branches and feel their spiky texture through the open window.

I am cooking the vegetables that I pulled from the garden outside the kitchen, and serving them at a big table outdoors made of stone mosaic that has been smoothed by the elements over the years.  I am sitting in a comfortable

wicker chair and sharing the food and laughter with my friends and family while the children laugh.  My dog’s soft furry head is resting on my foot.

Optimizing Yourself – Week 43 – Oct 14 – Oct 20,2013 – My Imagination Paints My Dream

Paint your mind's dreams

Paint your mind’s dreams

“I dream of painting and then I paint my dream”

Vincent Van Gogh

For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I am going to paint my dreams in my mind.  I am going to dream in colors of  ocher and magenta, feel the beauty in the painting’s texture and tone, and imagine that I already have my dream.  They say that what you can conceive, you can achieve, so I am going to write down my dreams in a dream journal each day, and take a few minutes to meditate on them.   I will feel the clothes I am wearing, see the location I am in, and taste the food I am eating.  We are all artists painting dreams in our minds, and  if we dream  with no limits, our positive thoughts can create our own masterpiece, that is uniquely ours.  I will let you know how it goes next week.