The Art of Empathy


We are an accumulation of all the experiences we’ve had since birth. Therefore, we are all as different as fingerprints. It can be easy to overlook this fact since so much of life is based on conformity.

The constant desire to keep up with the hottest stars, latest fashions, the newest trends, and the like, can make us appear to be quite similar — at first glance. And, because of these outward similarities, we can easily overlook the complexities and individual qualities that make us all uniquely different. When we overlook these qualities, we lose sight of why people react differently to the same situations, and judgment begins to creep in.

Conversely, when visiting a museum, we appreciate and admire the different qualities contained in each work of art. Those differences are what make each piece so interesting to us. Our senses are drawn to the beauty that lies within that diversity.

There’s something to be learned from that comparison that can open our eyes to the beauty in each one of us. For anger comes from disagreeing with the choices, opinions, and actions of others. And, that disagreement stems from one important factor – you can’t really understand the behavior of others without knowing how they’ve arrived at this point in their lives. Their past challenges, current belief system, personal insecurities, and fears all contribute toward making them a unique piece of art.

We’ve all been in those situations when the opinions of another have disrupted our flow or gone against the grain of what we believe to be true. At those times, we have a choice as to how we’ll react.

When faced with a person or situation that sets you off, instead of allowing judgment to creep in, try to see things from their perspective. Every action stems from a belief and every belief is directly related to a life experience that left a deep impression on the subconscious mind of that individual. By looking beyond the surface you can begin to understand and empathize with that person, instead of going to a place of anger and intolerance.

The more time you take to explore the reasons behind the actions of others, the easier it will be to release any negative thoughts and move toward tolerance, understanding, and empathy. Take time to connect with others, deeply enough to obtain that level of awareness.

And, if you ever find yourself wondering why YOU react adversely to certain life situations, you may want to take time to look inward for those answers. Meditation is a good way to quiet the mind and reflect on life. Hypnotherapy is another great way to go beyond the conscious mind, to the subconscious, in order to examine the reasons behind certain behaviors. It also provides an opportunity, in that discovery process, to alter one’s perspective on past events. This process can literally reframe the way you recall those situations and eliminate unwanted behaviors and reactions. If you want to learn more about Hypnotherapy, I offer free consultations at my office or by phone.

So, the next time you find yourself confronted with a person or situation that rubs you the wrong way, think about walking through an art museum. Take a moment to look beyond the surface and appreciate the diversity. By doing so you’ll be contributing toward a happier, healthier and more loving world – for yourself and everyone else residing on this planet. Namaste’


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