What is true empathy?

 

The holidays are a big time for meeting and greeting old friends and family members. We sit around, open gifts, laugh together, swap stories. And as I did this with my family and friends, I found myself getting wrapped up in their stories. I started making judgments and getting concerned.

This is what the world would call empathy–meeting the people in our life in their suffering, acknowledging it, and trying to help them stop suffering. But A Course in Miracles says that that doesn’t actually help anyone. In order to heal ourselves and to heal the people in our lives, we actually need to “step gently aside and let healing be done for [us].”

True empathy is stepping aside and letting Holy Spirit guide us on what to say and do. He will always associate with others’ strength, not their weakness, and in so doing reminds everyone of their truth.

Yet of this you may be sure; if you will merely sit quietly by and let the Holy Spirit relate through you, you will empathize with strength, and will gain in strength and not in weakness.

T-16.I.2:7

 

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