Shifting from Empathy to Compassion

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by: Jamie Rautenberg

There are subtle differences between sympathy, empathy & compassion that cause major issues when relating with ourselves & others. Sympathy is to pity another’s misfortune, while empathy is to allow ourselves to experience those feelings of misfortune.

But, for super sensitive empathic souls, we can also simultaneously feel responsible for those feelings we absorb from the world around us. It can be quite uncomfortable to sense all the emotions and energy that exist within and between us at all times.

Only when we make the conscious shift from empathy to compassion can we witness all through the neutral perspective of love, without being overwhelmed by whatever presents in our world.

It is from compassion we can hold the space for ourselves and another to experience all as it occurs, without the need to adjust any aspect of our experience or theirs. Until we make this shift, we’ll be tossed around in a sea of chaotic energies constantly seeking comfort & protection from the world & others around us.

Love doesn’t deny the suffering of another or identify with it. It simply witnesses it without judgement. Creating that space is what gives us all permission to show up as we truly are, no matter what.


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