There are 7 billion people in this world who view life through their own distorted lens. Little do we know what is going on inside their heads. We are conditioned to see life from our own subjective self. Being able to view day to day life and other’s lives is quite difficult, since this requires us to be objective in our thoughts.
We can create a prison-like scenario in our minds with our thoughts almost to the point of strangulation. It is like a snake toiling around and the more you think, the grip gets tighter. I can speak from experience that we can become so caught up in our thoughts and assume that we are the only ones who suffer.
The vast majority of these 7 billion people go through this daily and are unable to put themselves in the shoes of others. We were created to hunt and survive. There was no inkling to learn empathy. We are also very egocentric, which causes us to be very self centered in our thoughts. This makes it difficult for us to consider the feelings of others.
Instead of wallowing in your own self, think about what others may be going through. We all have issues, which we are conflicted about. But the most important thing is how we process these thoughts. By remaining in this ‘me, myself and I’ mode, you will remain in a stasis. You will also prevent yourself from growing and gaining the necessary experience to ground yourself in life.
This is also a sign of not appreciating what you have in your own life. Once you start to show gratitude then you may eventually start seeing things differently. During our life, we were not taught how to understand others and their feelings. We have gone through life idealising people rather than getting to know people for who they really are.
In some of my relationships and friendships, I have realized over time that I never got to know these people and what they are really like. At the same time, I was misunderstood. Ever wondered why friendships, relationships and families fall apart? The simple answer is because there is no understanding.
Back to the subject of empathy, equipping yourself with such a characteristic can benefit you considerably throughout your life. You will become better at reading signs and understanding others around you. We are less likely to take life for granted when we can put ourselves in the shoes of others.
There is a high trend of people who choose to escape their issues, but believe me this is not the answer. You have to approach your issues head on. Our issues can follow us until we are forced to work on them. Do not allow your issues to grow into something bigger than they really are. Put the snake to sleep!
This may cross your mind, but how could I empathize with someone who put themselves in this position? We have all, unwittingly, at some point in our life ended up in a situation, which could have been avoided. But this way of thinking is regressive. More importantly, if you were going through the motions of what the person in question is going through, then you would think, how can I move forward? I feel that we are being guided metaphysically. Even in scenarios, which could have been prevented in hindsight, we were meant to go through them to be taught valuable life lessons. If I were you, I would leave the ego at the door and show some understanding.
Here’s a little tip. The next time someone comes to you with their issues, take a step back and listen. Also, step outside of your thoughts for a minute and do not project your situation on them. Try to understand them and show compassion and kindness. You will be surprised how far this will go. Be mindful when you give them your opinion. Only until you know someone well enough can you give direct and honest advice. To this very day, I am learning the hard way.
Learning more about the surroundings of others will help you to offer the appropriate support. These points are the key in helping you to better understand the needs of others you welcome into your life.
By Caroline Peart
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