Why compassionate people have lost their empathy for others

 

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2016 was a heavy year for people collectively from celebrity deaths to the US election. Many clients have told me about their personal losses, anxiety and disappointments. When you are in your own emotional pain feeling another’s emotional pain overwhelms you. I am here to reassure you, you are not alone it was a rough ride for many people, including myself.

If you are a sensitive person you may wonder why you suddenly lack compassion and patience for others. Anger, fear and numbness block the connection to your heart. When you feel contempt, judgment, or fear towards others you lose that mirroring of empathic response and feeling. You disconnect yourself out of a fear of being hurt again, yet, empathic response and experience require connection which means risk and vulnerability.

After a trauma or period of intense stress you can experience a sensation of being shell-shocked and reactive. When a person’s nervous system becomes overstimulated it goes into the fight (anger), flight (anxiety) or freeze (shuts down into numbness) response. In psychological terms this could be an adjustment disorder, acute stress reaction or post-traumatic stress. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment, go to a licensed professional rather than the internet.

Why don’t I feel better yet?

It is a new year and a new energy, although energy does not merely change with a flip of a calendar page, it is a process. Wait a good 3 months to give the energy a chance to build and move collectively. Individually, you are not damaged or broken. A disconnection has occurred and it has happened to many of us. Now the power is in your hands, what are you going to do about it?

What you can do:

My number 1 recommendation is to find an empathic psychotherapist to work with you. Yes, even therapists, healers and coaches need their own healers. Here is a little secret, the best ones do! I had a session in January to release much energy around 2016 in order to help others like you do the same with the work I offer.

You need someone who understands sensitive people, grief/loss issues and trauma reactions. This person will help you process the issues that trigger you so you can release them and connect again to your natural empathy for others.

While you are waiting for an appointment or in between sessions

(a) Practice mindfulness -Become aware of the present moment and that is all. This relaxes your mind, body and soul allowing you to reconnect to your empathic response.

(b) Engage in a meditation practice- Focus on your breath, it trains your nervous system to slow down and teaches you to become the witness to your thoughts. When you observe your thoughts and sensations you can choose a more empathic response or perhaps a non- response.

(c)For helpers- remember it is not your job to fix others. The best way to help others is to work on your own healing and to hold the space for others. Read How To Maintain Your Energy When Helping Others for how to do this practice.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is currently accepting new clients for her empathic psychotherapy practice, certified angel card reading and writing coaching sessions. Sessions are offered in person and by phone. Visit http://www.lisahutchison.net and help yourself to a copy of 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now!

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How Positivity Blocks Being Real

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In a close relationship, I recently voiced my anger in an assertive and calm way. Afterwards, I noticed the sting of the underlying hurt and disappointment lingered and began to look on the bright side. “Well, at least I don’t have to__________.”  As soon as the words passed across my lips, I felt uncomfortable. The things I was looking on the bright side about really weren’t that big of a deal. Yes, they were inconveniences, I was willing to do it before. In that moment, I became aware that I stepped out of being authentic.  I was attempting to put on my rose-colored glasses to hide the pain and avoid feeling the v word, vulnerable with being positive rather than fully sitting with it. Looking at the bright side to cope with emotional pain is not entirely a bad thing.  It has served me well in the past, however in this moment it wasn’t cutting it.  I needed to let this wound air out rather than putting a band-aid on it.

Sometimes you and I need to sit in the pain until it passes and not look at the bright side.  Most of my life, I was uncomfortable expressing and voicing my anger. In addition to that, as an empath, I was feeling and absorbing other people’s fears around anger too.  I learned that people wanted happy emotions and that is what I gave them.  It took me going to my own therapy in my 20’s to connect to what I was feeling and express that.  Even though I learned how to express anger in an assertive way, I had a lot of fear around doing it.

I worried;

What if this person does not like me anymore?  

What if this ends the relationship? 

Interestingly enough a few friendships and family relationships did end.  I learned that a lot of people are uncomfortable with anger and it has nothing to do with me. Their feeling uncomfortable does not mean that I have to stifle my feelings.

I wanted to share this experience to show that being authentic is messy at times and situations can’t be wrapped up with a pretty pink bow saying everything is cool, when it is not.  Sometimes being positive does not help ourselves or others but rather blocks the lesson of the moment from being fully absorbed. Those are the times that you need to sit in it and through it to fully learn the wisdom that comes with time.

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If you enjoyed this blog, let’s connect and receive a FREE 15 page E-book called 10 Ways to Connect to Spirit!  A great tool to learn how to stay connected to your own spirit and that of the Divine. http://www.lisahutchison.net Plus monthly tips to express your authentic voice, protect your energies and trust your instincts.