Edition 2 Issue #18
So excited to bring forth some of my perspective on EMPATHY, empathic listening skills, and how developing this principle has allowed me to be a better person. To not only better understand myself, but to better understand patience and an ability to hear the words others are sharing. Empathy has taught me so much about myself and also in meditation has helped me with concentration, especially concentration without effort.
Here is how I move forward using principles of Universal Law, as laid out to me in the 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous®. You do not necessarily need to embrace this 12 Step work to understand my topics here, it may help you, but these words and this site (www.beyondthe12th.com) in particular are beneficial to anyone and everyone who is a seeker. Or who needs help with depression, co-dependence, and just all around better understanding of self through knowledge. It is here through the use of 12 Step work; where I first became aware of the benefits of truly listening to the other person: To better focus, to being empathetic and attentive to others’ needs. I learned to truly listen, to embrace my fellow’s perspective on things, and to know I need not be right. I have learned to embrace being happy rather than being right. I have learned through empathy, of which my perspective, although right in my mind, is different and therefore not necessarily right in the other person’s mind. Imagine that! A world where I am not completely understood and appreciated for being the knower of all there is to know! (seems exaggerated? not at all, my perspective used to be the only one that counts, the only right thinker was me and if you happened to disagree the fighting broke out. I was right and that was it. Period!)
It’s through Empathy, empathic listening, and other listening skills such as Appreciative Inquiry (AI) that I have developed my ability to Love. (see our February 11, 2015 blog on LOVE for a better understanding. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to receive our newsletter directly to your inbox each week.) To love myself truly, and to project unconditional love throughout my world and wherever I go, these are the lasting benefits of embracing the principle of empathy. This is the key to happiness and to bringing joy to others. Unconditional love manifested without effort, without even trying. This is what Mother Teresa was all about. And no, I am certainly not trying to compare myself to Mother (SAINT) Teresa of Calcutta. My point here is to state I have grown somewhat, and in my daily activities strive to project love and kindness throughout. I will never achieve the extent to which great Saints such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta have achieved, but I can use her, and other’s examples as to how I wish to define my life by today. I strive to achieve an infinitesimal portion of the Enlightenment and empathy she showed, every day, and every moment of every day by denying herself to serve others. We state progress rather than perfection in the 12 Step program, and I can attest to being in slight progress in, and far from perfect. I continue to learn, I continue to be humble (see our blog on HUMILITY in the June 3rd, 2015 edition. Subscribe today to be sure to get it delivered every week to your inbox)
So what does it take to develop empathy and listening skills? What’s so special about this? Well I’ll tell you: everyone has a desire to be acknowledged, to be valued and to be heard. Just think about the last time someone really listened to you; was it today, yesterday, or maybe a week or several weeks. No matter how long ago, you will remember how it makes you feel when you are appreciated, when you are heard. It’s memorable! When someone you know, or even when it’s a stranger, when you feel heard and valued you feel significant: You remember, the experience is unforgettable. If we acknowledge people, they feel we are true and authentic. So why not develop these skills today?
Today I will do one thing which may make me feel uncomfortable for a moment, something that challenges me to be a better person, to be a better listener, to be out of my comfort zone and go the extra mile to help, or listen to someone, I mean really listen with intensity.
Look for next week’s edition on “RECONCILIATION ”. And be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive it directly you won’t miss a beat.
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