Hospice caregiver and Buddhist scholar Joan Halifax draws a distinction between empathy and compassion. “Empathy,” she writes, “is feeling into another, while compassion is feeling for another, accompanied by the aspiration to take action hat benefits the other.” If our experience of others’ suffering overwhelms us, empathic distress can also cause us to abandon others in an attempt to protect ourselves from suffering too heavy to bear.
Compassion, in contrast, comes with less emotional attachment and more motivation. Empathy practice and tis quick descent into empathic distress can’t be sustained. But compassion, it seems, can make the difference between feeling the pain of others and doing something to help.
there is this docile place that may really be a space of taking it all in…..
inquiry for today~ how do you show your love? your truth about love?
If you tend to be passive, paradoxically, you don’t need to be more assertive but rather more receptive. The difference between passivity and receptivity is the difference between suffering and being open. Maybe you can’t tell the difference. When you are passive, you feel the impact of life on you at every turn. You can’t see that your passivity is a symptom of your failure to allow, tolerate, and cooperate with life as it comes along. Your very passivity is a form of control. You have to know when and how to surrender.