Posts Tagged 'emotional empathy'

What is an Enlightened Interaction?

A friend recently questioned my term Enlightened Interaction.  “I don’t know what it means,” she said, “what does enlightened really mean?  Doesn’t every new ager consider herself enlightened?” she asked.I suppose there is a connotation of spirituality associated with the word “enlightened,” which could be construed as superior.  But when I use the term “enlightened,” I refer to awareness – spiritual or otherwise.

Dictionary definitions of enlightened suggest it is a state of being knowledgeable. Definitions include, “…freed from ignorance and misinformation,” and, “…based on full comprehension of the problems involved.”   Spiritual enlightenment, then, is the ability to understand from a spiritual perspective.

Coming at our interactions in an enlightened state, means we are aware.  This awareness of others requires listening and seeing the other person without projecting our beliefs and motives onto them.

Spiritual enlightenment creates an awareness of spiritual truth.  In most traditions, this means seeing another as an equal and a unique and valuable individual.  The interaction based on this enlightenment is respectful and kind.

Intellectual enlightenment, “…based on full comprehension of the problems involved,” creates an interaction grounded in awareness of reality.  This implies acceptance of others as they truly are and not getting confused by our fantasies and desires for the interaction.

An enlightened interaction, then, precludes any abuse, control or manipulation.  It is an honest interaction between people who are presumed to be equals, who strive to perceive and accept each other as they truly are.

This interaction is not the norm for most of us, but I’d like to think the next stage in our evolution would make it the norm.  Compared to dishonest or controlling interactions, enlightened interaction is satisfying and pain free.  If you cannot achieve enlightened interaction in a voluntary relationship, it is probably a relationship you should walk away from.

I hope this is…well…enlightening.

The emotions you are feeling may not even be your own!

We reflect those around us

Those of us with porous boundaries tend to feel that we may be super emotional, temperamental or even crazy, when we feel profound shifts and changes in our thoughts and emotions.

In fact, we all “catch” emotions and moods from each other, though some of us are better at it than others. We tend to mirror each other’s body language and this can make you feel the emotional tone of a person with whom you are speaking. But on a more subtle level, we have mirror neurons in our brains that keep us in emotional sync with the people around us, even when we are not actively engaged with them.

Those who are capable of empathy with others, learn early on to “feel” their way around their environments. It seems those of us who grew up in chaotic times or in chaotic households or with explosive or moody caretakers, learned to do an especially good job of picking up others’ emotions.

It took me years to discover that I was an empath and not emotionally disturbed, though I was certainly disturbed emotionally! But once I saw that not all of the emotional winds blowing through my space belonged to me alone, I was able to learn what feelings were really mine. What a relief! I discovered I am way more stable…and positive… than I had always assumed.

How can you cope if you are emotionally absorbent?

The obvious, but not always practical, solution is to be careful of the company you keep. Notice if bad moods are triggered in particular environments or by certain people and avoid those if possible.
You can create more solid mental and emotional boundaries with your imagination. If you picture yourself surrounded by a clear, protective bubble, your thoughts and feelings actually affect the energy field around your body. This mental distinction is remarkably effective for keeping other people’s “stuff” at arm’s length.

We are not as separate from each other as we think. Though being empathic can be troublesome, being able to identify with the feelings of others is what makes you a fully functioning human being!


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