How To Use The Spiritual Gift Of Empathy
The spiritual gift of empathy is the ability to physically and emotionally experience the feelings of another. In most cases, this gift is experienced on an individual basis. In some cases, those with the gift of empathy are also able to experience the feelings or emotions of a group of people. This has proved especially true in the case of national and global tragedies such as with the most recent mass shooting in Florida.
For those who are unaware of the gift or how to use it, the experience of the spiritual gift of empathy can feel disturbing. This is even truer when the empathy experienced is related to a collective tragedy.
Identifying the Spiritual Gift of Empathy
The spiritual gift of empathy is recognized in an uncomfortable physical sensation or emotion that doesn’t seem to have a specific origin. Empathy might show itself as physical pain, anxiety, fear, sadness, anger or even worry. The first step in the effective use of this gift is to distinguish what emotions/feelings are your own and when they might belong to someone else. If after searching your own consciousness and finding that there are no identifiable triggers for the feelings you are experiencing, you can be almost certain that they belong to someone else.
The Purpose of Empathy
The purpose of empathy as a spiritual gift is to be a source of healing for those who need it. When the feelings arise in those who possess this gift it is merely a signal to activate one’s gifts of healing to support the individual or the group who is suffering. This healing can take the form of prayer, Loving Kindness, distance Reiki, or any other method or vehicle for sending positive intentions to another.
When the Spiritual Gift of Empathy Becomes a Challenge
The challenge with the spiritual gift of empathy is when one forgets that its true purpose is for healing and takes the energy on themselves. When this happens, you might find yourself becoming overwhelmed, even ill from the negative effects of another’s experience. The solution to this is to remember the purpose of the spiritual gift of empathy and to activate your gifts of healing. Once this is accomplished you will feel immediate relief from the effects of the empathy while sharing the healing that is needed.
A final interesting phenomenon with the spiritual gift of empathy is the anticipatory nature of this gift, especially as it relates to events that take on a global awareness. For those with the spiritual gift of empathy, it is not unusual to feel the negative feelings or sensations of a group event before the event actually happens. Some examples of this phenomenon might be the buildup of anxiety or restlessness that doesn’t dissipate until an earthquake strikes; or to experience the weight of grief just prior to a hurricane making landfall. Another example might be an irrational, obsessive fear relating to the safety of our children just prior to hearing the announcement of another school shooting. Perhaps one day there will be a way through the gift of anticipatory empathy to prevent such tragic events. In the meantime, we can continue to use our healing gifts for those who have been both directly and indirectly affected by these tragedies.
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