I don't remember ever having to work with a client to increase empathy.
Granted, my clients are a self selecting group of feelers, but generally I'm coaching people on how to distinguish and feel their own feelings rather than other people's feelings.
I can help people with this because this is what I had to learn for myself.
When tragedy hits the world, my learned default is to hear just enough. If its something I have no control over, I do my damndest to put it aside and retreat back to the solace of my own experience.
These are the rules I had to set up for myself when I began to learn energy healing at 22. This is when I realized I had spent my life leaking emotional life force from my pores with every sad commercial about starving children and abandoned puppies.
I had crappy energetic boundaries and my body was taking the hit. I've had to work hard to change that in order to be healthy.
This time, those old rules don't seem to apply.
This month is different.
It feels completely wrong for me to retreat into my own experience right now. This is strange territory for me but right now I am a sponge absorbing the stories of others.
Every time I'm granted the opportunity to stand in someone else's experience, its strange but it feels like a relief. The tears feel cathartic. It feels like I'm the one being healed when I get to hear an honest story about the experience of a black person in America.
This time in our history feels like long-overdue couples therapy on a massive scale.
I grew up listening to my mom's stories about living in Mobile, Alabama in the 50s and 60's.
She was nearly kicked out of her house at 18 for refusing to vote for the pro-segregation, George Wallace.
In college at the University of Southern Mississippi she had to coax two terrified black girls out of their room after MLK was shot. They had barricaded themselves in, fearing they might also be shot, or worse.
After watching Just Mercy, a couple weeks ago, my mom recalled a river that ran near her neighborhood where black bodies would sometimes wash up. There would be no newspaper article, no investigation, no trial. Just a body.
This was the background of my mom's childhood and she passed on those stories to my sister and I.
But the stories always ended with ...."but this was a long time ago and things are better now".
I'm not sure if she genuinely believed this or if this was a way of putting a happy ending on a bedtime story for the sake of her children.
Maybe the reason I feel so good about this time in our history is because it feels like it might be the beginning of a better end to the story. Where the whole story actually gets told. Because until that happens, the story can't end.
This is just one of the many things I'm noticing right now that feels new, different, interesting, exciting. Its just one of many things that affirms my hope we're on the brink of a magical time on this planet.
I'm not saying this is easy. Change isn't easy. There's still a lot of work to do and conditions may get worse before they get better. So hold on for the ride folks.
BUT, there is massive healing available right now for all sides as we shift the karma around power in this country simply by listening deeply to each other.