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Sunday, 10 May 2015

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tao of Dana:

Life Extraordinary

There is only one valuable thing you need to have in life to make it extraordinary.

Empathy.

The ability to sit in someoneís shoes and feel what they are feeling. The ability to suspend your own way of seeing life and see it through the eyes of someone else.

Without empathy, you canít be in love.

Without empathy, you canít create art.

Without empathy, you wonít have success.

Without empathy, you cease to be human, in an evolved sense.

Being empathetic does not mean you have to take what everyone is offering you. I used to confuse empathy with being a victim.

Empathy is actually all about being extraordinarily human and deeply integrated in life.

Empathy is heroic.

Empathy doesnít cause you confusion, it creates clarity. Thatís because being empathetic and sitting in the shoes of another person shows you that you can see that the world isnít all about you. It means that some people have bad days, have a bad sense of humour at times or have trauma in their lives. It means that you can understand what other people are going through even though they canít actually express it in words.

Empathy means that you can connect.

Itís a two way street.

You canít be the only one.

The most valuable lessons in my life have come from people who have shown me that they lack empathy.

It is shocking and scary when you realize that some people canít get beyond themselves, especially people who care about you. Their lives are such that they canít see their way out of their own way.

Every person I have met that lacks empathy instead has a lot of pride, a lot of mis-guided anger and a lot of fear guiding their lives. Usually, its all fear. That fear comes at you and spins your head around, because it comes out of left field.

If you have been on a roller coaster of a relationship with someone- friend, family or romantic, either one- and you canít come to grips with making it right, I bet you empathy is missing.

If you feel likeÖ

* Itís not comfortable, really, ever.
* You come last.
* You are unreasonable for having feelings.
* You are not sure where you stand.
* You walk on eggshells.
* You are a hapless victim of circumstances.

Empathy is not there.

Have compassion.

And no matter how much you care, it doesnít matter. No matter how much effort you could make, it makes no difference.

Have compassion.

You canít come up against a brick wall and expect it to hug you and tell you that you are OK.

You slam against a brick wall.

So does all your emotion, all your happiness and all your joy.

You canít let life teach you that empathy is bad. Empathy is beautiful. You have to trust that if you walk through life with an open heart and do all you can to have compassion and feel for others and lift them higher that you will find your people. Your people have empathy for you on that same high level. They always come.

My life is graced with empathy. And when I slam up against a brick wall it hurts sometimes but it reminds me that we all have a lot to contend with in life. That doesnít mean I sit in front of the brick wall and try to break it down.

People can feel

I used to.
Have you?

Have you ever tried so hard to break down the walls surrounding someone that you felt yourself wither in the process?

I have, for sure. It was the largest mistake I have ever made in my life. It tore down my career, my friendships and my health.

You donít need to make this your story.

People without empathy donít react to your pain, so your self-destruction is very unimpressive to them because they just canít feel it.

People can feel you or they canít. Itís not your fault. Donít suffer for it.

Donít internalize a lack of empathy. Usually the people who lack empathy also donít treat themselves well, either. They usually donít like themselves . Thatís a dark and horrible place to be. Itís very lonely.

You need to have compassion.

Compassion is the best cure.

Vilifying people creates less empathy in your own life. It shrinks your space, closes your heart and makes life feel like a small black space rather than the infinite greatness that it actually is in full.

You need to be open to be creative, to know love and to feel free. Start walking through life with the kind of gratitude that moves mountains. Start making life more of a connection, and show up to be a part of that connection fully.

You are not living in Utopia thinking that people who care about you will show you that they care about you.

You are not unreasonable to think that people should think about other things but themselves.

Stay in that space of love no matter what you come up against. Where you get no love back, love anyway. I really believe thatís the only way we can change our world, each of us, in extraordinary ways.

- Dana

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