Self-care and self-compassion have always been a challenge for me!
Now for anyone that knows me professionally this probably won’t make much sense. I’m an experienced counsellor of 26 years, so really I ought know about this stuff.
In reality there is a huge difference between helping ‘other’ people to learn to take care of themselves and helping ‘ourselves’ to take care of ourselves. And as counsellors we too are normal human human beings on our own journey with our own life lessons.
There was a time in my life when looking after myself and prioritizing my own well-being felt ‘selfish’. And not only did I feel ‘selfish’ but the idea of putting myself before others seemed completely contradictory to my core spiritual belief in being a kind and giving person.
It was a light bulb moment for me when I realised that by ‘not looking after me’ I was depleting my ability to look after others. I needed to find a balance that would be enable me to prioritize self-care without compromising my core Spiritual beliefs.
…And so began my journey of ‘Spiritual Empathy’.
I realised that above and beyond anything else I needed to learn to listen to myself. Not only to my mind and my thoughts, but also to my emotions. The 7 Steps of Spiritual Empathy are the core principles of my own spiritual learning curve and my own journey of emerging emotional awareness.
Firstly, my definition of Spirituality:
“Spirituality is a state of living, or a state of ‘being’ in which, in each and every moment, within our everyday human lives, we develop a deep respect for the journey of our soul within the human experience, underpinned by an ever-evolving awareness that we are all ‘One’.
Our thoughts, our actions and our words demonstrate our desire to live in a manner that benefits all of humanity and the world at large. We aspire to become more than we already are and we desire to live in a manner that honors this Oneness”.
And now my definition of Empathy:
“Pure Empathy is an ability to become a fully relational, fully alive, vibrant flourishing human being, able to listen not only to others, but to ourselves and to the energy of life that flows through us, connecting us to all that is ‘One’.
When we live our lives through Empathy, we see life and are living life from a foundation of kindness and compassion which in turn supports us in becoming more than we already are and offers the same to all those that we come into contact with”.
This is a link to an article about Empathy as a way of Life, published on the Huffington Post. To read more please click here.