Years ago there was a boy at my school. He was different. He didn’t have friends and he was lonely and sad. I was only five at the time but I could feel his sadness. I wore it like a cloak and my small shoulders collapsed under its weight. I couldn’t tell the difference between his sadness and mine. Our hearts felt the same to me.
“To empathize does not mean to join in suffering, for that is what you must refuse to understand. That is the ego’s interpretation of empathy, and is always used to form a special relationship in which suffering is shared.” (T-16.I.1-2)
-A Course in Miracles
When you feel the pain of others, it is only a distraction from Who-You-Really-Are. As if your own pain and suffering weren’t distraction enough, you now have this mistaken belief that you must save others from their pain. This is wholly impossible.
If you try to ‘save’ somebody you are usurping the power of God. As a tiny self, you can’t know what is needed to show up in the external world to move others towards salvation. Your only role is to GET OUT OF THEIR WAY.
For the longest time I believed my extreme sense of intuitive empathy was somehow my ‘gift’. I erroneously believed that if I sensed another’s despair it was MY responsibility to fix it.
Exactly who did I think I was? Why did I believe that I knew what was in the best interest of someone else? Over time this belief has worn me down. It is a tremendous responsibility to believe that others are yours to save.
I can only save myself.
Others belong to God.
I trust in God so completely that I see clearly that you can save yourself.
You are that amazing.
You already have everything you need inside you.
I can walk with you, but I can never carry you again.
I can let you go because you don’t walk alone.
You have God.
I’m no expert but that seems like a better deal than any guidance my tiny little self could ever give you.