Would you rather listen to this article?
From an energetic perspective, the answer is: absolutely not. When you empathize with someone, you are actually reducing your vibration to the frequency of theirs. In order to actually feel what someone is feeling, you have to match their energy. When you do this, you are not helping them. You are, in fact, hurting yourself and quite likely adding to their present condition. You cannot ever help someone by lowering your own frequency to theirs. That’s like trying to save a person from drowning, by jumping in the water and drowning yourself.
Remember that what you focus on will grow (as explained in this free e-book). So, if you focus on their illness or emotional discomfort or on how horrible their situation is, you are actually adding to their situation. You are helping them to stay stuck in that lower vibration. When you see someone suffering, the only way to truly help someone is to do it from a place of high energy. What does that mean?
When you want to help someone:
- Don’t focus on how horrible their situation is; don’t feel sorry for them. When you feel sorry for someone, you are seeing them as less than yourself. It’s actually quite condescending, if you think about it. You are, in fact, refusing to acknowledge that they are just as powerful at their core as you are. They have just as much choice in how they feel as you do, even if they don’t realize it. This does not mean that you shouldn’t help them if you’re inspired to. It just means that pity isn’t really appropriate.
- Acknowledge their situation and pain briefly – just long enough to figure out what it is that you do want for them (usually the opposite). If they are ill, you want them to be well. If they are in pain, you want them to be happy, etc.
- Picture them at their best. See them as happy, as whole, as healthy. See them as the powerful being that they truly are and give all of your focus to that.
- If you take action, take it only from that positive point of view. Action taken from a high vibration is inspired action and will help to lift the other person out of their low frequency. This kind of action may surprise you and others. For example, you may visit a friend in the hospital and instead of commiserating with them, sitting sadly at their bedside and agreeing with everyone that things are “terrible, just terrible”, you might make jokes and get your friend to laugh. You might do everything you can to forget “reality” and distract them from the current situation. You’ll do everything you can to actually make them feel better, even if just for a few minutes. Holding a picture of someone as whole and well and happy when the physical reality is showing you anything but that can be quite difficult at first, particularly with people that we care about. It’s often much easier to do this when you’re not around them. Practice holding them in that perfect light while at home, before you go to bed, while meditating, any time you can think of other than when you’re actually with them. If you do this consistently, it will get easier to see them as perfect, healthy and happy when you’re around them.
- Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get sucked into a complaining session with them. You are just adding to their lower vibration and lowering your own in the process. Just stay light and happy, allow them to complain if they must, but don’t join in.
- Be prepared for the fact that some people will see your refusal to participate in a pity party as abandonment. “If you really loved me, you’d complain with me.” Of course it’s nice to have your feelings validated, to have someone agree with you and join in on the complaining. But this isn’t helpful in the long run. All it does is help to perpetuate the current situation. So, even though they don’t realize it, they’re actually saying “If you really loved me, you’d help me to stay miserable.” When this happens, assure them that you do care about them, and that you want nothing more than for them to feel better. You just don’t believe that they will actually feel better if the two of you keep talking about how horrible things are. All you are suggesting is that the two of you take a little break from the misery.
- Acknowledge that they have the right to feel the way they do. People in pain want to be validated, which you can do without joining in on that party. Don’t go in and tell them that they shouldn’t be sad or angry. “I can see why you would feel that way”, “Anger is a natural reaction to a situation like this,” or “It’s ok to be sad,” allows the other person to have their feelings. After all, you want them to pay attention to their feelings, so that they can then begin to deliberately feel better.
- At this point, you probably won’t want to start explaining about vibration and frequency. They won’t be able to hear you. I’m also not asking you to go in and be manically happy when they’re in pain. This will be annoying and it’s probably not how you actually feel. Just keep yourself in a good-feeling place and gently steer the conversation to more and more positive subjects if you can. Talk about a friend who had a baby, watch a funny DVD or read from a book of jokes – as long as it will actually make them feel better.
When you want to help someone, make them feel better if you can, but keep in mind that if you’re in very different places vibrationally, you may well just annoy them. Know that you’re benefiting them just by seeing them as healthy and whole. You don’t actually have to say or do anything. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do or say that will help. But you can always hold a vibration for the other person that they, in that moment of pain, cannot hold for themselves. We are all powerful creators, and we are all perfect at our core, even if we sometimes forget who we really are. When you see someone who is in pain, you see someone who has forgotten who they are. Help them to remember or remember it for them. It’s the only real way to help anyone.