Archive for the ‘values’ Category

The word “empathy” comes from a Greek term that means “to feel in” or “to feel inside” oneself, as one’s own, the emotional reality of others: a quality that is a blessing for the soul.  Empathy is the capacity of standing in the other people’s shoes, of feeling, understanding, perceiving, accepting and sharing feelings and emotions with others; it is emotional intelligence in action. As with all things, this quality needs to be balanced, lack of empathy will cut us off from our surroundings, an excess of it can thin out the diffuse line that separates our emotional life from that of others to the point of losing our own identity …


Someone without empathy can be a threat for society and for himself, because he can’t feel others he may wound or ill-treat them without turning a hair.  Because they can’t perceive the suffering of others, those who lack empathy are actual emotional illiterates incapable of understanding or taking pity of their fellow men,  even less so of creating harmony in a group.


Excess of empathy can also be harmful if we reach the point where we become insensitive to our own needs and emotions to the benefit of others; it is generosity misunderstood, a personal sacrifice that can lead us to the loss of our own identity or to become victims of manipulation.  Those who have excess of empathy are no longer in contact with their own reality and no longer know if what they feel is their own emotion or somebody else’s.  They can sacrifice themselves for others to their own prejudice, putting themselves at risk or even leading to self-destruction.  Excess of empathy can be love of mankind misunderstood resulting in self-inflicted violence or self-denial.


Empathy is an important skill for the emotional and sensitive knowledge of our milieu providing us with information that enables us to make the best decisions for common good, including the capacity of blocking out non-empathic individuals who are not aware of the violence they exercise.  Empathy and the information it gives us enable us to make other people happy, to help them or heal them if that is what they need, to protect the innocent from the destructiveness of the non-empathic.


In my opinion, empathy is of vital importance because it gives us the right measure of our feelings when understanding, helping, improving, enjoying, sharing or standing by others, it helps us  protect our own emotional life without letting ourselves being run over to the extent of missing our own course.


Speaking of negative emotions, during many years I have seen in my classes people whose excess of empathy made them block themselves out as the only means to avoid the suffering resulting from other people’s pain.  They were so caught up in other people’s suffering that they became unable to help or understand others and at the same time were totally incapable of understanding or helping themselves. By cutting off their feelings to avoid suffering, they stopped feeling themselves; they tried to live and understand life only through their minds and finally reached a point where their emotional life shrank to the extent that they couldn’t make emotionally and intellectually balanced decisions any more.


If we make decisions based on ideas that seem all right and reasonable but we don’t take into consideration how they make us feel, we’re heading for failure in the long run. When we have an idea and we are well tuned with our emotions, these will give us the right feeling about the experiences that the idea will bring about for us when it is implemented. Without such emotional information we may put in practice ideas that attempt on our feelings, ideals and longings and in the end on our soul. We’re all familiar with the “this is what I wanted, now I’ve got it and still I’m not happy” sort of feeling, the typical result of a decision made with head but not tested with the heart.


Pain is an emotional sign that should be overcome and not blocked off; otherwise we risk it becoming a chronic condition generating not only much suffering but many negative patterns that will limit our personality.  Instead of living a creative life that is the source of positive experiences and happiness, the “sufferer” spends his life seeking to avoid suffering, stops loving life and all he does is oppose it or protect himself against it.


The solution is not to block oneself off but rather to learn to handle our emotions allowing ourselves to feel them, letting them offer us their message, essential for the making of decisions that will bring us benefits and happiness instead of destruction and suffering. If we don’t pay attention to our emotions in our daily decision-making, we may end up immersed in the very suffering that we are trying to avoid.


The other case is positive empathy.  Feeling the love, the enthusiasm and the joy of the other person may fill us with positive emotions, of vital importance if we try to re-create them in our own lives too. Many receive this sort of emotions, they “consume” them and enjoy them, but they do nothing creative with them.  If something positive moves you, make the most of the gift that somebody else created for you and move in that direction, generate more energy and be an inspiration for those who in their turn seek to live on and learn to generate positive energy. Seek to provide your example and creativity for others, just as somebody else did for you.  Give back to the World the blessings that the World provided for you and everything will rest in balance.


Beatriz Fernández del Castillo



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After reading the last entry “Working on Happiness”, one of my readers called me and asked:

What happens if you have an objective, you work on it,  and it doesn’t turn out as you wished? It’s so frustrating … what happens to happiness then?

I don’t have all the answers, but I have worked with many people and I have come to the conclusion that what we were told about “ask and you shall receive” falls somewhat short. Asking is just the first step. If you set yourself a definite objective you must always bear in mind that you make decisions from where you stand at that moment and that you normally don’t know what lies ahead of you, what you will need,  what you will have to work on, what you will have to solve or sacrifice in order to reach your objective. Making and assuming the decision to “go for it no matter what happens” is just the beginning,  many simply drop it there.

Then we realise that as well as the objective and the results we want to reach, we must count on the necessary qualities that we will need to reach those results. What if I decide to be my own boss and work to make it true? Not only will I need an objective and an implementation plan, I will have to develop skills such as self-discipline, determination, work, observation,  preparation … and a great deal more qualities I will need to cover the way.  In order to reach success I will have to work on 20-30 patterns at least. Sometimes it is more important to ask the Universe for guidance in this sense than the actual results.

For example:  A part of me longs for the freedom of being my own boss, having my own business, but there are other parts of  me that can be incompatible with such objective, patterns I will discover, work on and re-program so that they may not block the physical manifestation of the circumstances, ideas and help that the Universe affords us when we have a plan. The energy of advance in these plans will be hindered by negative patterns such as fear of failure, fear of success, or a pattern of laziness, or one that makes me too hasty and therefore  makes me make too many mistakes so that I have to constantly rectify, or I may lack vision of the future, or I am careless with capital that I must invest,  or I chose the wrong collaborators or partners,  or I rush into things without a clear idea of what I want to contribute to the company, or I am afraid of risk, or I risk too much without giving it much thought …

It can also be that if we have had several attempts without success because of all those negative patterns,  we add what we already think and say about our own capacity as a result of our bad experience, such as: “I’m not good enough, I always botch it up,  there’s no point in my trying to do anything,  I always end up with people who let me down …”

On top of it, most people try to learn about the rules of society and yes, they are essential for advance, but we must also study the laws of Nature and of the Universe. If  we observe Nature and its laws we realise they are fair and balanced, Nature regulates itself. Whereas the laws of men are sometimes fair, but not always. The combination of both is what has mankind confused about what we should do in order to get things right  from the start, it is the reason why men don’t understand why the world is the way it is.

By constantly interfering with the laws of Nature and physical manifestation, men end up changing the rules of the game.  Thus, according to man’s criteria, in Nature  the best  is the master. But sometimes, in some human societies, it is stupidity, superficiality, selfishness, pettiness or violence that are most valued, thus removing the best individuals from power and decision-making, simply because the worst are the most valued.  The sole responsibility for this lack of  balance is man’s value system. The crisis of values we are going through is the result of the inability to value what is really important.

The best we can do is to get to know ourselves and understand which values and talents we need to achieve our objectives. If we set ourselves targets but we are not conscious that we need spiritual and psychological work and  tools as well as the physical and material ones, we can be in for a lot of frustration and discouragement.  A self-assessment is the mother of all blessings, and putting those blessings at the service of Nature is our duty.

Some people reach happiness and success by chance, sometimes it is only material, sometimes it is only spiritual, but because it is not  a conscious  happiness it’s unlikely to be  long lasting. Those who seek to experience it and share it on all  levels  -spiritual, mental, emotional and material-  have the worthiest possible objective, that of a soul in search of its own fulfilment.

If only we would take some of  Nature’s  ideas  to achieve this, if we finally decided to serve Nature and not exploit it, we would be doing a lot better.   Service  has a lot to do with our longed for happiness.

Beatriz Fernández del Castillo



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