A World of Empathy

Well the irony is not lost on me that here I sit, a year later, still watching the river waters as they flow by, reflecting on a year that’s gone past and what gifts I will bring into the coming year.

I was saying to a friend of mine that I feel like I am in the middle of the ocean and a heavy fog is surrounding me, like the ones I remember of Newfoundland where the fog comes in so fast and so thick you can’t see your hand in front of your face. I feel like the gift I am searching for is right in front of me; I can feel it, but I can’t see it or touch it. I just know it’s there. I want to swim towards it. I want to claim it. I want to know its secret; its gift for me for the coming year – am I to go back to work? Am I to get this new voice I need for my writing? Am I to get more life coaching clients? Am I to… Am I to what? I don’t know…but I feel the answer is so close, yet so far away.

I was telling my friend that I have spent the past three weeks sitting on my couch staring at the river. I haven’t written. I haven’t wanted to write. I haven’t wanted to do anything, except cry. I’ve cried a lot. I’ve watched the birds. The spring birds are back now – juncos, song sparrows, american tree sparrows, chipping sparrows, and my favourite, white-throated sparrows. The hooded merganzers are migrating through heading north, as are the common golden-eyes. The buffleheads that fished the river these last two weeks have moved on. And me, I imagine myself floating and diving with them in the river. I just want to get in the water.

My friend suggested that I push through the fog and simply start writing. Force it. Push it, even though I don’t feel it. That’s what he does. He trusts that part of his process. I don’t. And that was my point to him. Our entire society and training is to work and work harder if it’s not working. That if we keep pushing, eventually something will break through. But what if, by virtue of pushing it, we actually miss it?

So here I am in the ocean surrounded by fog with my joy package in front of me, but I can’t see it. I could try to swim towards it, because I know it’s close and I’m pretty sure I’m facing the right direction. If I listen to the pearls of wisdom of our society, I have to work to get it. No gift just comes to you. But what if I start swimming, swim harder and harder, and all I end up doing is swim away from my gift such that when the fog lifts, it is no where to be found??? What if what I am actually supposed to do is continue to tread water and feel what is around me and learn patience and the lessons of the waters without sight? What if “working” is precisely what I am not supposed to be doing?

I can tell you first hand, that sitting and staring out the window waiting for passion or direction or something inspirational to hit is a hell of a lot harder than working and forcing the writing and inspiration!! And since I don’t want to swim away from my gift that I know is right before me, I need to go against my very training and just sit. Sit, be patient, and wait for the fog to clear so that I can actually see my gift – my Seed of Change.

Swirling around in my fog are all of my old beliefs that need to be cleared so that the new ones can be experienced. New ones like a world governed by Empathy, real empathy, not the fake kind we present. A future where Empathy pricing becomes the norm, where you pay what you can afford and a person asks for what they need in order to maintain a modest lifestyle. A society where life is not about accumulating wealth, but rather helping people live life joyously. The pursuit of upping the energy level on the planet to one of love versus hate. An educational system that starts promoting and supporting emotional healing and healthy processing of anger and hate and frustration and resentment. A place where the intellect is processed through the heart not the bottom line. A place where the concept of work gets redefined and value is placed on the creative process, including honouring the need to sit and wait in the fog.

I really am an idealist, but I really do believe it is possible. I believe we have mastered workaholism and accumulation of goods. We have more than everything we physically need. Now it is time to evolve our selves and our system and place our focus on empathy, care, compassion, and courtesy. They might not be big money makers, but they sure feel a lot kinder and sweeter. The foggy question remains, how do we make Empathy the reality of the world?

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