Anita Kemp Ph.D. Blog

Ideas for a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Compassion versus Empathy

Joan Halifax has just published a wonderful book STANDING AT THE EDGE: FINDING FREEDOM WHERE FEAR AND COURAGE MEET.  For all of you who suffer from empathy burn-out – this is your book. It is Buddhist based because Joan is a Roshi and has an incredible background in many areas. Empathy is necessary as a starting point for compassion. But staying there is a prescription for stress and illness. Feeling another’s feelings and staying with these feelings accentuates suffering and really does not help the other person. The move to compassion keeps your heart open but you don’t take on the other’s burden. There is a clear boundary between you and the other person which is healthy. This is essential at this time when we are bombarded with violence in our country and abroad. Joan talks about the edge states of altruism, empathy, integrity, respect and engagement. She discusses how you can lose your footing on the edge state. Altruism can turn into another form – pathological altruism. Empathy can become empathic distress. If you take on others emotional or physical feelings, please read this book.

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June 3, 2018 - Posted by | Emotional Well Being | ,

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