I may be an intuitive, but I cannot claim to know exactly how you perceive the world. I may be an empath feeling the waves of emotions that you do, often with the same intensity and overwhelm as you, but I cannot know what those emotions lead to in your world. At best, this degree of sensitivity, heart coherence, firing of mirror neurons, deep listening and similar factors can provide me with a meaningful start to empathising with you. But I often remind myself to be careful about the extent of understanding and empathy I can claim with another.
Even when an experience seems to have been shared, it will always be different for each one. That is the beauty of individuation. I remember when my mother suddenly passed away, someone came over and broke down. It had triggered memories of the loss of her own father and she said, ‘I know exactly what you are going through.’ I was tempted to tell her to stop, but in my numbed state, I didn’t speak up. I remember thinking, how can she know what it is like? How can the one crying over her father know what it meant to lose my mother? How can anyone know what my mother meant to me? Our mothers were different, our relationships were different and even the aspects others saw of my mother were different. Even my own siblings would see my mother differently from me. For anyone to come and say to me, ‘I know exactly what you are going through.’ seemed puzzling. Consequently, I consciously avoid using the word ‘exactly’ as much as possible. Since I don’t expect anyone else to exactly understand me, my challenges or how it feels when you emerge from those stories, it is hardly appropriate for me to do the same.
Nevertheless, empathy can be a bridge builder. It does give enough of a taste of universality and connect to remind us of the oneness underlying it all. How far and how consistently we rise above the individual perceptions to the unified experience of it will be something that is decided by the ripeness of the moment.
When I began to describe myself as an Inner Landscape Artist, this clarity was there, but not explained so clearly. The only work I refer to is on myself. What I do is share what worked for me with you. If you feel interested or called in some way, you are welcome to use some of that in mapping your own inner worlds.
And whenever grace permits this – we will meet seamlessly. Bridged by the remembrance of our true nature.
Until then, let us simply be present to one another.