Where My Empathy Comes From

It’s not from being a saint. I’ll be the first to tell you that. No, but it’s because of my Mother.

My Mother – I love her to bits, but she’s crazy. I learned of her craziness when I was young – super young, like four or five years old.

Let me start from the beginning…..

We are helpless as infants.  We take a massive amount of time to mature.  During our maturation, we develop what’s called mirror neurons.

Basically, when we see someone doing an activity, mirror neurons fire off and our body feels as if it’s doing the same activity.

This is why people watch sports, although, I never been into sports – especially not watching them, but that’s besides the point.

Mirror neurons also help you imagine what others are thinking and feeling.

This means that all of us have the ability to empathize.  That is, as long as our ego’s don’t interfere. I have my mother to thank for letting me push my ego aside.

Let me explain what I’m talking about, it’ll be worth the read.

We are the most vulnerable of all species as infants.  We die if we’re not being held.  Even if we have food, water, and shelter – that’s not enough.  We die.

The thing is, when we’re completely dependent on a care-giver or whomever, that person becomes a representation – an extension of ourselves. We idealize them. We don’t see their flaws. This is because we depend on them for being strong – we see what we need them to be in order for our safety and survival.

As we get older, we project this idealism onto teachers, friends, representatives. Instead of seeing a person for who they really are, we only see our needs being met or not being met. When they are not met, we lash out and defend ourselves – especially to those we love and care about. Because they’re an extension of ourselves, a lifeline, a factor in our survivability, they represent ourselves and we can not have a person of little worth representing who we are.

We either deny our representatives of partaking in any wrong-doings, or we exaggerate their flaws and push them off their high horses in an attempt to recover our own lost value. By defining ourselves through the people we don’t accept, we regain our power.

When we don’t accept a person for who they are, drama ensues. Wars break out.

But then there’s my Mother. A care-giver whom I stopped idealizing at an insanely young age and instead, learned to accept her. I saw her for who she was and since she’s my Mother, I grew to love and accept her in a truer sense, and not thru the needs of my ego.

Only when you don’t need someone, that’s when you’ll find real love.

Most people don’t understand this – no matter how hard they try, they’ll always think to need a person foretells real love. It’s hard to undo the beliefs you developed as an infant.

But anyway, how was I able to accept my Mum? Because I understood her. Understanding a person is EVERYTHING when it comes to empathy. I understood her because my mirror neurons wanted to understand. They didn’t just want to understand, they needed to. They needed to understand simply to ease my anxiety of loneliness, of not understanding.

While most kids were enjoying the worship and sanctity of their parents, I evolved in the opposite direction of detached rationality. I was on my own, but calmed by my ability to empathize.

How was I still able to love her? Through her flaws. Through her most vulnerable, sensitive self. She was sensitive because she was frightened. I understood and saw it all. It’s because of my Mother, that I learned compassion.

Empathy is understanding, compassion is the action you choose to make stemming from that empathy. Just because we empathize, doesn’t mean we automatically know what to do with it.

You can either choose compassion, or push your Mother off her high horse – denying any attachment or value to her. As long as she represents you, you’ll keep pushing her away. You push her away in order to define your own worth.

Nowadays, whenever my mirror neurons pick up on a persons frightened ego lashing out, I immediately feel compassion towards them. No matter how horrible that person is, no matter how awful their despicable behavior, I empathize.

The only thing that really gets to me is me being the cause of their despicable behavior – it is I who unleashed the beast. I made them scared. I caused them harm. How can I blame them when it is all my fault?

This is another lesson I learned through my Mother. I learned how to see the best in people.

When I see the best in them, that is my way of enjoying a little of the worship and idealism that I was missing. I get to experience both worlds. One being selfish and wanting to see the best in people (to quell my loneliness), and one being unselfish; acceptance.

As long as I continued seeing the best in my Mother, I was less likely to unleash the beast within. Doing this was just another ploy at my survivability – filling the missing gap from not getting my needs met by a crazy parent.

As long as I saw the best, I again, was able to hold on to the loving safely of stability. The feeling that I’m not alone.

And these days mom Mom is fine. She’s a hell of a lot less crazy than she used to be.

Anyway, in other news, my email campaign brought in about 15 or 17 new members. I need at least 20 more to ensure I don’t fall short every month. My cross-county motorcycle adventure is a far reach at this point. An impossibility really.

Last night I had trouble coping with this. The fact that my life is slipping by. The fact that my business is in jeopardy. I even turned to the ICHING which only confirmed my worry. It said that I’m pushing too hard and with each push, I get stuck further in. I’m burying myself. It also said that I’m getting arrogant with having too high of hopes.

Its advice is to remain still, don’t invest any further, and in time, everything will work out.

In time……

Nobody cares what I do, which to me, is freedom. My parents don’t care, my brother doesn’t care, my friends don’t care – nobody cares what I do and because of that, I’m free. And this is true for most people. It’s our own self interests that shuts us in. My self interest is with money.

I’m not free because I depend on money. Just as it is with people depending on people – they will never be free.

But then again, as long as money exists, we’ll always need it and as long as people exist, we’ll always need them no matter how much we tell ourselves we don’t.

It’s now a few days later. A week actually. And I had an awesome week!

I first started this post with a heavy heart. My projected outcome in the bank next month was only going to be $2000. I need at least $12000 a month to pay for everything so naturally I had a heavy heart. I resorted to valarian root and the iChing.

But now, being a week later, I’m actually looking at buying a tanning bed! It’s not a tanning bed exactly, but a skin rejuvenation bed that uses red LED light therapy. It just so happens to also bronze the skin.

I have my heart set on this tanning bed. It’s about $3000 including taxes and shipping – the same price as my Honda Grom, the motorcycle I want to go cross-country on.

Damn damn damn.

The iChing told me to stop investing for a while. I need to cool it. But if I get this special tanning bed, I’ll get even more members!

According to my outward projection, I’ll have more money in the bank than ever before by August which means that I’m no longer breaking even. If I were to have a take-home pay, to cut myself a paycheck, it’ll be close to $1000 a week. Shit accumulates fast – really fast.

Yes I want this tanning bed, but should I wait until August when I don’t need to dip into my personal line of credit? That’s 3 long months away!

I have a ridiculous marketing idea that will no doubt humiliate me. I won’t tell you what it is yet, but I’ll show you in my next post. Depending on how well it does, I might not need to wait until August for the tanning bed. And if it works REALLY well, I’ll be able to take my cross-country trip.

I need to get my ass up out of bed. I’m back to having only one or two clients a day (thank god). Just imagine what I could accomplish if I wasn’t so lazy!

I have to put together my humiliating marketing stunt and finish at least one of the new massage rooms I added upstairs. If I can get those two things done today, I’ll be happy.

Then tomorrow I’ll try out my marketing stunt. If I get even just one new member from it, I’ll deem it a success. If I get just one new client booked from it, it’ll be a worthy humiliation.

If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to wait until August for my tanning bed and worse than that, I’ll have to wait until next year for my motorcycle adventure.  As of now I am broke and it’s too much of a gamble to leave for a month. It wouldn’t be any fun if I can’t relax.

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Filed under journal, philosophy, random thoughts, Self help

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