Sympathy… is it good or bad?

The world is in chaos…

Lately I have been contemplating the entirely human quality known as ‘sympathy.’

No other creature on earth has the evolutionary development to express such a frequency of being.

Sympathy… is it good or bad to be sympathetic?

Something to consider…
There are a couple of related qualities: ‘sympathy‘ and ‘empathy’. To have ‘empathy’… to be empathetic is to feel as if you have ‘walked a mile in someone’s shoes’ … you are acknowledging the feelings or experiences of another.
Whereas ‘sympathy’ has an inbuilt quality of superiority attached to the action of giving ‘sympathy’ or being sympathetic. You do not speak about sharing sympathy… one gives while the other receives… indicating an inherent lack of equality in the exchange.

I have met many people who play ‘the sympathy card’ to get by in life. (Make no mistake… it’s a manipulation). There are some who play it brilliantly. Not like a violin but rather, like a full orchestra… with breathtaking skill and some others can use it with the power of a sociopath.

For those of you who don’t know exactly what a ‘sociopath’ is, it’s someone who feels none of the normal rules of human interaction apply to them (because they feel that their story is the most miserable of all and no one will ever understand their pain etc… and so on…). In their version of reality, there is the underlying beliefe that everyone has had it better than them so the “general public” is fair game…everyone can be used for their own ends with no sense of responsibility, gratitude or appreciation…or reciprocation.

In fact at the end, when it has become obvious this is a ‘dependent’, manipulative person rather than a responsible, talented ‘individual’ looking for a break …(they usually have a well refined/rehearsed attitude of pathetic-ness with that ‘deep unrecognized potential’…you feel sure you can help them reveal to the world!)

Finally it becomes obvious they are invested in their failure and enjoy their role as a sympathy sponge so they have to move on… still complaining and calling for ‘more‘ and ‘it’s not fair’… with no willingness for exchange or contribution, no building of community.

They trust no one and nothing because they do not trust them selves to act with integrity. They live in a world of delusion and self deception. Self deceivers are cut off from normal society, finding fault with everyone and trusting nothing except their own power to manipulate others…isolated and alone, angry and sad…and sure they are ‘right ‘ about what’s ‘wrong’…with everyone who ever tried to help them.

I have had some wonderful teachers in my life. The first and most powerful was my mother Dorothy. She was deaf by the time she was 13 and this made her appear shy and socially incapable. She finally married the boy next door and had three children. I am the eldest of three children. Dorothy was already 34 when I was born.

She survived The Great Economic Depression as a child and the Second World War as a young adult.
My father had also been through the same traumatic world events, joining the air force when he was only 17 at the beginning of the war. He was shipped from Australia to London where he survived ‘The Blitz’.

In the early 50’s when I was a small child, my father left early in the morning and came home late at night. My mother felt abandoned emotionally by her lover (my father) who spent a lot of  his free time with a bottle of beer and nursing emotional scars with his war buddies.

My mother felt alone, deaf, abandoned, raising three small children in the bush surrounded by poisonous snakes and spiders… no phone, no internet, no one to blame, no one to complain to, no one to give sympathy or empathy for that matter. No time for self pity, just get up everyday and give it all you’ve got… that’s what she taught me by example. It may seem cynical but she never once imagined there was some one coming to save her.

She knew she had to save herself…

and she did!

She was a very happy human despite all her history of hardship.

As a result, my mother never had much sympathy for anyone including us kids. She was tough. She was tough on her grand kids.  She was strong willed and strong minded and did as she pleased with her “hard won” time for art and her writing in later life.

What she passed onto me through her toughness was a strong sense of myself.
I really have to thank you because I am the person, I am today because she taught me not to waste time on feeling sorry for myself and just to get on with it!

She did not suffer fools gladly and she constantly reminded us never to be jealous of anyone else because “what you lose on the merry go round, you can pick up on the swings”. This was all very good advice and has filled me with the energy and temperament to create a goal for my self, then aim and fire all my energy into the manifestation of that goal.

In this process I discover more of who I am.
As I contemplated the nature of sympathy I realized that Dorothy was a great teacher, she showed empathy where she could but sympathy for none.
When we are sympathetic our ego “gets involved”saving’ some one” through offering them opportunities to develop and grow in their own right…. on our terms.

However I’ve made a discovery recently

…there’s  a whole class of people who actually do not want solutions…

They don’t want change or success. They simply want to live on the sympathy of others for the rest of their life. I think it comes from the idea that

‘some one else has more than me so they should give me some…now!’

Not the thought processes of what can I do as a fair exchange for the support I am receiving… because their core belief is that they are weak and the only skill they trust is their power to manipulate people through ‘getting sympathy’. They have no intention of changing their plight… how could they work their magic on your sympathy button if they really became self sufficient?

They eventually frustrate their well meaning sympathizers and so move on to a new group of victims they can tell their sad stories to. Boring! We all have sad stories.

What is most important is how we use our resources today!

How much of a contribution can you make to the world today? …yesterday is gone. It’s a discipline to learn from every one and forgive the past in order for you to move into your future as an empowered being.

My suggestion is to remember who you are. Who are you?

You are an infinite, immortal Being of Light having a human experience…!

That’s right! So all the rest is the play of consciousness… the dramas and the games we play with ourselves and each other are a moment in time in the bigger cosmic scheme of things.

You are in charge of the energy field you occupy.

It is up to us to protect ourselves in two ways.
1. Never look for sympathy…. it’s demeaning and unworthy of you.
2. Never give sympathy! I know that sounds tough but it never works. It’s a waste of time. You can give opportunities for personal growth. You can give support for a person to empower themselves, but watch out..! You have to know where the limit is. You have to use your power of discernment.

Because if you don’t…

“Sympathy junkies” will turn around and bite you on the hand that is outstretched offering your genuine love and respect.

This is foreign territory for many sympathy junkies… that’s why they are so dangerous to themselves and the future of the world … they are non contributors.

The idea of respect and appreciation, gratitude and reciprocation are essential for a healthy community to function with balance and harmony. We’re all very challenged and confronted in this moment of great global change. It’s time for all the illusion to fall away and the bare bones of reality to be revealed.

No more lies…

It’s time to develop true community with those we love and care for from a platform of equality and mastery… not ‘neediness’ and ‘sympathy’

We must remove the need to be sympathetic from our repertoire because it always gets us into trouble and ends up wasting our time.

It’s time to be empathetic…

From this energy it’s easy to discover those among the throng that need help right now and are willing to reciprocate instead of complain. It’s time to remove your wasteful habits and addictions, a time of personal accounting and analysis.

Let go of all the ways you bleed yourself through the need to ‘save’ another since they will never be saved by anyone but themselves.

Anything else is illusion...

Pray each day to be shown how you can master the complex dance steps of this changing world.

Live in this moment. Free of judgment. Full of forgiveness.

Learning how to ‘allow’ The Divine to work through us, we must develop our ability to empathize with others and offer love and support to those who really want to make a difference in their world rather than maintain their poverty consciousness.

5 thoughts on “Sympathy… is it good or bad?”

  1. Dear Shankari,

    I couldn’t agree more. What people need today is tough love. I admit, I was once the person who used to have to save someone. But as I got older, no one was there for me. Now when someone complains I tell them point blank, Get over it. Tomorrow’s a better day. If they still complain, I walk away… These people drain our light and positive energies and we are left with their emotional negative energies. Have a great day!!! Michele…

  2. Hi Shankari, thanks for this great wisdom it certainly makes a great deal of sense. To encourage & or guide a person, is so much more rewarding than to feed an insatiable sympathy seeker. Your sister in love & light Dale x.

  3. Amen! I have battled a person for over 25 years that dedicated her life to gaining sympathy at the expense of myself and anyone who tried to be her friend. I called it the “Sympathy Syndrome”, for lack of a better description. She returned ‘goodness’ and kindness with lies about us to get people to feel sorry for her. I have washed my hands of her, as has most of her ‘friends’. I won’t waste my life trying to deal with her lies.

  4. 25 years is too long to hang around in the energy of so much manipulation. There is a rule I try to apply… When someone asks for advice regarding a problem … Willingly offer your support. If sometime later they are describing their problem once more complaining, then you ask them. “Have you applied any of the solutions or taken any of the advice I have given you and put it into action?”. If the answer is no for any reason… Then you know for sure that they are invested in their problem and need these problems in order to define themselves in their own eyes… And get more sympathy… What a waste of time!
    Thank goodness you finally saw the light. Love you always S xx

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