June 2, 2018
Imagine that someone has fallen into a deep pit. Out of empathy, you jump into the pit too - you are right in there with them. You feel a heavy responsibility. You could even find being empathetic very troublesome. On the other hand, if you were acting from compassion, you would see the person in the pit and reach out to them, encouraging and settling them - from outside of the pit. You would be in the position to get assistance and make decisions from the safety that you yourself occupy. Thus you feel kinder and more eager to help. Maybe you are wary of showing compassion, because you worry that you will be drawn into something that you can't get out of. Being drawn into the empathy-pit is indeed something you do not want to do. On the other hand, compassion serves you both well.