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  • Writer's pictureMaegan Kenney

Empathy is narcissism, NOT compassion

The distinction between empathy and compassion must be emphasized if we want to get clear about our archetypal shadow projections and increase self-awareness. There is an essential and fundamental distinction between empathy and compassion that is RARELY discussed in the healing arenas...and that's because even the best scholars and practitioners don't know the definitions of both.

Empathy and compassion ARE NOT one in the same. The terms are often used synonymously and this is a huge misrepresentation of the truths of each.

Empathy is a form of narcissism. Yes, I said it. The reason why empathy is a form of narcissism is because it's a projection (a positive projection, but still a projection). It's the reason why empaths activate the destructive and malignant narcissists, often feeling like a magnet for these vampires.

When we have empathy, we feel the other's suffering...and most importantly, we can't tolerate that feeling. An empath will reject feelings of suffering and will try to eliminate it in others because they so deeply wish to erradicate it in themselves. They will also refuse to set boundaries to take care of themselves because they don't want to feel the sense of rejection that will get activated in Other when the boundary is set. In turn, they will take responsibility for that person's reaction, which is not their job.

Empaths will try to control the suffering of others because feeling the chaos, pain, and drama of another is intolerable. So the empath turns into the "fixer" or "rescuer" of the Other's "problems" for personal gain.

It's not about saving the Other, it's about saving themself, which is what makes empathy a self-absorbed and narcissistic emotion. As a result, the empath acquires more karmic debt for interfering with the learning journey of the Other, who by the way, is likely very comfortable in their pain and chaos.

What right does an empath have to take away the invaluable educational opportunities from the Other who has a very specific journey to walk, inherent with many irreplaceable lessons that can only come through the experience of their pain? Empathy is merely a glorified version of entitlement...a destructive control drive stemming from an inability to let things be.

Compassion on the other hand (or unconditional love) is ruthless. Take Caroline Myss for example. She is someone who embodies ruthless compassion. No empathy there! And this is because she is an expert archetypal explorer who can see the shadow in the patterning of the human being.

"Harden your heart with compassion" is the mantra. It is not your job to feel the Other's pain and step in to absolve it. It is only your job to witness the pain you feel inside when you encounter the Other's suffering and tend to the archetypal drama that is playing out inside of YOU, not them. To all my therapists out there, take note. If you glorify yourself as an empathic therapist, you should be seeing your own therapist...and not one who comisserates with you about how amazing you both are for being empathic. *:::gag:::*

If you focus on cleaning your own house, you won't have any interest in cleaning the houses of others. Through compassion, a clear boundary is established; one of self-first (which is not the same thing as selfish, folks!). And certainly not the same as narcissism, which is rooted in ego fragility and fear.

The one who embodies ruthless compassion has no fear because they live from a place of high self-esteem and self-worth, and therefore act from a place of empowerment.

Empowerment comes from knowing what archetypes of yours want a seat at the table and giving them their due. Empaths have a deeply rooted archetype of boundaried compassion that wants to express itself. That's why they are often victimized and taken advantage of by others. The wound tells you what archetype wants to be heard, and the one that wants it's day in court is always the opposite...

Chew.On.That 🍄

Carry on 🤘

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