Empathy is not the same as loving kindness. I liked that I was an over sensitive being, that I could understand how those around me were feeling, it helped me in my art and my awareness. However over time it started to cripple me. Affective empathy. Always picking up and feeling what was not mine. And the guilt. When I became aware of this I started blocking it, artificially, using logic, heavy metal and wine. But that was exhausting as well. It is only recently that I have realised that this is not compassion. This is a self destructive process that helps no one. I can wish love and peace and tranquility to another being without personally involving myself. I can be practically helpful without personally involving myself. I can be kind to another and to myself. When I look around me, I see these games playing out, caring assuming an ugly form, twisted ideas of compassion, all born from the need for self importance. The inertia will hold for as long as it will but I recognise this now, forgive myself and choose to be free of it.

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