I had just landed at Ft. Lauderdale International airport from a great 10 day trip in Hawai’i on the island of Oahu where I had a presentation to do for the 2017 UH Strength Coaches clinic. Life was good and it was good to be back home as well. I hailed an Uber and he picked us up right where we were standing in no time. My girlfriend had a dentist appointment at 4pm and it was currently 2:15pm so we were in a bit of a rush because we were hungry and stinky from the plane and wanted to shower and eat before heading back out again.
The Uber driver seemed like a very nice guy. Almost too nice. Hair trimmed to perfection, he spoke with the utmost manners, and was dressed very nice. He obviously cared about his appearance, and his job which was great. However, the trip home turned out to be nerve racking and caused me to lose my presence several different times. Here’s why.
The gentlemen who was imparting this wonderful service for us and taking us home was too safe of a driver. There were two times where we almost came to a full stop on the highway because he was incapable of following his GPS screen and driving at the same time. This caused knee jerk reactions on my part and the part of my girlfriend as well to start belting out directions which probably made our driver even more anxious.
When we were cruising along it was at exactly 55 mph in the right lane. He slowed for cars coming onto the highway from the onramp and was tense and even skittish as cars passed him on the left. What should have been a 25-30 minute ride ended up taking 45 minutes. Not great for two people in a bit of a hurry. The entire trip the man seemed confused which led me to be confused. If you can’t navigate a car through traffic very well, why be an Uber driver? Now the appearance, the speech, the hair, everything started making sense. This man is carful not in how he looks, or how he talks, but in all aspects of his life. Safety is who he is. Nobody can fault another for being too safe, after all I’m sure he didn’t want two deaths on his hands from a car accident. Still, as he dropped us off I couldn’t help but shake my head as he handed me my bag.
This morning that entire situation popped into my head during my meditation. As it replayed I realized how out of tune I was with that entire current moment while it was happening. After my meditation I was listening to a podcast by Tara Brach called “Knowing you hearts true purpose,” and in it she posed the question in regards to empathy, “What’s it like to be you?” This really struck a cord with me, and reinforced that my next teaching is always right where I am. Had I been present for that car ride the day before and really put myself in the drivers shoes, I probably would have bypassed that podcast, or maybe it would not have resonated with me as much.
Below, is a little something I came up with as a reminder, a cue of sorts when I’m pulled from the present. It’s a spirituality practice to help me keep the question of “What’s it like to be you?” at the forefront of my mind.
4 Ways Spirituality Can Help You Empathize With Others
Being capable of putting yourself in others shoes is known as having empathy. It’s important to have this emotion for others if you want to keep your ego in check. Your spirituality can help improve the way you’re capable of empathizing with others. Knowing the ways this is possible may help you through your journey in life.
It’s likely that being a spiritual person can increase the amount of compassion you have for others. This is a great emotion to have and is sure to help you feel better about yourself and others in the process.
Compassion simply means that you have love in your heart and your soul for something that another person may be currently going through at the time. You may even spend time with this individual to help.
Having a great amount of faith in your life can help you be a more empathetic person. Faith means that you believe something better is sure to happen in life and to have a great deal of it is important when helping others.
You could help instill the amount of faith you have into the individual that needs empathy. All this requires is talking to this person about the situation in detail and providing some of the ways faith has helped you throughout your life.
Your spirituality will help you work with others and provide the details of how your life has gotten better because of faith. You may have experienced a health crisis or other problem that was extremely stressful and caused you a great deal of pain. However, you may have gotten through this time with greater ease because of the amount of faith that you had.
Being able to relay these experiences to others who are going through a difficult time in life can be helpful and is a great way to show empathy. Providing specific examples of the challenges in your life can be one of the best ways to help others and to be empathetic.
The chances are high if you are spiritual that you believe in a higher power. This is the belief that there is something greater in this world than you or your surroundings. This is one of the ways many people are capable of dealing with challenges in life and being able to empathize with others.
The stronger your belief may be, the greater you will be capable of coping with issues and problems that may surround you each day. Additionally, this may improve your skills to be a more empathetic person in the process.
One of the best things you can do is to have empathy for others and to work towards being a helpful person. This will allow you to give back to the people you’re closest to and is sure to help you in your own life, as well as others. The key to being a success in life is not what you own, but which character traits you take ownership of. And you can never go wrong with empathy.