Empathy is an important trait in humanity individually and collectively, no doubt. Sympathy is as well, though there is a difference, which is important to know. This is especially true if you are an empath, intuitive, but even if you are not.
Let’s begin with understanding the difference between the two. Empathy is understanding a person’s feelings Sympathy is compassion, even pity for their plight. When people are in difficulty if one has a heart, a soul humanity, it is normal to have a level of empathy or sympathy, However, one can take on other people misery as their own and be dragged down by it to the point where they do not live their own lives, or have no joy in their life because they are so dragged down by guilt or getting so entangled in other people’s misery. It can become a pattern, a prison even to where the person can’t leave a situation whether it is career related, parent child related, or marriage. Though they are not responsible for the other person’s misery or are not obligated any longer to take responsibility and it would be better for everyone to cut ties, there is such a sense of sympathy and guilt that one can not cut ties, not even in a constructive way, perhaps the other party, not even consciously knows this an plays it up. There may be this very unhealthy dance going on that is on a subconscious level, until the one who is being dragged down etc.. realizes it and decides, enough, no more. I respect this other person, care about them, but I am cutting the cords, will do it in a way that is respectful, but I am cutting cords, no dragging things out, no more manipulating no more anything, no more guilt, it ends here and now. We have to realize that each of us is responsible for our own choices and the consequence of those choices, and unless we realize that and make others accountable for that, and detach from taking on other people’s misery as our own, we can’t grow and they can’t grow. It is understandable to have empathy for people’s tough situations, but at the same time, we can’t drown in their sadness, misery etc… and feel so responsible for their being happy or sad etc.. that our own lives become lost, shoved to the side, that our dreams, our chances for true love get shoved to the side. That can never be the case, must never be the case.
Namaste, Shalom and Amen