What’s the link between creativity and empathy? For one thing, the ability to see into, explore, and feel the same sensations as other minds is vital, primarily for writers, and to a lesser degree for other artists and some research scientists. Many creative people are born with a natural tendency to empathise, and this gift can be further cultivated by the right circumstances and intentions.
But the ability to empathise can, if not managed properly, become one of the great curses of the creative life, leaving us vulnerable to depression, addiction, and relationship problems. Empathy can make us lose sight of the boundaries between our own feelings and those of others, and so we can be easily pulled off-centre by strong opinions and feelings wafting at us from those around us.
On the other hand, just as having the ability to gain weight without trying can make you healthier (by compelling you to eat right and exercise regularly), having a well-cultivated sense of empathy can make you more vigilant about holding to your own integrity as a human being.
Allowing empathy to inform your relationships is also a rich soil for the development of The True Self, which is couched in a love that’s couched in mindfulness. Carefully and mindfully nurturing relationships with others is how we grow best, and as we grow, so grows the quality of what we make.