Quite different from sympathy. One feels sorry, the other feels deeply. Empathy climbs inside another's soul and heart and cares when no one else seems to understand. Empathy does not always comprehend the complexity of another's feelings, but nevertheless, it tries, because empathy wants to share another's pain, shoulder another's burden, and lift another up when they are having a bad hair day, experiencing the blahs, or suffering the loss of a loved one.
Empathy goes where others will not, and takes the risk that others cannot to soothe a weary heart. It does not concern itself with how it looks when it reaches out and touches another's hand in a crowded room. It senses the hurt, the embarassment, the discouragement and grief another feels and rubs the knots of tension from another's shoulders without saying a word. selahV