I read an essay on empathy. It certainly has not been something I set out for in my life as a special interest to cultivate, but the more spiritually evolved I become the more empathetic I become. Empathy requires that we reserve judgment. It was a huge moment for me when I realized I could be very disappointed for a person without being disappointed in a person.
When we recognize the part of us that is spirit/high power/God, it makes it impossible not to see the spirit part in others regardless of how at odds it is with the human part at the time. Humans are so messy. Driven by countless fears and an egoic mind set that insist we be right at all times, we are all, ALL of us very hard to love at times. I guess my own definition for empathy is to be willing to see the spirit trying in someone regardless of their circumstance.