Posted in Current events & community, Love/relationships

Dialogue brings healing

The world is full of people hungering to be heard and understood.

It seeks communication that builds bridges, strives to understand, perceives the heart of the matter, focuses on reconciliation, unites and loves more.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be involved in interfaith work this year. This helpful document (see below), created by Mark Gerzon and Rachel Kessler, highlights the distinct roles of dialogue and debate in discourse.

Have you ever debated with someone — like a family member, colleague, or even in comments on a blog post — when you really meant to be in dialogue with them? I have.

Sometimes I ended up trying to “win” a conversation, when what I really wanted was a conscientious conversation that healed the heart and respectfully acknowledged all sides of an issue.

Sometimes I get swept up in debate when I know dialogue will really help find solutions and bring healing.

We constantly need to be reminded of communication skills necessary for fostering respectful discussions of ideas.

We share something in common with everyone even though we are unique. We are blessed by getting to know one another and engaging in constructive dialogue.

Posted in Guest blogs/reposts, Life, Love/relationships

Repost: Communication

This blog post by “Daring to live in love! The alternate economy” has some great ideas and guidelines for communication.

Week 8: COMMUNICATION — No blah blah.

Is it kind?

Think: Gossip. Building yourself up at someone else’s expense. Mean-spirited, oppressive put downs. Spreading rumors.

Is it necessary?

‘Unnecessary’ would include: Talking just to hear yourself talk. Trying to always have the last word. Bragging. Meaning to shock others. Self-indulgent blah blah.

Is it true?

Obvious, right? Lying. Misrepresenting. Tearing down your opponent. Demonizing ‘the other’.

Does it improve upon the silence?

There are times when it’s not possible to be better than simply silent: Being ‘present’ to someone dying, or in pain. Holding someone’s confidence. Refraining when in emotional turmoil. Not rising to the bait. Considering: Do I really know what’s best??

Posted in Identity/healing the past, Love/relationships

Overcoming shyness

I’ve never really been a shy person; I was even called a “social butterfly” in elementary school.  And many people today would be surprised to find that I dealt with shyness.

There came a time when I felt incredibly shy.  I didn’t enjoy it much because I didn’t feel like myself.  So I decided to seek a spiritual solution to this problem as I do with many challenges.

I talked with a Christian Science Practitioner who told me she had dealt with shyness herself.  And through the help of her mother and prayer she was healed of this problem.

This was encouraging.  She shared the idea that shyness is really a type of selfishness because you are thinking about yourself instead of the other person.  She suggested that I try to love everyone around me.

Well I instantly felt a lot better, feeling confident that there was a spiritual solution, and that it was something as enjoyable as loving more.

Over the years I worked on this.  I found cherishing each person’s spiritual identity, and striving to listen to them, to what they’re saying and also to what they are not saying (to what their heart was calling out for) to be a blessing.

When I loved the person I was talking to, the way God feels about them, I was able to listen, be more sensitive, and really enjoy each friendship.

In fact, striving to listen a lot more throughout my day, even when there is only silence around me, enables me to hear God’s voice which tells me who I might bless and leads activities throughout my day.

A teaching of Christian Science is that God is Mind (which Paul refers to in the New Testament).  And because God is all and is good, He or She must be the only real Mind.  This Mind is always clear, uplifted, meek, patient, kind and compassionate.   When I realize that this is the true Mind, then all the other mental “noise” quiets down, and I can listen clearly.

There are still situations that I find uncomfortable, as most humans do.  But sometimes it’s because someone else might be feeling uncomfortable, hostile or unloved.  Being aware of this helps me support each individual in feeling safe, secure, and loved.

It’s a joy to have positive interactions with people and has been such a blessing to me as well as to others.

I’m grateful that there are harmonious solutions to situations like these.  And it can be as simple as opening up to a greater awareness of Divinity and Her spiritual image and likeness – man and woman.