June 16, 2022
“Don’t fear difference. The best relationships are not about like mindedness, but open in their communication and discovery of their differences. There is infinite room for growth, connection & intimacy in this place, if we are brave enough to listen.” (p.207)
Perspective is a gift we have been given to explore. It’s easy to find connections with others who have a background that has more in common with our own because our perspectives on life are often similar. But real growth takes place when we venture outside of our comfort zone to connect with someone who’s experience has been different than our own. My perspective has changed a lot over the last few years shifting from a married, stay at home mom of four to a single working mom. The pressures are different, the independence is both freeing and scary at the same time, and the topics on my mind have shifted in a major way. I still want to reach out and keep the relationships I had before but it takes more work because it feels like we have less in common. What I have figured out though is those connections that are meant to last are the ones who both share and listen.
We have the greatest ability to learn and grow when we learn to filter differently through our own lens. It takes listening without judgment as our ears become accustomed to taking in an alternate perspective. Often our defenses will rise up and we want to speak our mind, but respect is earned when we have the ability to sit back and listen without a quick response. We are living in a time where tensions are high, we have been home, our economy has been rocked, our routines shaken, and our sense of connection diminished. As we start to venture out again, how can we build bridges with people who have contrasting perspectives to our own, for our own growth and healthier connection in the world?
Daily Action: Identify an area of your life where you could take in a different perspective. Whether political, relational, or cultural, how can you encourage conversation and learning in that area through reading, conversation, or other media? Read the column that opposes your own view or follow an account on social media that is contrary to your current thinking. Make the effort to take in a different perspective this week.
Daily Reframe: Different opinions and perspectives are not meant to threaten but rather engage and grow our thought process.