In this video, the first in a three-part series, Trisha Taylor, Victor Chiao, and Marcos Leon talk about how Faithwalking can be useful in helping us navigate the anxious times we live in, in a country that is increasingly polarized.
- It is about learning to stay defined and connected in spite of major differences – knowing how I feel and what I think and what I believe and allowing the other to do the same, while at the same time staying connected appropriately to the relationship.
- It is about practicing a different way of listening – listening to others from a place of curiosity rather than defensiveness, remaining open rather than immediately assigning categories of right/wrong, agree/disagree, and us/them.
- It is about remembering that those with whom we disagree so strongly, like us had formative experiences that shaped who they are and led them to make meanings and vows that they are now living into. This allows us to respond to them with empathy and compassion.
- Finally, it’s about managing our anxiety when encountering those who believe very differently from us and with whom we strongly disagree – noticing what is going on in our bodies and inside us and interrupting our automatic responses, choosing to show up in a different way and as our best selves.
We are tempted in times like this to find people who are like us to surround ourselves with, because that is how we stay safe. But when we deliberately expose ourselves to different points of view, choosing to engage in dialogue with people with whom we disagree, our vows are brought to the surface and we have the opportunity to practice managing our anxiety, defeating our vows, and learning to love others well.
Trisha, Victor, and Marcos conclude by sharing some practices that can help us stay defined and connected.
(audio version available below)
Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.