Human Practices that Connect Us III

7. Peace/serenity/acceptance. These ideas relate closely to number 4 above. The Christian bible offers the “serenity prayer” as a way to find peace by focusing on the things you might change in your life. How many among us are too often engaged in meddling where we don’t belong or in trying to change other people? In recovery circles that call that “working on the wrong side of the street.” Do you know anyone who got married and believed they could change their spouses? Odds are they are not married today.

a. What things in your life do you obsess about, wishing and hoping that they will change or be changed?

b. What aspects of others (opinions, behaviors) really bug you and make you crazy?

c. How might you work “on your own side of the street” and have a positive impact on yourself by expanding how you see things, not spending so much time in making others wrong, and exploring the range of options you have in how you respond?

8. Connectedness/empathy/rapport. Our ability to be “in rapport” seems to stem from our willingness to stop judging what is wrong with others, and start looking for what we can value in them. Finding compassion in our heart – that opens up true empathy – opens the door to creating high levels of connection. When this is present between people, the natural goodwill can come to the surface and create a strong foundation for working through the tough times and tough conversations that are necessary between healthy, high-functioning people.

a. Who in my life do I judge? Am I willing to see them as “innocent” and forgive them? If not, what do I get from holding onto that judgment?

b. How do I naturally get into rapport with people? What are the things I know how to do already?

c. Who can I consciously and deliberately create more rapport and connection with? What would be the payoff for US if that were to happen?

9. Trust/benefit of doubt/trustworthiness. The currency of leadership is trust. Without trust, we all are lost. With it, we can get through almost anything. Most people come from one line of thinking that believes trust is given. Others believe that it is earned. Perhaps we do not have to stay locked into the world of duality believing it is an “either/or” proposition. Maybe it is both. Maybe trust and trustworthiness go hand in hand. Maybe it is less about waiting for people to prove themselves to us than it is about giving the gift of trust – and goodwill – and support – and the benefit of our personal doubt – and seeing what miracle comes out of that fresh way of seeing people.

a. Who do I not trust and for what reason? Am I willing to forgive them and start seeing that they reflect part of myself back to me?

b. What can I learn about myself through paying attention to how I think and feel about others?

c. What behaviors can I focus upon that make me as trustworthy as possible to others?