Spiritually Navigating Through Difficult Conversations

8/2/2020 Sunday Discussion – Zoom

Pre discussion notes/outline

A home grown UMS approach

In this time, unless you stay home and talk to no one, and do not access social media you are going to come face to face with a comment or action that totally rubs you the wrong way.

Three issues that are stirring up much talk right now are around the subjects of:

  • Racial prejudice
  • COVID-19
  • Office of the President.

We can: (Action)

  • Avoid engagement at all cost
  • Have cautious engagement
  • Have flat out confrontations.

Keeping in mind that we may have responsibilities to:

  • Our selves; mental emotional and moral
  • Our family
  • Our country
  • Society

Question: (for discussion)

As a spiritual person how do we navigate through all these different issues, and, fulfill all of our responsibilities?

Which of these responsibilities are important, and which are not?

What would be your reasoning for action and fulfilling responsibilities?

As a spiritual person do you go through all of the possible repercussions of each actin, and decide what action should be taken?

(One good thing of doing this would be slowing down to respond not react.)

Our action is to:

  • Be true to ourselves – To learn?
  • Lead by example – To teach? (What example are you setting?)

Same determining process, from different perspective/desire

Am I ok with a possible diminished relationship because of the action I choose?

 Post discussion notes

We made a ton of notes covering the points, ideas, suggestions, personal approaches etc. However, as notes, very disjointed with much need for cleanup.  However there is really no need, as one of our participating members did a fantastic job recapping from her own set of notes:

This is the recap as excerpted from Rochelle Cooper’s Facebook post, in the newly formed “A Metaphysical Discussion Group by UMS Church of Arizona”.

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Spirituality Navigating Difficult Conversations

UMS CHURCH LONG BEACH SUNDAY DISCUSSION SUMMARY

August 2, 2020 – Zoom Call

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Many difficult conversations are floating around in the world right now. Racial issues, COVID, politics, and more. How do we as spiritual people handle these conversations? Do we go into denial? Do we ignore them? How can we handle them in a spiritually responsible way? Do we avoid or confront these issues?

As metaphysicians, our actions are based on being true to ourselves. But we also have responsibilities to our families, and to society. Which of these responsibilities takes priority for each of us?

When we act, do we think about pleasing ourselves, or whether we might be hurting others? Do we feel the need to set an example for others with our behavior?

Some of choose to control what we expose ourselves to in the world, because the more we expose ourselves to certain lines of thought, the more they become part of our realities. Some of us choose not to engage in issues that might make us part of the polarization that is dividing humanity at this moment.

Others of us want to engage in a way that makes us feel good, without worrying about how we make the other party feel.

Some of us have concerns that whatever we might add to a conversation is not going to shift the thinking of others, so why bother?

Some of us are unsure which road to take. Do we avoid engaging in the conflicts for the sake of our own sanity? Is this a means of self- care, as we remember that one cannot pour from an empty cup? Or is lack of engagement a byproduct of privilege? Some of us have feelings of guilt that not getting involved makes us cowards or not useful.

Some of us don’t engage in the debates because we don’t have personal experience with the issues others are facing directly, and we aren’t sure what we can add to the conversation.

Some of us avoid the stress by not being involved in social media at all.

There are those of us who decide how open we should be with others based on our relationship. We ask questions like, “Is this relationship valuable enough to me that I don’t want to jeopardize it by creating an argument? Do I want to lose this friend or family member?” Some of us are willing to avoid difficult conversations for the sake of relationships, while others operate under the philosophy that they don’t need to be in a relationship with someone who is bringing toxic energy to the table.

Everyone has a different approach to these issues. Some of us are instigators who create the conversations for others to take part in and hear. Some of us are listeners who don’t participate, but listen and absorb information.

Nelson Mandela said, “One of the most difficult things is not to change society—but to change yourself.” If we take care of ourselves, work on becoming our own highest good, it will affect all of the others around us. Some of us valued this approach over expending effort trying to change how others think.

Finding common ground with others can be a way to have respectful discussions. At the same time, we must also know how to pick our battles, for our own sanity.

It was mentioned that sometimes it’s good for conversations to just be out there, available, for the benefit of those who are seeing and listening, even if we don’t change the mind of the person we’re directly engaged with. Another person might see the conversation and feel supported and heard, or it might help open their mind on a topic without us even knowing it.

We have to ask ourselves, “What is the desired outcome of these conversations?” If it’s for Us to be Right and Them to be Wrong, then all real communication breaks down and we are simply yelling into the void. If the goal is rapport and understanding, then a different approach is needed.

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How about you? How do you approach these difficult conversations?

You are reading this in the Blog section of the UMS Website.

Feel free to comment or share your thoughts and ideas here.  We would love to hear from you!

Until further notice, our live discussions are being held on Zoom, every 1st. and 3rd. Sundays of the month.  If you would like to participate or listen in, please contact us through this Website

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