"Through sharing our stories we discover our connections, our unity and our diversity. And, we discover ourselves." - Cindy Reinhardt
We share our stories in many ways: through conversations, writing, the choices we make in life and simply in our habits of being. Through our stories we discover what connects us as well as what divides us. In sharing our stories we create opportunities for deeper connection, expanded awareness and peace.
In talking with some people our stories seem naturally connective. Through them we discover common interests, shared experiences, and passions that reinforce our unity. When I’m out in the beauty of nature, the story that I hold deepens my sense of being a part of something greater than me. Even now, looking out the window at falling snow, I feel that unity with all that is.
When we discover mutual interests, it’s easy to engage, building on one discovery to explore what may be possible in the future from our common ground. These are the friendships, partnerships and collaborations that we embrace and build upon. They are easy gifts to receive, and we can see our unity with humanity in them.
It’s not so easy when we discover interests, views, habits that are divergent from ours. ‘Ugh! More snow? How can you embrace the beauty in that? It’s spring …’. ‘How can you ignore the bad things that are happening in the world?’ (I don’t by the way, I simply choose to put my attention elsewhere – but that’s perhaps a story for another day.)
We may walk (or run) the other way, seeking to avoid confrontation with the other or perhaps with ourselves. We may feel threatened at anything which we interpret as a challenge to our perspective. Yet, these can lead to new awareness. Therein lies the first and, perhaps most precious, gift.
Another gift is the possibility of stepping beyond the diversity. When we can take a breath and call forth the best within us from a place of curiosity, we have the opportunity to discover there is unity in all that is. Somewhere, beneath our differences is common ground.
With a commitment to respect others, we have the ingredients for forging new alliances, bridging divides, and healing one more cell of the divisiveness that stands in the way peace, personally and on the planet. With curiosity and a willingness to step outside our comfort zones, we have another piece to the puzzle of creating peace, internally, ‘me to me’ and externally, ‘me to we’.
After all, isn’t peace one of the greatest gifts there is?
Experiment for the Week: Observe how you interpret the stories you hear, read, and see. What do you notice?