When we doubt our true nature and belovedness, we carry that in our heart. This battle finds its way into the world, many times without our awareness, breaking down trust. In the book The Courage Way, Shelly Francis and the Center for Courage and Renewal share ideas about creating spaces of trust among people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs. They have identified eleven “touchstones” or “ground rules” to help move groups into greater trust, belonging, and understanding:
Give and Receive Welcome
Extend hospitality, and presume welcome, too. This includes welcome and support for diverse perspectives, opinions, and approaches. . . .
Be Present as Fully as Possible
. . . Bring all of yourself—your doubts, fears, and failings as well as your convictions, joys, and successes, your listening as well as your speaking—to the work. . . .
Extend Invitation, Not Demand
. . . Participation by listening with care is no less a contribution than participation by speaking with care. . . .
Speak Your Truth in Ways That Respect Other People’s Truth
. . . When you’re getting to know people, it’s vital to share stories across lines of difference, not to debate who’s right or wrong, and not to cast blame or shame. . . .
No Fixing, Saving, Advising, or Correcting Each Other
When the Going Gets Rough, Turn to Wonder
If you feel judgmental, or defensive . . . ask yourself, “I wonder what brought her to this belief?” “I wonder what he’s feeling right now?” “I wonder what my reaction teaches me about myself?” . . .
. . . Good leaders point their team in a direction where they can find answers, and also instill the belief that team members have the gifts and capacity to make good decisions the leaders will support. . . .
Practice Asking Open, Honest Questions
. . . Open, honest questions are the ones you cannot possibly know the answer to in advance; they are meant to elicit insights, to help people access their own resourcefulness. . . .
Attend to Your Own Inner Teacher
As you listen to and interact with others, pay close attention to your own reactions and responses. . . .
Trust and Learn from the Silence
Silence, or stillness, is a gift in our noisy world, and a way of knowing in itself. . . .
Commit to and Maintain Confidentiality
People are more likely to trust each other . . . when they know that their words and stories will remain with those with whom they choose to share them, and will never be passed on to others without permission. . . .
Know That It’s Possible for the Seeds Planted Here to Keep Growing. . . We stand in many tragic gaps in life, and recognize that our vocation lies somewhere between what is real and what can be.
Weekly Reflection Summary:
Sunday. His Will. Profound respect and love.
Monday. Reoriented to God. Virtue helps us battle.
Tuesday. Steps We Can Take. Properly ordered.
Wednesday. Chaste Heart. We need good role models.
Thursday. Mystery. Seriousness and its intimacy.
Friday.Genuine Heart. Develop more reverence.