We are amid so many shifts right now. Not only have we been confronted with a global pandemic, we’re also all being called to listen, learn, and take action in the fight against unnecessary pain and racial injustice. In the latest episode of Radically Loved with Rosie Acosta, Mindful Editor Anne Alexander explains that with this comes an increasing sense of shared responsibility.
But when others don’t show up in the ways that we want them to, can we offer them the understanding, grace, and generosity we give ourselves when we make mistakes?
How to Mindfully Approach Difficult Conversations
“The reality is we’re living in a world with sharp edges and grit and difficulty and pain and passion, confusion, and all of that stuff. And the real trick is to be able to have a sense of equanimity and respect,” Alexander says.
Communicating mindfully requires us to tap into empathy regardless of who we are or what we believe in. This can prove to be a challenge for anyone. It’s very difficult to express your point of view and hold someone else’s with grace, Alexander says. But we can engage in meaningful dialogue when coming to a conversation from a place of respect and recognition.
The Importance of Patience
The most difficult conversations are often with the people who are closest to us. There is so much unspoken context and relationship history that adds layers to a tough conversation with a loved one. It is patience and mindfulness that allow us to see each other past deep divides, she says.
“Perhaps the first goal [is] just to find those moments of togetherness and to re-establish that beautiful, fluid bond. The patience may take a long time to get to the place where that conversation can really happen.” Alexander says.
The hard work of having difficult conversations requires pushing past discomfort. And that takes a tremendous amount of commitment.
“Now is the time to be able to come to a place to be able to keep our own energy levels high enough that we can listen and we can be there.” Alexander says. “We can mediate, and we can try to absorb things, even if we don’t understand.”
Listen to the full episode of Radically Loved with Rosie Acosta: Being Mindful and Compassionate with Anne Alexander here.