I have spent the past two days in myriad conversations of all forms and sizes about creating Circles of Trust, and about the qualities needed to cultivate and maintain truly safe space for conversations of the heart. I have sat with people I do not yet know, whose life experiences have been vastly different from my own, and we have begun to speak the truth with one another as if our lives depended on it.
Our lives do depend on it.
In the spirit of risk and truth, I have raised difficult questions publicly (at this gathering and in other groups) about the biases we bring and the assumptions we make based on cultural biases and socialization. Most of us are not taught how to relate to those who are different from ourselves with love and respect. Even for people who grew up in liberal or progressive households, we have still been exposed to cultural messages that render differences as invisible, fetishized or misunderstood at best, and at their worst, breed hatred or violence.
The price of holding back our deepest truth is too great for anyone to bear. Each one of us needs and deserves to have people with whom we can be all of who we are. Places where our stories can be heard and witnessed. Moments of compassion and grace that are salve for the wounds of our souls.
With whom do you place your trust? How do you assess someone's trustworthiness? How much risk are you willing to take?
Make everything so simple in a crazy world.
And I’m trying to find the words to say,
You make everything alright just by being around,
You make me want to sing.
You’re my light in the dark,
guiding me home.
And your faith in me is all I need.
Your loving sets me free.
—Laura Izibor, from “Mmm…”