When confounded by situations + conversations that I simply do not understand, I step back and find something to love. Sure, some days that may simple be "I love that I can breathe," but it's an opening to love and I can usually find a way to compassion through the open crack.
As a facilitator, one of the things I am called to do is remind people of their sameness while addressing the differences. We all want to be heard. We all want to be respected. And people who are willing to show up in the same room for a cause, for an organization or an idea are all there for the same reason - they care deeply about being part of the solution.
Sometimes we forget the sameness part because the differences part seems louder.
I learn from every interaction I have with people, every. single. day. I am influenced, I learn and I hope I'm using all of it for the best, highest good.
Once when I was leading a meeting, we had a speaker who was, let us say, passionate and determined about his presentation. The group I was leading didn't share that same passion for the subject matter and had many questions.
I've traveled a long way with this group so I could soothe some of the angry expressions in the room, but people were unhappy and stayed long after the meeting to express themselves.
It was clear that we needed to address the issue so the leadership team decided to send a letter, expressing disappointment and frustration at how the presentation had unfolded.
We received a response that didn't quite share that same perspective.
And then that caused some consternation.
But here's the deal - people didn't realize that it was easily his 20th presentation on this subject. They didn't understand that while questions would be answered, it would not stop the implementation of the information being presented. And finally, it was a battle of missed expectations on both sides.
Every day our words + our intentions make up our experiences.
We're creating the world we live in by these experiences.