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Respecting Other Religions Precedes Connections in Relationships

The greatest human motivation and desire is to connect and bond. We all seek it, work to develop it, yearn for that special feeling of safety and security when we have it, and can feel lost without it. There’s an element of validation in connection, one that reminds you exist and that you are not alone. We come into this world bonded through connection with our mother’s and so, connection becomes the foundational experience in human form and within establishing strong relationships. The root concept to the word “relationship” is to “relate,” to make or show a connection between, as defined by the Oxford dictionary. When we form a relation between two or more people, places, or things we can measure the effects or discern the relevance within that connection. Therefore, when we speak about relationships it offers us the ability to describe the experience of being connected, the behaviors toward each other, and the overall effects pertaining to our growth and ultimate avenues of fulfillment. We can use this understanding of relationship in building respectful religious connections with others having different backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and experiences. Connection gives the opportunity to be curious rather than critical. Here are 5 ways we can be curious that help facilitate connection and build a better bond in relationships. 1. EXPERIENCE HOW OTHERS WORSHIP: Allowing yourself to be open to and hold space for another’s expansion in love, devotion, and reverence within the purity of their own heart in connection with the Divine is to witness God in made manifest. 2. EDUCATE YOURSELF: Be active in learning from each other, participate equally in the exchange. Take in information to expand yourself, your knowledge, your heart and not to just condemn another.

3. BE AMAZED WITH DIFFERENCES: Differences are uniquely designed to create an affect. Observe the impact and how it changes you in some way and share the affects.

4. INVOKE PATIENCE: When we invoke patience, it helps us develop the capacity to embrace acceptance without the undercurrents of anger or control. Let yourself breathe before an opinion is formed. Give yourself space on the inhale and offer space to another on the exhale. Allow for information to stand alone rather than putting words, opinion, thoughts, or your own beliefs to it. There are infinite possibilities when we allow some space for us to grow.

5. ASK QUESTIONS AND LISTEN: Lead with a strong desire to learn, to be amazed, and to grow. Be curious. Ask questions and encourage conversation with a sense of mutual interest. Listening is just as important. It nurtures and nourishes a blooming bond. When we listen, we develop new points of view, perspectives and insight while at the same time, fostering connections with a shared trust and respect for one another. Knowing how to be an engaged listener is a pivotal skill for effective communication and humanity.

Let us receive each other like children for they hold the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.

Jennifer Circosta - AFSI Blogger, Health and Wellness Coach -

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