Bridging the Divide – By Pierre Zimmerman 10/1/21

From the Desk of Pierre Zimmerman:

Fear divides us because we feel powerless. COVID isn’t going away, and the rawness of emotions is vivid. It is the opposite of kindness, because the reptilian brain is very active and in a state of arousal. When in such a state, we often get in a mode of “us versus them.” We feel that we are different, maybe better off or worse, others being wrong in their beliefs and opinions. There is always sorrow, or grief underneath fear, which tends to create more isolation.

We face fear with mindfulness, integrating the frontal cortex, to call on compassion, a shared, caring spaciousness, so that we are not hooked. Kindness is the pathway to a larger more resilient space, relaxing into a natural sense of caring through intention, a longing of our human heart to be spiritual, to want to live the truth of who we are. It is an energetic heart opening.

A true sense of belonging gives us more access to connect with common universal issues. We can change the “unreal other,” formerly categorized as bad… We can pause, make a U-turn, check out our inside world and befriend it.

Tara Brach, has an acronym that is very helpful called RAIN:
Recognize the emotion/or what’s going on
Allow the emotion/experience to be there, just as it is, a wave in the ocean
Investigate the body/the emotion with kindness
Natural awareness of what you experience, and non-identification with thoughts/feelings/experiences.

This is coming from a caring place, living from a more integrated range, including the other, with kindness… seeing the bigger picture. The basic intention is to understand their view, their life value, and what matters to them. Recognizing that they also wish to reduce their suffering, which is our common ground. Keep stretching the effort to build connection and hold disagreement, replacing mistrust with basic trust, bridging the divide. It is a liberating experience even though it is disagreeable or might seem futile for a moment!


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