Have you ever heard of that term? Lately, we hear terms like racist, racial oppression, BLM, hate, political divide, and so many negative terms and articles of angry people who just want to be RIGHT and HEARD.

I would like to help in ANY way I can in this season over so much opposition, but I refuse to categorize myself or those around me. It does not help the inflamed situation. For those of us who feel helpless or ask how can we contribute to change, let’s talk about relational reconciliation. It does not matter what background or the color of our skin, but what we can do individually to improve all that is swirling around us.

What does this term mean? I believe reconciliation can best be understood in relational terms. We as human beings were meant for a peaceful world of healthy relationships—with God, self, others and the world around us. Relational reconciliation simply means finding a way to heal broken relationships. Broken relationships mean broken hearts.

Let’s break down relational reconciliation even further today. How to have a heartfelt peaceful conversation. No, this is not going to solve some of the bigger issues that NEED to change in our society, but what if we START here? With ourselves?

HOW DO YOU HAVE A CONVERSATION? Try some of these and see how your own perspective changes, the respect for others grows, and reconciliation begins to happen.

ASK QUESTIONS //

I have been saying forever, that people are TERRIBLE at this. Everyone has a story. Instead of entering into a conversation and asking questions, only to wait until you have the chance to ADD your RIGHT opinion, JUST listen!

LISTEN! //

Period. Let someone talk. Let them share EVERYTHING, and DON’T say anything until you are asked. Do you feel like you are not being heard? Try and listen! See what happens

STAY CURIOUS //

Look at others like you are going to learn something, feel something, and understand something new. If you tell yourself at the beginning of a conversation, stay curious, YOU WILL.

DON’T JUDGE //

Remember my statement, everyone has a story? You have NOT walked in their shoes. Their experiences, hurts, pains, and relationships have been real to them. Take off your hat of needing to correct or point out something YOU think is not right. It is VERY freeing for the person listening.

WHEN YOU ARE TALKING, BE BRIEF //

People don’t want to listen down to the fourth layer of details. Let the other person ask more questions if they like. Ever wonder why people don’t want to have a long conversation with you? It might be because if the clock reads 10 min into your run on sentence, you might have scared them away.

RESPOND //

Like you would want someone to respond to your story. Ever put yourself out there and someone either brushes you off, acts uninterested, or worse yet, acts like a know-it-all? That will probably be the last time you give them any information.

WHAT DO THEY WANT? //

Ask the person who starts talking if they want you to simply listen or to help give solutions to the topic. I think you will be surprised. MOST people just want to be heard. And lastly

BE PRESENT! WE ARE THE WORST AT THIS //

Either be all in, or not at all. If you start to think about what you are going to eat next, or the laundry list of things you need to do, it becomes very apparent. Put down your phone. Don’t answer it or look at your text messages. This is the ONE area that will stop the flow of connection instantly.

I have a few people in my life that we are at complete opposite sides on various topics and even foundational beliefs, and I LOVE THEM! I love to talk with them, to learn from them, to understand them better. I don’t feel upset if they don’t agree.

This can be one of the first places we start with reconciliation. Give these a shot next time you enter into ANY conversation and watch the transformation! It’s really fun!