What we practice, we become. These six grounding principles guide everything we do through the Share Anonymous Initiative.
Listening is more than just being quiet while others have their say. It is about presence as much as receiving; it is about connection more than observing. The generous listener wants to understand the humanity behind the words of the other, and patiently summons one’s own best self and one’s own most generous words and questions. We know that respectful, compassionate, attentive, and authentic listening cab bring healing, while a controlling, blaming, and/or invalidating response can cause harm.
Words that Matter:
We are starved for fresh language to understand and relate with each other. We need words with power that not only convey truth, but also brings close, comforts and mends our brokenness. The words we use shape how we understand ourselves, how we interpret the world, and how we treat others. Our words can either empower people and make them want to press on or diminish them and make them want to quit. Words have an incredible healing power in people’s lives. Knowing what to say to someone who may be experiencing sexual or domestic violence can be overwhelming and downright scary. It is important to be as supportive and non-judgemental as possible.
Compassion is a commitment. It’s not something we have or don’t have, it’s something we choose to practice. According to Brené Brown, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.
Want to be happier?
Want to have better relationships?
Want to heal yourself or others?
Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity. All survivors deserve compassion and support no matter their gender, sexuality, status, religion, or tribe.
Empathy is the skill or ability to tap into our own experiences in order to connect with an experience someone is relating to us. Empathy is a skill that can bring people together and make people feel included. According to Brené Brown, the 4 key steps to showing empathy are;
– Perspective taking, or putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.
– Staying out of judgement and listening.
– Recognizing emotion in another person that you have maybe felt before.
– Communicating that you can recognize that emotion.
Kindness is a universe of things. One definition of kindness combines several qualities: friendliness, generosity, and consideration. Kindness requires vulnerability. Kindness requires that we are conscious and intentional the impact our words or actions may have; it means expanding energy and effort and caring about the outcome. It also means suspending judgement and accepting people as they are. We can be kind and patient with each other; even when it is difficult, and when you gain nothing from it. Keeping promises. Being slow to anger. Being courteous. Kindness has the power to transform and heal, and all survivors are worthy of every bit of kindness.
Hospitality is a bridge to all the great virtues, but it is immediately accessible. You dont have to love or forgive or feel compassion to extend hospitality. But it’s more than an invitation. It is the creation of an inviting, trustworthy space – an atmosphere as much as a place. It shapes the experience to follow. It creates the intention, the spirit, and the boundaries for what is possible. As creatures, it seems, we imagine a homogeneity in other groups that we know not to be there in our own. But new social realities are brought into being over time by a quality of relationship between unlikely combinations of people. When in doubt, practice hospitality.