Spiritual Challenge – Through the Other’s Eyes

SPIRITUAL CHALLENGE – Reflect on some of your identities and intentionally learn about an identity that is not yours. All of us have multiple identities according to what demographic markers we share with others and various personal traits and characteristics. We all identify ourselves in multiple various way such as gender, sexual orientation, relationship status, ethnicity and race, religion and spiritual practice, politics, physical body type and abilities, emotional and intellectual abilities and disabilities, the generation to which we belong, where we live, and income. Make a list for yourself of the various identities that are important to you and then – spend some time this month learning about people who have different identities than you do in one or more ways. For example, I’m a heterosexual, cis-gender, fat, white, male Christian-Unitarian Universalist, with a graduate degree. I have a good friend who is Muslim, but my knowledge of Islam is rather rudimentary. I probably know more about Islam than the average non-Muslim American, but not nearly as much as I want to know. I might challenge myself to spend some time learning about Islam this month. As you go through the month reflect on what you’re learning about an “other” identity and how it makes you feel about your own related identity. I might reflect on being a Christian-UU in the light of what I’ve learned about Islam.

To get started you might use these two resources from Soul Matters to map your own identities. But we rarely – if ever – step back to reflect on how those multitudes influence us and interact with each other. And without that reflective distance, our many identities end up sneaking into the driver’s wheel. So this month spend some time getting to know your many selves, your pluralism within.

1.  Identity Chart

2.  Identity Reflection Questions

If you choose to explore another spiritual identity, I can recommended these resources:

As always, I’d love to know how you did with this challenge.  Text me or call me at 508-344-3668 or email me at revtony@pm.me.