In times of conflict, it is more healing to start with empathy and the inner experience so that we can focus on PEOPLE–not on problems or programs. This will help us focus on what the needs and emotional experiences are with others (and our inner selves).
Can’t focus on empathy and people? Go back to your family of origin stories to see how we coped with anxiety, anger, sadness, hopes, etc.
I think this is the spiritual work Paul talks about in Romans 12 (be transformed by the renewal process…..put off the old self, put on the new self).
One great spiritual discipline for this is silence and solitude. Block out a time frame: 1-8 hours and take a journal with you only to a sacred spot (monastery, retreat house, hiking, forest, your living room with no distractions) and BE WITH GOD. Listen. Pay attention. See what comes up for you and journal about it.
You can also practice this first thing in the morning when you wake up. Don’t grab your phone. Don’t say anything. Simply BE IN GOD’S presence and listen.
You’ll be surprised how transformative this can be in your interactions with others at work, in your community, and in your spiritual life.