After pausing the music, then giving the sopranos a direction, our choir director said, “I know you can do it,” with a big smile.

That’s when I saw something really sweet:

I watched the body language of the big group of sopranos who smiled back immediately with a sense that they were truly internalizing what he just said. I could see that happen. Just one comment. But a comment of confidence from a person who is trusted, funny, caring, genuine, and inviting us to create.

That opened up a larger thought for me about encouragement, connection, and mirroring.

No one is able to define us — no person, no group — nor should it ever be that way.

— And at the same time —

I don’t think any of us comes to know ourselves, really and truly on the deeper levels, without the encouragement, connection, and mirroring of others.

We need to see ourselves seen. That is how we know we are loved. That is how we come to know and trust some of our best attributes, gifts, and particularities. That is how we know we belong and that we are believed in, even in the moments when we make mistakes or fail.

We need to give this gift to each other.

And I also wonder, even larger than the interpersonal, is it possible to do this with whole groups of people? Providing encouragement, connection, and mirroring in directions that convey…

hope is not a pipe dream…?

change is possible…?

we have the attributes, gifts, and particularities to build a better, safer, more loving world…?

Renee Roederer

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