Why Personal Processing?
Before working to transform our local communities and connecting with others, we think it is really important to start with ourselves. We are all shaped by our experiences, by the society in which we live and by our identity, the features of which we may choose for ourselves or have placed upon us by society. We, subsequently, engage with the world in a way that is unique and specific to us: objectivity does not exist. The more time we, therefore, take for reflection and for understanding ourselves and the complexity of our stories and identities, the more we will understand and empathise with others.
This process of turning the dialogue inwards will also provide opportunities for us to examine and challenge our biases. Only by critically questioning why we think what we do and why we act how we do, will we be able to hold ourselves to account when we make judgements on others. Such critical reflection can transform the way that we communicate with everyone, particularly those who we regard as different.
Moreover, taking time to understand ourselves will enable us to consider and respond to our feelings and needs. Sometimes it is difficult to listen to ourselves and to acknowledge our needs, but it is vital if we are going to create a sustainable society based on compassion - we need to look after ourselves to avoid burnout and to be able to care for others.
By engaging in personal processing, we can strengthen our ability to build genuine connections with the people we encounter, can make space for ourselves and our needs, and can ultimately grow as people.