As I continue softening into understanding the Other, I have been comforted to know that there are other women also moving through this process of non-judgment and compassionate presence. Today's article, At the Intersection of Other & Friend, by Kate Brunner at Feminism and Religion, was one of those helpful connections that elicit a feeling of community, even though it is through cyberspace.
A book that I recently finished reading has been good for helping me understand the polarization between mindsets, between people who lean with intensity toward either a liberal or conservative view. One aspect of this is understanding that our beliefs "lean" first through intuition and are then followed by rational thought, and our human tendency is to find supporting evidence for what we already believe or are leaning towards. As Jonathan Haidt says in The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion:
I think that the first step into open-minded views is by simply knowing ourselves better and being more aware of our own tendencies prior to judging the Other.
Then, imagine ourselves sitting on a porch swing with the Other and really, truly listening to where they have come from and where they are now. Where can we meet?