A top priority in religious life: Practising emotional skills in community life; by Alberto Llanos

At the Lusaka meeting (September, 2016) the importance of practising emotional skills in community life was a priority, otherwise one runs the risk of being alone and living alone. It is very important to know and to be aware of how we feel each day at the level of feelings and needs.

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Brothers gathered in Lusaka

If we recognise how we feel first thing in the morning this will become a habit. If every day I ask myself how I am feeling today? In looking for an answer, I will be taking a first step to overcome the fears, pain and ignorance about myself.

It is necessary to remember that the emotions are not good or bad, they simply ARE. Let us never judge our emotions as they inform us about ourselves. If we can recognise our emotions, then we can make a self-confrontation of what we feel (but compassionately).

We are emotionally intelligent if we learn to listen to ourselves, with attention to our feelings, recognising them and trying to deepen them.

Active Listening is a good way to improve the level of community life. It allows us to enter into the pain and the suffering of myself and other people. Listening to others is not easy, but with practice we can greatly improve our relationships and make others feel valued and heard from their feelings, from what they are.

Listening attentively invites us to listen to what the other says with attention, respect, affectionate acceptance without judgements or calls for attention. Just as we would like to be listened to, treated and respected.

It would be good to incorporate some of the videos Gran Turino, 28 Days, Inside Out, of Gods and Men, Invictus, Brooklyn, Up and Spotlight, for community sharing in the community annual plan.

P.S. At the National Meeting of the CBR, Cardinal Joao Braz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, has placed (with God, with people and with self ) as the top priority.