I recall in my time in youth development, I was provided the opportunity on multiple occasions to attend “Challenge Day” with young people. Challenge Day (http://www.challengeday.org/) is a powerful experiential experience for young people in their schools and communities. At the core of their work and events are the following vision and mission:
- Our vision is that every child lives in a world where they feel safe, loved and celebrated.
- The Challenge Day mission is to provide youth and their communities with experiential programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression.
I’ve experienced Challenge Day. They truly attempt to create and facilitate a space where the vision and mission of the organization is a reality for all.
A part of the day is sharing some in-depth self-reflection. This reflection causes relationships to be formed and sustained by vulnerability and truth-telling. They ask each person to share a statement beginning with:
“If you really knew me, you would know that…” And the participants begin to share their fears, their pasts, their triumphs, etc.
I found this exercise powerful and useful on so many levels. Obviously, in relationship cultivation, the depth of knowledge about the other person is critical to growth and sustainability in relationship. However, the most intriguing salience of this statement is the necessity to dialogue with self.
If you are like me, over time and circumstance we can lose touch with who we are. So the question moves from “If YOU really knew me” to “If I really know me…” When is the last time you sat across from the relationships that are most important to you and stated: “If you really knew me…” and are you ready to sit with yourself and reconnect? I’m gonna try.
Peace, Blessings, and Challenge,