February – Loyalty
This is a juicy one. One synonym of loyalty is fidelity: faithfulness. We can be faithful to a person, an ideal, a promise, a way of life… We can be faithful spouses, faithful friends, faithful recyclers… there are a lot of ways to practice loyalty and fidelity. Faithfulness is something many humans value, yet in our humanity, we often fail to match our behavior to our values in a truly consistent way. Psychotherapist and visionary Esther Perel is an international expert on fidelity and infidelity. The exercises is to watch her 21 minute TED talk and contemplate how her ideas resonate in your life:
Perel describes the person committing infidelity as “finding themselves in a conflict between their values and their behavior.”
Have you ever found yourself in a conflict between your values and your behavior? It could be big (I lied to my loved one), it could be small (I didn’t recycle that water bottle). Follen’s own behavioral covenant of right relationship is a reminder at how easy it is for our behaviors to not reflect our values, and how important it is for our values to call us back into respectful behaviors:
This conflict between values and behavior is something most humans have experienced in ways large and small, in which we find ourselves disloyal to our own ideals of right and wrong.
How may we have hope or create ways that that “disorder may lead to a new order”?
Share your thoughts on Perel’s TED talk and your own contemplations (as far as you feel comfortable and able) with your covenant group.
Spiritual Exercises and Covenant Groups: We print the spiritual exercises every week for individual use and also for discussion in Covenant Groups. If you would like to learn more about Covenant Groups, see follen.org or speak to Membership Director Andy Wells-Bean.