A Message from Rev. Suzelle
Here at UUCW for the month of May, our Soul Matters theme is curiosity. Curiosity, that inner drive to know, and to know more — our “inner questioner” who always wants to know WHY — that’s what our Soul Circle and other groups will be exploring, and what we’ll note in our Sunday services as we are able.
Curiosity is a core part of human nature because it helps us survive. When we discover something new, our brains release dopamine and other neurotransmitters that make us feel good. Scientists posit that this process evolved because the urge to explore and gain knowledge about the world around us helps us stay alert and aware of potential dangers.
A study by Todd B. Kashdan, Paul Rose, and Frank D. Fincham (in the Journal of Personality Assessment) indicates that curious people are happier, too. Curiosity also fosters achievement. Other studies reveal that when we’re curious, we participate more in learning opportunities. It makes sense, right? When we are curious about and interested in what we are doing, putting in the effort to do well is effortless!
But did you know that curiosity can also expand your empathy? It’s something to try. The next time you talk with a stranger — someone who seems quite different from you, consider being more personal in your approach. Ask how they are, and listen with interest and warmth. Share a bit of your own life with them, too. When we engage with people beyond our familiar social circle in a caring way, we become more able to understand and relate to lives far different from our own. In truth, this approach helps to strengthen familiar relationships, too. It helps us make friends, heal arguments, and build community with our neighbors and fellow congregation members! Being vulnerable with someone, as well as curious about them, is a lovely way to grow your closeness with them.
What’s spiritual or soulful about curiosity? If we think of spirituality as a sense of connection with something larger or deeper than ourselves or if we think of it as the meaning-making dimension of life, then our curiosity becomes a tool for those explorations as well. We can be curious about our experiences; ask ourselves “Did what I just see or feel or hear expand my heart? Did it send shivers down my spine? Did it leave me with a feeling that the Universe is holding me with care? Did it send me into a sad place?” These, and questions like them, are ways to open the spiritual dimension of our everyday experiences.
We truly are a People of Curiosity at UUCW. I look forward to exploring with you!
Blessings to you,
The Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister