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Inspiration and Encouragement for Your Personal Growth Journey
Stories and learnings from my own personal journey into deeper compassion, healthier relationships and nonviolent living. Please feel free to leave comments and questions on any posts; I love being in conversation with you.
On this week’s podcast, there were several questions concerning how we can introduce our loved ones to Nonviolent Communication.
And just like anything else, the best way to teach something is to live it. The best way to inspire others to learn NVC will be to offer them an experience of being in connection with you that feels better, and more authentic, and more loving, and less judgmental than being in relationship with others.
I was sitting with competing emotions recently–feeling peace and joy regarding the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday for those of us in the US, and conversely, feeling a lot of dread and hopelessness surrounding the increasing violence not only in the Middle East but in regions all across the globe. I found myself wondering “Is violence ever justified?” You may be surprised to find out that indeed, sometimes force is exactly what is needed.
There are two main misconceptions about boundaries. The first is that a boundary is a punishment. Now that you’ve gone and done this terrible, awful thing to me, my only option is to punish you for your actions by enforcing a boundary. The second is that a boundary is something I force you to do. “You will not speak to me in that tone of voice”, or “You will not continue to disrespect the family in this way.”
As children, we adapt strategies that allow us to survive the environments we live in. Often, these strategies are life-serving and we carry them into adulthood where they help us create the lives we long for. Other times, they are detrimental to ourselves and our relationships. On the podcast this week we talk about one such adaptive strategy: co-dependency, especially as it related to parenting.
Like a swinging pendulum, we can dip into trauma with the resources we need to transform the pain, and dip out of the hurt into a place where we’re resourced and regulated.
While it’s sometimes easy to wallow in places that sound like “I’ll never be the person I want to be” or it’s opposite: “I am good the way I am and they should change”, freedom lies somewhere in the field between the polarities of self-acceptance and self-improvement.
Marshall would say that when we listen nonviolently, there is no such thing as a verbal attack. Instead, we’re so resourced that we’re able to see through the tragic strategy of blame and shame and identify their underlying feelings and needs.
On today’s call, we continue to develop our feelings literacy by discussing faux feelings – the feelings that aren’t really feelings. Faux feelings can trip us up because they masquerade as things we can feel, but are really interpretations of actions outside of us.
Coerced giving is too expensive a substitute for the real thing.
When people give or change from a place of natural authenticity, it’s real, it’s lasting, and most importantly–no one pays the heavy price that comes with coercion.
Of course we work hard to love all humans as they are. However, that doesn’t mean I invite all humans into the closest corners of my life.
Sometimes it can seem close to impossible to show up in the way we wish we could.
Have you ever struggled with the fine line between practicing empathy and not wanting to enable abuse?