Dear Communicative Readers,
Do you always express yourself honestly, effectively, and easily? Well, I would love to say that I do. But more times, I don’t. The old me would react, explode, stuff, hide, and quench. The new me is trusting the Spirit of Beingness and Knowingness. I’m learning how to communicate compassionately and lovingly. Not combatively. Not abusively. Through expanded awareness, I’m learning the language of Spirit. Aligning with Spirit’s words and not my ego’s words.
Yesterday, my boys were arguing. I came in the room to hear and diffuse. Lucas yelled, “Gabriel ALWAYS does… He NEVER does…” Gabriel usurps, “Lucas ALWAYS whines. He acts like a baby… ALWAYS.”
I observed the situation and passionately said, “I have an idea. WHAT IF… everyone can EXPRESS their FEELINGS and everyone’s NEEDS can be met?” They continue arguing. I replied, “Listen up. Did you guys hear what I just said? Everyone can express their FEELINGS. Everyone’s NEEDS can be met. This is huge. Eureka moment. Light bulb moment. Aha moment. Do you guys understand the severity and the clarity of what I just suggested?”
SILENCE. Take in that new reality. This is huge, even for me!!! Calmness entered the room. Beauty and wonder filled the sacred spaces that could no longer tolerate abusive, combative language. We were being ushered into compassion, understanding, and connection. Isn’t that what we all really want? To be known and understood. Intimacy. And through the cornerstone cousins of compassion and unconditional love, it is possible.
“Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of CREATIVE ALTERNATIVES for responding to conflict.” ~ Dorothy Thompson
Creative Alternatives became possible when I opened the words of Marshall Rosenberg in Living Nonviolent Communication. After the first chapter, I literally went outside in my backyard. I raised my hands in the air and thanked the universe for the new truth, new skill, and new reality. I resonated with his words. My Being accepted it wholeheartedly. There is a different and better way of communicating. I wish I had acquired this skill years ago. But I realized that the universe delivered this gift at the perfect time. I was ready, able, and open to receive.
Marshall Rosenberg suggested a Four-Part Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Process…
THE PROCESS OF NONVIOLENT (COMPASSIONATE) COMMUNICATION:
When you see (hear)…
Because I am NEEDING…
And I would like to… (specific action)
When you see (hear)…
Do you FEEL…
Because you are NEEDING…
And would you like… (specific action)?
The first step involves observation and experiences with NO judgment and evaluation. For example… I’m observing a particular behavior such as being late instead of “You are ALWYS late.” No blame game. Just observation of what you are experiencing.
The second step involves feelings. For many people to get in touch with their feelings can take time. They may express anger but really feel hurt. A big difference.
Some feelings when needs are fulfilled are glad, hopeful, trustful, joyous, proud, relived, thankful, confident, amazed, inspired, etc.
Some feelings when needs are not fulfilled are sad, frustrated, nervous, disappointed, annoyed, anger, reluctant, lonely, irritated, etc.
The third step is your need. You are needing something. Behavior occurs because a need is getting met or a need is not getting met.
What are some of the needs that all of us have?
The need for spiritual communion… peace, order, beauty, inspiration.
The need for interdependence… empathy, community, acceptance, appreciation, respect, emotional safety.
The need for physical nurturance… air, food, touch, shelter, exercise, sex, rest.
The need for integrity… meaning, self-worth, authenticity, creativity.
The need for autonomy… choosing dreams, goals, and values.
The need for celebration… the creation of life, dreams fulfilled, losses, and mourning.
The final step to this process is a request. Something you would like from them that would make your life more wonderful. NOT a demand. Another big distinction.
This four-step process is illuminating and life-changing!
Let me play this out… Gabriel was on Xbox over his time limit.
I observed that time ran out. (No blame game. Just an observation.)
I feel irritated because I set a time limit. (Feelings.)
I need respect as a human and as a mom. (Need.)
I would like to keep order in the house. Are you capable of shutting down the Xbox when the time limit runs out? (Request. No demands.)
Mom, you are right. I’m sorry. (Observation.)
However, I feel frustrated because I downloaded a new game, and it took most of my time. I’m annoyed and stressed. (Feelings.)
I need understanding. (Need.)
And I would like 15 more minutes. Thank you. (Request.)
Alright Compassionate and Communicative Readers… there is a way to express your feelings and for everyone’s needs being met. This is a process. But it’s also a life-changing skill to implement. Or consider. Years may have gone by with stale and stuck ways. But truly, things can be different.
Mahatma Gandhi suggested, “BE the CHANGE you want to see in the world.”
And never has a statement been so true. You can’t change anyone. But the spiritual journey begins with transformation. Thankfully, it begins with me, and it begins with you. This is the divine legacy that we get to leave!!! One of harmony, peace, compassion, beauty, unconditional love. Oh, sign me up for those attributes and burn away the chaff of my ego. That is my desire. What do you desire?