Soon after landing on a soft foundation (hitting rock bottom), I was introduced to Nonviolent Communication in Dr. Kerley's Ordinary Life class. Before that, it seemed that my life, my happiness, and my values were at the mercy of circumstance, luck, and fate. Some days were great, some disappointing, and others, downright unbearable. Even though life is full of surprises and ups and downs, the awareness of needs gives us the ability to understand ourselves and our feelings and empowers us to connect with our needs. It also allows us to see others as equals and liberates us from our judgmental thoughts and patterns that separate us. Rather than thinking that our feelings are a result of what "others have done to us", we see that what lies beneath our feelings are needs (values) that are met or not. Even if someone else's strategies for meeting their own needs don't support our strategies to meet ours, we can identify what we are desiring, and find another way to meet them. We can even use self-empathy to honor that need. Suddenly we are more empowered to meet our needs. I can now forgive myself for the strategies I used to meet my needs before I was aware of NVC. Complaining and feeling like the victim served to have others support me and tell me I was accepted and understood. Now that I know more about NVC, I have more effective strategies for meeting these needs. Not only are these needs met more effectively, but I am more at peace because I know that I can do this anywhere and anytime.
Grace in, peace out,
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