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Creating Peace on the Level of Speech

Marshall Rosenberg's work defined Nonviolent Communication and described how to remove violence from our ordinary speech. The goal of Nonviolent Communication is to establish connection between people while trying to meet everyone's needs. The key to nonviolent communication is having empathy for others. To have empathy, we have to be self-referral. We have to be a witness to our inner and outer experience.

Let's face it, we live in a violent world. When we say this, we think mainly of physical acts of violence — beatings, torture, shootings, bombings, executions, trucks driving into crowds and airplanes flying into buildings. We don't think as often about more subtle but much more common forms of violence — exclusion, exploitation, targeted vandalism and physical punishment. And we almost never recognize the violence in our everyday language — name-calling, labeling, berating, complaining-about, judging, criticizing, humiliating, coercing, slandering and bullying. The violence in our society is embodied in how we speak. We use such language so very often: "You're stupid." "You're clumsy." "You're too fat." "You don't belong here." "I don't like you." "You're incompetent." We even say such things to ourselves. We even say things like: "We fight for peace." and "We fight for you."

In order to create a peaceful society, we have to learn to speak peacefully. We have to learn to speak without using words representing judgment, criticism, dominant position and conflict. We have to learn to strive (endeavor, work), not fight, for what we believe in and what we want. We have to understand that when we disagree, the other(s) hold their position for reasons they believe are valid because that meets their needs. Even when people do things that we find horrific, we have to recognize that such acts are, what Marshall Rosenberg called, "Tragic expressions of unmet needs." I suggest that you ponder that statement for a moment before continuing to read this post.

We rarely stop to ask ourselves, "What do I need in this situation?" Needs can be very basic, such as food, shelter, and safety. Or they can be more complex, such as the needs for respect, opportunity and love. Beyond the basic needs that allow us to live, the most fundamental need is for connection with others. If, therefore, in our social interactions, we seek connection, we find ourselves working toward a most valuable goal — peaceful, harmonious, caring, giving, nourishing relationships.

To reach this goal, we have to have empathy with ourselves. Self-empathy involves accepting oneself, one's feelings and one's needs. It also involves forgiving yourself for being anything less than what you expect you should be. This comes down to loving yourself and being grateful for your life, even with its challenges and pain. Achieving this perspective is facilitated by being self-referral, being a witness to one's experience without judgment, criticism or blame. Being self-referral allows one to be a witness to the feelings and needs of others. This opens the way to having empathy for others, to regarding of the feelings and needs of others as though they were your own. Seeing ourselves in others and speaking to others without violence creates connection and generates peaceful relationships.

My energy work for individuals in consultations or for a group of people during a Group Clearing® webinar functions on all four levels of existence: BEING, subtlest manifestation, speech and action. The greatest effect is produced by clearing energy "tangles" that block the experience of BEING. The coherence of the group attending the webinar supports my work and facilitates rapid transformation of these energy tangles, opening the way for clearer experience of BEING and radiance of coherent energy to the environment.

You can find information on our next webinar, which will be held on the evening of Tuesday, August 9th, on the EVENTS page of this website. You'll also find a link to register for the webinar. If you will be in Fairfield, IA on the 9th, you can attend in person, but please register regardless of whether you will attend in person or via Internet or phone.

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