Compassion vs. Criticism

I have had the privilege lately of sharing Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication in a wide variety of settings from schools to prison and the common thread I find is that almost everyone asks, “Why don’t they teach this in elementary school?”  When I reflect on that question, I realize that what people are most craving for is a way to interact with life, themselves and others with understanding and compassion rather than with judgment, criticism and blame.  I believe the reason this is the case is because we most yearn for unconditional love and acceptance – to simply know we are OK.  I believe we can begin that with ourselves.  Where do you find yourself criticizing, blaming or judging yourself and where exactly does that get you? Do you change your behavior as a result or do you just feel more awful? When you notice you have done something you regret, can you simply connect to your sadness and grief? Can you explore what you were hoping to accomplish, i.e., what need you were hoping to meet, by your choice? And can you mourn your choice and find compassion and acceptance for being human?  If so, you are on the path of being compassionate with yourself and ultimately with others as well.

Good luck and feel free to let me know how you are doing!

In journey with you ~


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