Having been raised in a family where my parents consistently tried to prove the other as “the bad parent,” I grew up relating to others thru trying to figure out who was right and who was wrong. This became impossible and finally I concluded we must all be “wrong.” In early adulthood I developed a strong hatred for humanity. The only way I found to explain war, starvation and destruction of the environment was that humanity as
a whole must be evil. This meant I and all others were bad. I was ashamed to be human. However, something was incongruent with this theory. In light of the loving, caring nature of my children, I wondered how humanity could truly be evil.

At age 27, I came upon a book called Love is letting go of Fear, based on the Course in Miracles. In it, I learned a new possibility. What if no one was really wrong? What if everyone was actually loveable and loving? Could I look inside each person, beyond their defenses and masks and see their light? Yes, I decided that was the world I wanted to live in. This was much more challenging than I thought. How can I stay connected to the truth when all around me people are blaming and shaming, fighting and punishing? How can I forgive myself and all the people in my life who I believe had done wrong? I wanted to love and forgive, but I didn’t know how.

In the year 2000 I read Nonviolent Communication, a Language of Life. I was intrigued, but got hung up on the word “needs.” Human needs, I reasoned, are food, water and shelter. All the rest is just what people want; our selfish desires. I attended an NVC workshop and shared my skepticism with the teacher. She responded by saying that universal needs are how we fully experience our humanness and that everything we do or say is an attempt to get a need met. Wow, that shifted everything! What if all of us are always doing the best we can to meet beautiful needs? Nobody was wrong or bad. I suddenly really got it! If any of us had known a better way to get more needs met at less expense, we would have been doing it. I suddenly saw all the “wrong-doing” as tragic attempts to get beautiful needs met.

This new understanding and the tools from NVC gave me the substance I needed to actualize my deep yearning to stay connected to the truth that everyone is lovable. Since then, I continue to experience more and more the freedom and joy of forgiveness. I share my passion for NVC by teaching it and through my intention to live the process. I am most grateful for NVC because it has taught me how to connect with others and, through that, I am ever increasing my ability to Love and be Loved!