Speaking Your Truth – Without Shame or Blame

How many times have you sat with your thoughts about loving someone, or some negative event regarding someone and were afraid to tell that person because of the fear of being judged, rejected, not being heard or just wanting to avoid the conflict altogether? Coming up with the courage to speak from an open heart, using compassionate communication in order to speak your truth is a big feat for most of us who have not had a lot of practice. My invitation is not to wait to begin to practice.

nonviolent communication principlesWhat does “compassionate communication” really mean? It means not to point the fingers at someone else, blaming them for your feelings. It means not to shame the other person for what they may have done to create those feelings inside of you, communicate your feelings and own them as yours. It means to not get defensive around a certain position you are taking and to express what you may need to support the value/philosophy you believe in. The nonviolent communication process is a great way to learn how not to shame or blame the other for how you feel, take responsibility for your own feelings and be able to communicate them.

Going into the communication process without holding onto ideas of any outcome should also be an important part of the process. When we hold onto a position, specifically, a position that we think is the right or correct position, we destroy the relationship. Being open to possibilities within the realm of communication keeps the relationship in the forefront and not the idea that we have to be right.

How about receiving others’ communication? While I strive for compassionate communication and loving speech, I know I do not hit the mark 100% of the time and neither will other people. Being able to receive others’ difficult communications is also an art, especially when they are failing at compassionate communication and loving speech. This doesn’t mean that you have to accept the blaming, finger pointing or shaming which is coming your way by getting defensive. One way to deal with it is to understand that someone is either communicating with loving speech or showing you where they are hurt when they communicate in a non-compassionate way. Trying to separate the two has helped me sit in the discomfort when I’m receiving someone’s hurt feelings.

Being aware and present to what communication is happening right in the moment leaves us no other alternative than to accept each other and what is going on right then and there. Resisting what is happening in the moment actually prevents change from happening later. Trying to manipulate and change each other is what keeps relationships stuck. We see that happiness and love can appear naturally…so can pain. Part of compassion is being able to allow things to happen on their own terms, despite our preference. What we discover, to our dismay, is that our communication inside intimate relationships are just as mixed and messy as anything out there in the world.

What I am inviting here is the possibility for communication which requires compassion above feelings of comfort or love. This requires a disciplined effort to stay open hearted to the mixed emotions in all of our communications together.
Paulo Neruda Quote