I wrote a post before on non-violent communication and today I like to share with you how bumpy this road can be.
In my mind I have this perfect picture. A mom who has lots of patience, who listens to her kids without judgement and has real connecting conversations with her children. That is my perfect world.
But… I am not perfect. I find myself loosing my patience. And although I try to be patient and have connecting conversations, I am not able to deliver.
And then the thinking starts:
My first thought: I am failing.
My second thought: I am only human and every moment I can pick it up again.
My third thought: Man, I’m tired.
And my fourth thought: I don’t want to hurt my kids in anyway, referring to raising my voice or ignoring them.
Being tired is the most important reason for not truly being able to be there. I need to be able to recharge, I need to be able to do something for me too.
Something else that plays a role is my feeling of not being heard. I am there, talking, but the other party is not receiving. For me that tells me that I myself have to practise listening more. Isn’t that interesting?
The other day I was on the phone and Midiman came up to me to ask me something. I listened to his question and told him I was on the phone and asked him if he could wait till I was done. The person on the other end of the phone, who of course heard everything, complimented me with how patient I was. Which was really nice and we continued our conversation.
I wish I was this patient all the time.
When I am tired it feels like everything is too much. I cannot really ground, I feel like I am not completely there, I just feel overwhelmed by everything. Noises are too loud, mess everywhere, it is just too much. And I feel like I’m drowning. I am swimming to the surface and it is just so hard.
When I feel like this non-violent communication is hard to be found. I hear myself raising my voice, to demand others lower their volume. Can you imagine me raising my voice and saying: “PLEASE BE QUIET!” I am walking around in our house complaining about the mess. And of course I have this feeling that I have to do everything myself. Ouch, talking about some jackal-talk/thoughts.
So what do I do? What helps for me?
The first thing I need to do is take care of me. It could be that taking a bath or a shower is all that I need. Just to wash all the tiredness, the frustration, the anger away. I always think in the shower and I try to think and visualize what is going on. What happened? What do I need? Can I be there for me like I would be there for a friend? Can I show myself empathy? I wrote a post on that before: Lessons learned in Life. I am getting better in the empathy thing.
However, sometimes that is not enough and I need empathy from other people. To be heard. To help me see and understand what is underneath the impatience, the voice-raising, the nagging. Empathy, non-judgmental feedback, giraffe-ears. And asking for help is okay.
After I have taken care of me, I can take care of all the others. I feel like I am that patient Mom again.
It is an ongoing process. A process I am willingly taking on because I think my boys should grow up feeling safe and heard and loved, unconditionally.
If you like to know more about non-violent communication, you can find a workshop from Marshall Rosenberg here
If you like to see the empathy and need cards that we use, you can find those here.