Last week our NVC Academy Team was meeting, and I asked if anyone had any ideas for a topic for our October issue of Growing Roots. Fellow co-founder of the NVC Academy, Mark Schultz, said: “Witches and goblins need compassion too!” We all chuckled.
And yet it is the truth, isn’t it.
There are days when I can meet the so-called witches and goblins in my life with empathy, compassion, and love in abundance. On those days, I know my life is in greater balance and my spiritual / emotional tank is full. And I feel grateful to Marshall Rosenberg for teaching me how to take better care of myself and for inspiring my natural compassion to grow.
Other days, it seems my own internal witch or goblin needs tender care, and she has little to offer others. That’s a sign that my spiritual and emotional tank is low and needs a tune up. My favorite tune up methods are: asking for empathy (I have two empathy buddies); reading books that remind me of my own and others’ divinity; meditation; simply talking to a good friend; helping someone else (service); and going for a walk in nature.
The truth is that when I first came into NVC I thought I didn’t have a compassionate bone in my body. And I thought there wasn’t enough empathy in the world to heal me.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
Compassion is an inside / out job. It starts with taking care of ourselves, forgiving ourselves, loving ourselves, and showing compassion for ourselves. When we begin to love our own witches, goblins, and jackals, our compassion naturally extends towards others. At the beginning of my journey with NVC I did not fully believe this would happen, but it has been my experience and I will be forever grateful for it.
Am I done now? No way!
This is my lifetime work – to bring compassion to myself so I may be a better expression of compassion in the world. It is like an internal compass that is constantly looking for north. Even today I regularly ask myself these questions: can I love myself? Forgive myself? Hold myself in compassion?
Some days it is easier to answer yes than other days. And yet, when I am able meet myself in compassion, I have more to give others.
So the next time you are feeling annoyed with someone else (or with yourself!), consider bringing the focus back to yourself and ask if there is something you need to do for you. Is it that you need or want nurturing, care, rest, food, alone time, or a break? See if you can come up with one thing that you will do that very day to support the needs you identified.
Start with yourself. If you’re like me, your sweet internal jackal (or witch or goblin) will be glad you did.