Sunday, August 6, 2023

August 6--Less Violence Please

It's universally accepted that children need love, but at what age are people supposed to stop needing it? We never do. We need love in order to live happily, as much as we need oxygen in order to live at all.  --Marianne Williamson

    In the mode of encouraging less violence (both internal and external) and more love, I offer this from the August 5 Daily Meditation from the Center for Action and Contemplation:

Nonviolence trainers Veronica Pelicaric (1946–2022) and Nina Koevoets offer what they call “the four A’s” as guidelines to help us become more aware of our feelings and emotions, so we are better able to respond compassionately rather than react violently:

Acknowledge: When you notice a feeling, acknowledge its presence. First simply name it. If you are not alone, it can also be good to verbalize what you are feeling so the other person knows what is going on with you. “I am feeling irritated right now,” is an example of acknowledging a feeling.

Allow both your feeling(s) and thoughts. If violent images or words come to your mind, you can observe them. Take a deep breath and realize that this is not what you really want to act out. Breathe out and release.… If scary images or thoughts come to your mind, do the same. Take a deep breath and ask yourself if your thoughts are realistic…. Do a reality check. Breathe out and release. Tell yourself you can deal with it.

Ask yourself what is the reason for your feeling. Where does it come from? What need or value do you hold that was not met? For example, did you need care, appreciation, or understanding? What would you like to hear in this situation? Investigate with curiosity and care. Try to have a compassionate dialogue with yourself.

Accept that you are not perfect and forgive yourself. Offer reassurance with a sentence such as “I am patient,” or, “I’m able to handle this.” If it helps, you can also bring to mind a loving being, family member, friend, or pet. Alternatively, focus on your body to release any tension through your breath or by relaxing your muscles and letting your thoughts go.

Breathe! Remember, it is the most important thing we do!

The ocean always calms me...
Sunset in Jamaica

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