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Words are Windows, or they're walls

Gracing the very first page of the book ‘Nonviolent Communication’ by Marshall Rosenberg, this poem by Ruth Bebermeyer strikes as a powerful opening.

It reminds me of times when harsh words have escaped my lips hurting someone I cared dearly for, and times when I realized my responsibility was to to seek understanding instead of judging a person.

I would like to share the poem with you on my journey of mastering sensitivity, self-reflection, and practice of the art of humble inquiry.

I feel so sentenced by your words

I feel so judged and sent away

Before I go I got to know

Is that what you mean to say?

Before I rise to my defense,

Before I speak in hurt or fear,

Before I build that wall of words,

Tell me, did I really hear?

Words are windows, or they’re walls,

They sentence us, or set us free.

When I speak and when I hear,

Let the love light shine through me.

There are things I need to say,

Things that mean so much to me,

If my words don’t make me clear,

Will you help me to be free?

If I seemed to put you down,

If you felt I didn’t care,

Try to listen through my words

To the feelings that we share.

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