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.