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Scary Honesty – Or The Truth Will Set You Free

John 8:31,32


31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”


How often do we let our fear of the perceived outcome stop us from being honest about what we are feeling and needing? Can you remember being taught how to respond, “Say you are sorry,” “Say thank you.” “Shake hands and quit arguing.” How many times have we been in a situation where we did not communicate what we were feeling or needing, but rather went along with the crowd? How often have we not been honest because we were afraid of the outcome if we were honest? How often – weekly, daily, by the minute. In this passage Jesus communicates how to be free – by the truth we are free.


One of the first stories I read about Marshall Rosenberg was a story when he received a large check from someone who said he should use it to buy something the donor had in mind. Marshall looked at the check and then handed it back to the donor and said he could not accept it for the item the donor wanted it to go for. He was honest with the donor and met his need for integrity. There was a chance his honesty could have cost him a lot of money from this donor. The donor asked him what he would want to use the money for and he gave another item that he thought he needed more for his work in NVC. Hearing what Marshal said the donor gave the check back to Marshall and said he should use it for the item he mentioned.


Silly example I know but it carries with it the same understanding that Jesus was talking about. Be who you are, state what you are feeling and needing and be free with your interaction with others and you will be free! Marshall goes on to call this “Scary Honesty” because it may stimulate fear or other emotions in others when one does not act the way they have been “taught” to act.


Compassionate Translation


“So Jesus gave clarification to those who had an interest in what he was saying. “I want to contribute to you, would you like some input? If you practice connecting with yourself, being in the presence of the Divine, then you will know what you are feeling and needing. Don’t give that away! For a true connection you have to be honest, honesty is as important as empathy. Don’t let fear stand in the way of connection. Communicate your feelings and needs, connect with the Divine and know, you are responsible for what you say and do but others are responsible for what they hear and how they respond. This is the truth – a freeing truth.”


Joy to You!



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Why Is Saturday Night Live Doing So Well Right Now?

We don’t do anything that isn’t for good reasons. The serial killer did that for good reasons, to serve life. Hitler did everything he did for good reasons, to serve life. No human being does anything except for good reasons, to serve life.

Marshall Rosenberg


Saturday Night Live is enjoying it’s highest ratings in 20 years. The Trump presidency has been a huge gift to them. Every week there are skits lampooning what is going on in Washington, with Alec Baldwin leading the helm as a larger-then-life, buffoonish, President Donald Trump. This week they opened with a skit making fun of die-hard Trump supporters.

I know I found it depressingly funny, but why? Why do I and so many other progressive minded thinkers find this humor enjoyable? Why do we do this? Let’s get back to basics; we all do what we do for good reasons. We all do what we do to meet a need. Sometimes there are several needs vying for attention, and we tend to go with the loudest one. Even to the detriment of the other needs. If you want some more understanding of what I’m talking about here, listen to the video below.

I know what I’m feeling right now about what is going on in this country is anger; underneath of this is fear. I’ve very afraid there are people in this country who vote who don’t see the world as I do. I have deep needs for safety, protection, respect for human beings, consciousness and awareness. The fact that people voted for Donald Trump was shocking to me. It is very painful for me, very frightening, when people support the actions President Trump is taking. The needs I have listed above do not get met. I think there are many others in this same boat.

What I need right now is understanding and support, a shared reality. I need understanding about how painful this situation is to me, and I need to understand why others can’t figure out any other way to respond that in a way that threatens so many of us. I also need to understand I’m not a alone, that I have a shared reality with other people. What is happening in my country right now is so unbelievable to me that I need some assurance I’m not crazy for what I’m experiencing. I need to hear others are experiencing the same thing.

This brings me to the Saturday Night Live experience. I think those of us that enjoy this find these meet the need of shared reality, but not the need for either understanding quite so much. Yes, we laugh, and say to each other, “I know, it’s crazy right? You see how crazy these people are, right?” But I don’t think the Trump supporters share that reality.

I think one of the most common comments I see on social media sites related to this humor is along the lines of “Go ahead and make fun of Trump voters. That’s why you lost the election and will continue to loose elections.” The truth in this kind of statement is we aren’t getting understanding of how painful our country is right now, and we aren’t any closer to understanding why Trump appeals to people. We aren’t getting those needs met at all. It might feel good in the moment to share the reality of the craziness of our times, but we aren’t getting any closer to understanding of any kind. And I think some of us feel that. That’s the sadness we feel underlying the humor of these skits.

I’m hopeful we can start to figure out how to get those other needs met. There is nothing wrong with saying we are in pain, and we need you to understand how your choice contributed to this pain. I think that is underneath so many of our attempts on social media. So many of the memes are trying to get Trump supporters to hear that. Maybe we can be more clear. We want understanding that they hold personal responsibility for their vote. I’m not talking about blame, they won’t be able to hear our request if they hear blame. I want them to be able to acknowledge their vote has caused quite a bit of pain. Then I want to understand what need they were trying to get met by voting for him. I really want to understand that.

If we can both start understanding each other, then we can really make some changes in our country that gets all of our needs met. I’m going to say again, please listen to the above video if you haven’t; it will help you understand what I’m talking about here.


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