Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I don't often remember dreams, but last night I was awakened during the darkest part of night before the dawn, feeling desperate and bereft. In my dream, Jori had "shut down" completely, and seemed to cast me into the role of enemy. Nothing I could do could crack her open again. I felt flummoxed because I did not know "what I had done" to stimulate this response. Nothing I said or did "worked" to re-connect us.

This reflects a deep core fear in me around helplessness to influence others in order to support my well-being. It reminds me that we come into the world alone, we will leave the world alone and that loneliness is one aspect at our core. I suppose at some absolute spiritual level we are all one, but that awareness seems distant when I touch my aloneness and the grief and the mourning I feel around that.

As I write that, I connect with the anniversary tomorrow of my brother's birth. He would have been 59.

We were never as close as I would have wished (he was eight years older than me). As I grew up, he was always my inspiration. He seemed to move through life like a super-hero to me, boldly confronting the mystery, showing me glimpses of my future as I watched him navigate. I motivated myself in many respects trying to "earn" his respect and approval. A part of me longed for acceptance from him and a quality of connection I craved. I don't remember ever revealing any of this to him. This stimulates profound sadness in me.

We touched depth occasionally, sweetly. Once, about a month before he died in 1993, he called to express his concern and condolences over the recent death of my best friend. Remembering that now I feel warm, tearful; touched by his willingness to reach out to comfort me in the face of his own overwhelming pain. I was not ware of the depth of his anguish in that moment, and I regret deeply not having more skill in being able to invite, connect with and listen mindfully to his suffering. I tell myself that if I had been proficient in NVC then, it might have made a huge difference. I feel sad connecting with that, a sweet sadness around contributions I wish I could have made, longing for his well-being and our connection.


Fay Tangermann said...

Dear Jim
I felt deeply touched by your words. I feel the same sadness about not having connected with people close to me and wish I could have had awareness of NVC at the time. I felt a pang of synchronicity when I read about your brother. My brother would have been 59 on April 14, a day after your brother's birthday.

I will be coming to the IIT in ABQ and I'm looking forward to meeting you, Jim.
I'm a beginner at NVC and I'm stuggling with finding the connection from my brain to my heart, in other words doing and speaking NVC, not only rationally "getting it".
Thank you for sharing your feelings here. It meets my need for connection and warmth.

Ingrid said...

Reading Ishana's poem inspired me to try write down the words that were in my heart since the end of the Santa Barbara IIT where I met you and Ishana.

Here it is:

Endless River

My heart is a river,
a stream of tears,
deeper than thoughts beyond words
A stream of sorrow and joy.

How far down does your compassion reach?
Can your words sprinkle my soul
like pearls of water that merge with my tears?
Flowing with life my pain sweetens
my sadness may mingle with joy.

The warmth in your eyes embraces all
no telling why, just listening.


What you have created here, Jim, invites me to participate, because I sense how much of yourself you put into living "the NVC consciousness"
I feel excited and inspired when I am able to connect more with this consciousness of which we generated and shared so much at the IIT. I feel more alive when I am able to feel and express more deeply.
Thank you for the opportunity. It allowed me to check in with myself more deeply.