Non-violence in relationships- My experience


I have been practicing non-violence especially in relationships. Violence is absence of peace. Being non-violent means to be peaceful no matter what happens. That is keeping your state of mind stable even when things go wrong, things don’t happen the way you want them to be, people around you making mistakes, speaking without sense, not understanding, etc. For me, peace means no questions, no confusions leading to total clarity and being content with what is happening.

Violence for me is reacting even in the mental/subtle level, that very thought which creates an uncomfortable feeling in you. Reactions in words are like speaking harshly, angrily, cutting off the conversation, proving the point, correcting others. Those words show the arrogance and ego in the self.

Because the later effect is first you feel upset with your behavior and also that of others considering they do not understand you and why they are like that… Secondly the relationship suffers- people dislike you, not getting love, respect, cooperation…. Thirdly you spoil your name and reputation.

Reactions in facial expression and body language are like turning your face off, showing being upset in your face, no eye contact, no smile, walking away, you bring those emotion each time you see the person, not acknowledging their ideas, communication, operating material things in a dislike/upset/harsh way.

The root cause of all these behavior is expectations and taking too much responsibility. When I closely analyze and understand each one’s capacity and limitations, their way of doing things and behavior, then I can program myself to behave accordingly with that person. I use my intellect in a tactful way by getting things done at the same time holding harmony in relationships.

I could do this by focusing on my inner attitude and the way I convey things. I strongly realized many of us are good at heart and our feelings, intentions are good but the way we convey them spoils the entire show. To do this, I used the powerful weapon of silence and introversion and close communication with God.

For each and every task I dealt with relationships, I observed and spoke slowly and gently with lot of humility and sweetness. When I got rejections, oppositions, a total different plan to that of my mine, I withheld my inner reactions and taught myself to be patient, let go, flexible, leaving it to the drama and allowing the ball to be in other person’s court.

This methodology helped me to be non-reactive and to just respond peacefully with them. Sometimes even though I don’t like their ideas/opinions/way of doing/their mistakes in spite of cautioning them, I just watch the scenes of the drama as it unfolds. This helped me to be kind, forgiving and merciful with others. I realize I can’t control anyone even if I don’t want them to do wrong and suffer. Everyone has their own role to play. My role is to gently caution without hurting them, and to support them after they make mistakes.

I understood the following points very deeply which helps you to be non-violent and content:

1.      Letting go…….. not holding anything like idea, right/wrong, this way or that way

2.      Being non-judgmental ……. each one’s action is right based on their situation.

3.      Being a detached observer…….. allowing each one to do their role

4.      Everything will pass……..No person or situation or issue or task is permanent, today it will be bigger but tomorrow it doesn’t even exist.

5.      Seeing the bigger picture……..enables me to take things easily and lightly knowing whatever is happening is too small/doesn’t matter in the bigger picture of my life.

- Padmapriya, Young Leader (Los Angeles, United States)

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