It saddens me that one of the most painful wounds the soul can bear is when it is inflicted by a person you love. At the same time, I am amazed at the incredible power of love to heal and provide strength. Love is a powerful emotional force which can sometimes cause us to do or say strange (and wonderful!) things. Words Are Windows (Or They’re Walls), a poem by Ruth Bebermeyer, reminds me of this.
I recently finished reading a fantastic book on Nonviolent Communication, by Marshall Rosenberg. The main objective of the book is to illustrate healthier ways for communicating and understanding feelings and human needs in a relationship, which can help two people to avoid hurting one other, get to know each other better, and grow closer together.
In the very first pages of the book, there appears the following poem Words are Windows (Or They’re Walls) by Rose Bebermeyer. The poem is very powerful for me – it reminds me of moments in my past where I chose the wrong words to express myself and caused hurt or sent the wrong message to someone I love.
It also reminds me of the incredibly healing moments when a partner was vulnerable with me and told me something that scared her or worried her. These are the times when my biggest responsibility is to not judge her, to pick her up, and to carry her. I want to get better and more consistent at doing this. That’s part of my plan to be a better lover and partner.
Enjoy the poem, and I hope you share it with your partner. :)
Words are Windows (Or They’re Walls), a poem by Ruth Bebermeyer
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.
~ Ruth Bebermeyer
(from the book Nonviolent Communication – A Language of Life)