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Love is Something You Do ~ A Word from Marshall


By Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Nonviolent Communication really grew from my attempt to understand the concept of love and how to manifest it, how to do it. I had come to the conclusion that love is not just something we feel, but it is something we manifest, something we do, something we have. And love is something we give: We give of ourselves in particular ways.

It's a gift when you reveal yourself nakedly and honestly, at any given moment, for no other purpose than to reveal what's alive in you. Not to blame, criticize, or punish. Just "Here I am, and here is what I would like. This is my vulnerability at this moment." To me, that giving is a manifestation of love.

Another way we give of ourselves is through how we receive another person's message. It's a gift to receive it empathically, connecting with what's alive in them, making no judgment. It's a gift when we try to hear what is alive in the other person and what they would like.

So Nonviolent Communication is just a manifestation of what I understand love to be. In that way it's similar to the Judeo-Christian concepts of "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "Judge not lest you be judged".

It's amazing what happens when we connect with people in this way. This beauty, this power connects us with an energy that I choose to call Beloved Divine Energy--one of the many names for God.

So Nonviolent Communication helps me stay connected with that beautiful Divine Energy within myself and to connect with it in others. It's the closest thing to "love" and to "God" I've ever experienced.

Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D., is the founder and director of educational services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication. He is the author of the international bestseller, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life and Speak Peace in a World of Conflict, and several other books and booklets.

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