Trainer tip: Why do NVC practitioners sometimes use the jackal as a metaphor in the NVC world? What can it teach us? Read on for more. Trainer Tip Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. —Martin Luther King, Jr. In Compassionate Communication, we use the jackal as our metaphor for that part of us that is critical, judgmental, or self-righteous. We chose the jackal image because they walk low to the ground, tend to be more interested in satisfying themselves in the moment, and are less likely to consider the future ramifications of their actions. My inner jackal says things to me like, “Who do you think you are? You can’t do THAT! You are too much—too intense, too demanding, too weak . . . ” Can you relate to this jackal? Or maybe you have your own version. I used to ignore my own inner jackal because I thought it was mean and uncaring. Then, after much empathy, I started to realize that it holds wisdom for me. When it tells me that I’m too intense, I believe it is trying to protect me from rejection. When it tells me, “You can’t do that!”, I believe it is trying to protect me from the disappointment of failure. I may not enjoy its methods, but I now know that it has my best interests at heart. Do not think that ignoring your jackal will be healing. The more you ignore your jackal, the louder and fiercer it howls! Your jackal truly cares about your well-being. Hear it, empathize with it, learn its intentions, and create more satisfying strategies to meet your needs. This journey is filled with self-care, love, nurturing, and healing for you. Pay attention to what your inner jackal has to teach you today. This trainer tip is an excerpt from Mary Mackenzie's book, Peaceful Living, available from PuddleDancer Press.