Trainer Tip: Taking time to mourn our regrets and unmet needs can lead to a deeper self-connection and feelings of peace. Trainer Tip Mourning in Nonviolent Communication isthe process of fully connecting with the unmetneeds and feelings that are generated whenwe have been less than perfect.—Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. We mourn when we acknowledge the feelings and unmet needs associated with regret without any sense of guilt or shame. When we do this, we can see how our behavior has negatively affected our lives, and we become more willing to try to do it differently next time. If on the other hand we tell ourselves that we are bad or wrong because of our actions, we are likely to feel shame and guilt, which promote depression and hopelessness. Such an approach is unlikely to acknowledge the feelings and needs that are stimulated by the behavior we regret. Let’s say that you’re trying to resolve a problem with the phone company. You wait for ten minutes to talk to someone. That person transfers you to someone else and you wait five minutes for the new person. This happens three more times. Now you have been on the phone for 30 minutes and have had only brief conversations with someone until they transferred you again. By the time you speak to the “correct” person, you are less than courteous, and your voice is angry and impatient. The person on the other end says, “I’m only trying to help you, ma’am.” Instantly, you know something’s up. Check in with yourself and ask yourself what your feelings and needs are. I guess you feel annoyed and want greater ease. You hope that the problem will be resolved with a real live human being, so connection is also a need. It’s amazing how much better you’ll feel once you acknowledge this. Still, you regret how you talked to the young woman who truly was just trying to help you. So you say, “I appreciate (or recognize) you’re trying to help. I regret the impatience and frustration in my voice. I have been on hold for thirty minutes and transferred to four different people. I would really like this process to be easier. Do you think you can help me with my problem?” Mourning is acknowledging our regret to ourselves. Sometimes, it can involve giving yourself time and space to deal with your pain and emotion. In other times, a simple acknowledgement of our unmet need is enough. Once we have fully mourned our unmet need, we will feel relief. Take a few moments today to acknowledgethe feelings and unmet needs associatedwith one of your behaviors. This trainer tip is an excerpt from Mary Mackenzie's book Peaceful Living, available from PuddleDancer Press.