All of your life you have worked hard to give understanding, and at the same moments, have longed for it yourself.
You know how precious understanding is. It requires so much from you. Why does everyone expect you to know how to understand? Don't they realize that it is as difficult for you as it is for them?
When being a woman means that you are expected to be more than human, life will feel overwhelming. The intuitive nature of your socialization assumes that you are the giver of this precious human quality.
Understanding wants your presence more than your labor. It wants you to see the other having a mystery as deep as your own. To witness their mystery may help you to understand your own.
Let understanding be your gift, not your trap. Understanding is more reflective than directive: you can be more of yourself while you are in the presence of another if the gift of understanding reminds you of the gift of your presence. When others are understood by you, they become closer to their fullest possibilities.
This co-creative nature of understanding makes it an essential ingredient to peace and makes you a peacemaker.
From: Kiss Your Life... 365 Reasons to Love Who You Are
Reason: 327 Page: 245
By: Ann Mody Lewis Ph.D.
How many times have you said to someone: I understand?
What does it mean to understand?
We can't possibly understand another person's experiences in life in the same way they have experienced them, but we can imagine how they feel if we connect their story with our own life. We call this human exchange empathy.
Imagine how much healing could be created in the world if we wanted to understand other people? To understand means:
- We'd be interested enough to learn
- patient enough to listen
- open-minded enough to reframe our opinions
- loving enough to be a healer
It’s the absence of understanding that creates immeasurable loneliness. Feeling forlorn, we conclude that our problems are incomprehensible and shameful and sign of our inadequacies. The words of comfort I understand can restore hope and connectivity among us, but the power to make this pledge must be well established in the giver's life.
- “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
- –Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
The world needs you to be a beautiful person who can offer understanding, because you understand yourself. This discussion may motivate you to offer understanding when others trust you with their pain. No advice needed, just the desire to sincerely say I Understand!
Let's become healers together as we discuss: What makes me able to understand?
Why is my willingness to understand the first step to understanding?
How are listening and understanding connected?