The Need To Be Understood

“In the past there were people who were not rich but contented with their living style, laughing and happy all day. But when the new rich people appear, people look at them and ask, ‘why don’t I have a life like that too, a beautiful house, car and garden,’ and they abandon their values.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don’t suffer anymore.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

~ “Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.”     Thich Nhat Hanh

Here we go again attempting to explain what we meant by our recent discourse. The person misinterpreted our meaning. I would not doubt for  a second, how many times we are caught in such a situation. We just don’t grasp the implications from our interactions with others. The result is bewildering and hurt feelings. Misunderstandings and long time  rifts of one sort or another are inevitable.How do we complicate the meaning of what others are trying to say and how do others misinterpret our words and bring doubt and mistrust into the relationship. We grasp what we want in any of our conversations. Our misunderstanding of the  encounter, causes us to  choose a negative review of the incident. We dwell on the tiniest insult while ignoring any praise. We have set ourselves up for failure.

For sure we don’t plan to be downbeat, but we sometimes have an attitude of what a person believes,  before they begin explaining something. In a way we have already selectively decided their points of view, which we usually deduce is contrary to our own.  We argue on cue. It leaves the accused, clarifying their thoughts. Accusations tend to trouble most of us, so to attempt elucidating our reasoning only confuses our accuser and ourselves. When anyone is on the proverbial hot seat, it is difficult to think clearly.

Pondering why so many of us deliberately recall exchanges with others, in such a manner disarray, is confounding. Perhaps some of us enjoy the uncomfortable position we placed another individual. Whatever the causes we likely have experienced both sides of such a situation. There is no winner only wasted time, effort and exacerbated feelings.

Delving more deeply into such occurrences, you find how needy we are for love, attention and to be understood. Perhaps we are angrier at someone’s lack of appreciating, our time and effort for doing something. Probably they don’t quite acknowledge enough empathy, for the situation we find ourselves in. Most likely we have a sense of being misunderstood, or under-appreciated for who we are, or what we do.

Exchanges in disagreements, allow us to continue in a more controversial manner. We are able to add our own agendas, and issues to the mix. Past hurts and unfinished business, sheds even more shadows onto the current dilemma. At best, when the argument has finished, we find how far we have ventured, from the original renditions of opinions. We find it further from the subject, that originated the controversy.

Most definitely we are all influenced by our obstacles in life. We see the world with different glasses, and our deductions are blurred and muddied by our past and present hindrances. We can’t always scream out, “Well it is easy for you to say that because you have more money, more support, a husband that listens, adult kids living close by or whatever else bothers us. Instead we ream the person who antagonized us,  for things they perhaps are not even guilty of. Our pain is hidden, but unresolved, and left to fester. We have the added burden of a broken relationship.

How does one compare lives or problems. Suffice it to say we all have our own challenges to overcome, and our battles to fight. We admit this up front, but then we proceed to lay it all out, and unravel and decipher our grasp of the situation. If we could see this from a child’s perspective, it would be like comparing who has the better toy truck. Does it matter?  It really doesn’t help either of the combatants.

Forgiveness is without a doubt, the most obvious solution to finding peace. The problem is at times, we still withhold it in our hearts. The words are spoken, but not deeply felt. It takes some compassion, and mindfulness to appreciate the depth of the hurt, and the unclear enlightenment attempting to filter into our thoughts and hearts.

Let’s face it, at times we are not always impressed with another person’s issues, because we deem our own to be so much worse. We try so hard to decode and decipher our problems, and it leaves us little time for sympathizing with others. Honestly, when we make time for another, we gain time for ourselves. Somehow the answers to our problems are possibly hidden in the obstacles another faces. It sheds light on our unclear thoughts and questions.

It is so unnerving to be in the position of clarifying, and elucidating our gist and intentions. Especially noteworthy is the perplexing insinuations, we sometimes unconsciously imply with our words. We want acknowledgement, attention, and love. We  want respect, and understanding. Our need to be noticed, is relevant in our desire for worth, for being of value, for receiving love in this whole wide universe.

What we perhaps hear at any given moment, is our own heart’s calling for love. We really are not so different nor separated in our wants and desires. Understanding how similar we are, ensures our ability for mindfulness. If we can get out of our heads, for a little bit, and get into our hearts, we will easily understand the unspoken words. Peace is attained, when we find more answers to the questions  we haven’t yet asked. Reflect in the silence, and discover serenity.

“Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. Then look at, or think of, the person triggering this emotion: With mindfulness, you can see that she is unhappy, that she is suffering. You can see her wrong perceptions. You can see that she is not beautiful when she says things that are unkind.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

Let us fill our hearts with our own compassion – towards ourselves and towards all living beings.    Thich Nhat Hanh

“To be loved means to be recognized as existing.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“We are all the leaves of one tree; we are all the waves of one sea; the time has come for all to live as one.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

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