“My my, the cruelest lies are often told without a word. My my, the kindest truths are often spoken, never heard.” – Ben Folds
Is there anything more confounding at times than human relationships? Ironically, I believe with every bit of my heart that navigating these labyrinths is the sole reason for our existence.
We are here to learn how to love one another, even when we behave like complete arses sometimes (well not me, of course).
What a life-long endeavor it is to understand one another, to be able to communicate with one another. Is there a more pure act of love than seeking to understand?
Nothing upsets me more than feeling misunderstood (especially if I feel that this misunderstanding has caused someone to be upset with me). I can really spin out with my own inner dialogue –
I said that stupid thing and now he thinks…
I forgot to do that thing and now she thinks…
He obviously hates me and that’s why he…
I also hate feeling like I don’t understand someone else’s motivation for their behavior. I have answers for that too, of course –
He must have done that because…
She must have been feeling that way because…
This is when my friend, Monica, will remind me: “Stay in your own hula hoop.”
(Meaning – you only know what you know, and what you feel. Stop making assumptions.)
Isn’t it awesome when we presume to know what other people’s innermost thoughts and motivations are without, oh I don’t know…asking them?
You might think I am skilled at this, being as I pour my heart out here every day, but the reality is – this blog is kinda my hula hoop – I only know what I know, I only feel what I feel. Writing about my feelings it is a one sided endeavor – a completely controlled experience by the soft glow of my computer.
I tell you what I think, and you read it.
So, I hereby challenge myself to stretch my muscles of understanding…to open my mouth and ask, “How do you feel? Why do you feel that way? Can you tell me the reason you did that? I want to understand.”
It is sort of the holy grail of loving relationships, after all –
To be understood and to understand….and to not make shit up in your head about what other people think, and why they do what they do.
JUST ASK THEM.
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