UNDERSTANDING surpasses many qualities in life. With a deep UNDERSTANDING of the complexities of a situation, the different meaning attributed to the same circumstances by the different people involved, we can overcome even the most seemingly impossible difficulties.
I remember a story about a Black preacher sharing a TV appearance with a staunch Ku Klux Klan member and by the end of the show they were shaking hands and liking each other. The preacher had such a profound and comprehensive understanding that surpassed the lower level of prejudice between them. Today I attended the Florida Marriage and Family Therapy State Conference. A chaplain serving in the U.S. military shared a story about his response as a “trained soldier” to his daughter’s unwillingness to do what he asked her to do. That situation required a profound understanding by his wife about the way he had been taught to respond as a soldier. In his words he said. “First I insist. Then I assist.” In other words, he asks once and if the person does not do what was asked, he forces the issue because his goal is to protect that person. With ongoing and open communication, he and his wife and his child were able to “understand” each other and return to love.
So in your life, you may now have INCENTIVE, INTENTION, PRESENT MOMENT awareness, DRIVE, inner ARCHITECT, PATIENCE, ability to SURRENDER, COMMITMENT, TRUST, DISCERNMENT, PASSION, DESIRE, CREATIVITY, SENSUALITY, full SEXUAL EXPRESSION, COMPASSION, good COMMUNICATION, PRACTICE building relationships skills, a healthy balance between TOGETHERNESS and AUTONOMY and SENSITIVITY when you feel at least some of the above qualities in the other person. But what happens when their response seems to be “crazy” or coming from left field. How much UNDERSTANDING can you apply to the situation at hand?
Today’s question is: Do you have a deep and comprehensive UNDERSTANDING about the way YOU think and feel, the way OTHERS think and respond, the way the WORLD words and the way RELATIONSHIPS develop?
- Are you able to fully embrace a completely different point of view, perspective or style of handling situations with your spouse, business associate or others?
- Can you remain kind, supportive, considerate, empathic and even indulgent when another person’s response does not yet make sense to you?
- How perceptive, aware, thoughtful, kind and compassionate are you in situations and relationships that are difficult to comprehend, interpret or settle harmoniously?
Ask yourself NOW: How much informed, reasoned and studied UNDERSTANDING do you bring to the complex, confusing, upsetting and disharmonious situations and relationships in your life?
When I took the EST Training with Werner Erhard many, many years ago, he used to say repeatedly: “Understanding is the booby prize.” In his way of thinking, UNDERSTANDING is an intellectual activity and bypasses the emotions. In my experience over a few decades with thousands of clients, without UNDERSTANDING there is often lots of emotion, lots of expressed negative emotion, and lots of resistance and emotional pain. With deep and respectful and abiding UNDERSTANDING, forgiveness becomes possible, love surpasses self-interest, and relationships can flourish.
Relationships are built upon the complexity and interactions among all the different possible qualities, both positive and negative, that we can bring. Every quality is important, to some degree. It is really the balance among all the different possibilities that can lead to joy and happiness or sadness and emotional devastation.
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