All of us go through life being misunderstood at least some of
the time. How can we ever completely understand each other when we have all
walked different roads, with different life experiences? We can't. We can try.
We can put ourselves in others' shoes and develop empathy, certainly. But we can
never hope to be completely understood by others. Here are some words of
wisdom from the minds of some experts about being misunderstood.
light shines so bright that it blinds people from seeing who you
Shannon L. Alder
Now and then there are people in our lives, regardless of
differences in life circumstances, who understand us immediately. Some of
us are blessed with some relatives, friends and acquaintances who although we
are different in so many obvious ways, and don't get to catch up terribly often,
but knowing they are there is such a comfort for understanding. They are a rare
gift indeed, but they are certainly possible to find.
At other times though, there is a connection with people up to a
point. We can see them as the best relatives, best mate in the world, the most
beautiful partner, or whatever, and this feeling can last for years, months, or
briefly. Then one day we see them through clearer eyes and we realize that the
friendship and/or relationship is not actually as healthy for us as we once
This is a part of life and the impermanence or temporariness of
things. Sometimes though, in learning to honor our own heart and give ourselves
the love that we give to others, we can be misunderstood completely. Those who
had us pigeon-holed or branded into being one sort of person may then accuse us
of being someone else.
Extracting or detaching ourselves from someone we still care for,
but someone whom we know that deep-down is actually not the nicest person
around, is not always as easy as that person may think it is for us. Such
decisions can be heartbreaking, but the inner voice of wisdom will not be
silenced long-term. It reminds us over and over of how it is time to honor our
own needs and that despite the history, it is time to let go and move on.
However, some relationships and friendships are definitely worth
the work. The amazing growth that can come from honest communication and
emotional maturity is healing and life-changing in the best of ways.
Sometimes though, our heart tells us over and over that it is
time to let go. Breaking the habits of that friendship and/or relationship may
leave us being very misunderstood, spoken harshly of, and accused of not being
the person they thought we were.
There are two
circumstances that lead to arrogance: one is when you're wrong and
you can't face it; the other is when you're right and nobody else
can face it.―
We can only do our best to be understood, and especially to
understand ourselves and our own deepest needs. One of these is to know our own
love and to listen to our own heart, even when it tells us to go in directions
we know will bring us (and possibly others) pain. But not listening to our heart
brings much, much more pain in the long term.
Honesty takes courage. Sometimes though, so does silence.
Breaking patterns, not continuing to explain ourselves over and over, and
knowing we will be misunderstood, are sometimes necessary in order to honor our
own heart and health. I sometimes live by the motto "Never Complain, Never
Explain". Sometimes explaining takes far more effort than it is worth.
Feel compassion, certainly. But sometimes that compassion has to
be a detached compassion, from a distance, with trust that the other party too
is on his/her own journey and that we have both played the role we were meant to
in each other's lives, in order to facilitate the growth we are both now
Letting go is not always easy. But sometimes, it is absolutely
necessary. Staying silent is not always easy either, but sometimes too, it is
By Tim Pedrosa
In order to share one's true brilliance one initially has to
risk looking like a fool: genius is like a wheel that spins so
fast, it at first glance appears to be sitting still.―