Tuesday, February 23, 2016


I had a falling out with a friend once. Okay, it's happened a few times. I'll admit it. Never fun. Even when I don't get along with my friends, I still love them. I always love them. I can tell you the phone number and birthday of my best friend from kindergarten and we haven't talked in probably fifteen years.

Every relationship we have in this life is important. Yes, this includes the "relationships" that incur when we bump into strangers on the street. When we smile at people we pass at the grocery store. Even people we just look at or who just look at us. Every interaction is sacred.

This is especially true for our close relationships. We learn so, so much from our friends and our family. And when there is a falling out... it's a big deal. It is always a big deal.

The way to make heartbreak worth it is to learn from it. I've been working on that for a while now. What am I supposed to learn from this? I have a list of stuff. But earlier tonight it became clear to me that there is still more I need to learn. I can't make everything better, but Jesus can. Jesus always can make everything better--whatever that means to Him and in His perfect timing.

Tonight I was sitting there thinking of all the ways I felt misinterpreted and judged in one of my several friendship-falling-outs. I thought: if only they understood! If only they could have a little window into my heart and realize what I actually meant!

And I felt called out on it. It was that still small voice saying: "SEE! That is your problem! Sometimes you just have to accept that other people will not understand--and sometimes, you have to be the one that does the understanding."

And so I know what I need to do. I need to get on my knees and understand. I have felt like I already understood a significant part of their perspective. But I know that can't be true or else I would feel so much compassion that every negative feeling would be washed away. Their viewpoints are valid, their viewpoints are understandable, their viewpoints deserve recognition and appreciation and honor. Their paradigm has been formed by years of experiences and thousands of tiny moments that all deserve to be honored. I know that if I truly understood where they were coming from, truly understood as they understand where they are coming from, things would be so very different.

When we truly, truly understand where other people are coming from, there is only love. If there is something obstructing our love for others, it is because we do not understand them.

This whole time I've felt so misunderstood it clouded my ability to understand clearly the other half of the equation.

Here is what I want to say:

Feeling misunderstood?

Take a deep breath and realize the other person is feeling misunderstood too.

Because if we all understood, there would be no more conflict or judgment.

I want to understand you.

I want to understand everything so thoroughly that every bristling judgment is replaced with nothing but love and compassion.

When we know, truly know, what a good-hearted person has gone through and what went into their thought processes and decisions, compassion is the only option.

That compassion for others is necessary to feel the godly sorrow necessary for repentance. It has been my observation and experience that you can't really repent of something until you've felt its full weight on you. It's part of agency. Informed consent. If you want Jesus to fix it for you, you need to understand what you're handing over.

Send me compassion. Send me a perfect understanding.
Image found here.

I have a blog entry I've been working on for years that's right at the top of my draft page. It's tentatively titled, "I don't want to be your guru."

I don't want to be your guru. I'm not perfect. I'm just a person. Don't make me your guru.

If you want to be heard, I want to hear you. If you want to be heard, I want to hear you. Being understood is nice, but I think I'm finally understanding that being understood is far less important than being the one to understand. Some people will never understand. But I don't want to be one of those people.

If I've hurt you, I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.

In my work, one thing I am learning and have learned is that one of the most powerful forms of service and of healing is to validate, to honor, to listen and affirm I understand. So many things are ready to be healed if someone out there will just listen to them and honor them. 

Be a person who understands.

Be a person who understands.