Sunday, October 18, 2009

being understood....

I can't think of anything more life affirming than the feeling of being understood. Its like finding an open door leading to a cozy room, warmed by a stoked fire. Inside is someone who welcomes you with a generous smile and a genuine twinkle in their enthusiasm to see you.

Being understood is the confirmation that your style and your way of being is accepted unconditionally. It feeds that feeling of being comfortable in your own skin. You can relax, let your guard down, be yourself .... accept yourself .... forgive yourself. It can only happen, however, if you are in a place of comfort with who you are, and how you are.

Have you ever spent time with someone who is unable to let go of their self consciousness? So acutely aware of people who may be watching in judgement, they trip over their own projected image. It's like they are electrified with discomfort, terrified that they won't be accepted that they try too hard.

The aura around someone who is acting out of character, who is obviously uncomfortable in the own skin fills with a feeling that makes others around them feel unsettled. All the hard work beforehand....the primping and planning, the worry and the fretting to ensure that every piece of clothing is just right, that the makeup is applied without too much blush, that the accessories are not too flashy and not too conservative.... all that bother ends up creating the exact atmosphere this person was trying so hard to avoid. The unsettled feelings others have keep them at bay. The person remains on the margins. Soulfriend homeless.

Unwelcomed. Misunderstood. Destined to remain standing in the middle of an echo, behind a mask that just doesn't fit. What a complicated paradox.

John O'Donohue captured the essence of being understood so beautifully throughout his book, Anam Cara, and ties it into the love, belonging, and feeling of finding a home inside another ......."Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person's soul." And to think we all thought a home had a roof and 4 walls!

It can't happen easily if a person doesn't find a home within herself. You have to start by loving yourself.... being kind to yourself .... accepting your imperfections as beauty marks of a life lived. It rarely happens if there is internal discomfort crawling under the skin, layering any honest vulnerability. It is almost impossible to find that open door with the warm hearth and the genuine twinkling enthusiasm when the person isn't authentically who they appear to be.

As much as we should embrace the unembraceable, love the unlovable sadly most of us walk away in an effort to get out from under the jittery aura, all the while trying to understand the person behind the persona. Phoney does that.


ps.... What I love and admire of my friend Lisa (whose legs appear in the accompanying photo is the confidence she exudes in her beautiful unique attire .... and the fact that she lets me stalk her with my camera every Saturday at the Market! thank you Lisa! xx


TheChicGeek said...

Hi Awareness :D Beautiful post!
I love, "Where you are understood, you are at home." Unconditional love is hard to come by, but when you find it, you will never feel anything more all-encompassing, accepting, just pure is such a beautiful thing. My Grandma loved me like that. No matter what I did, she loved me, exactly who I was...she may not have loved my actions, but she loved me! It was amazing. I wish that kind of love for everyone to experience in their lives!

PS: YOur friend Lisa IS Beautiful! :D

Happy Sunday!

Awareness said...

ChicGeek....Happy days to you. It is a beautiful thing, that total acceptance.

Anonymous said...

Finding a home in someone's soul
how beautiful. I am so blessed that I have friends that have let me make a home in thier souls.
It sure helps when you get hit by life. I feel the prayers being sent up for me and it humbles me.


kenju said...

The couple with whom we spent the weekend are like that with us. Total understanding and acceptance - and never any judgments!

I love Lisa's colorful clothing!

Kay said...

I agree whole heartly with all that you say, have spent most of my life 'soul searching' and accepting and loving myself as I am, but there is one key ingredient missing here, accepting others and loving them for who they are regardless of your own 'opinions' and views... I think you touch that acknowledging your friend, but find the balance to love not just yourself for who you are, but others too. (even if they do try too hard) :)

Awareness said...

Mavis.... it is such a humbling feeling when you find that home. Hey, keep me posted this week, eh??
Do you have my work email? Its the same as before.

Judy....We have friends like that too. They are often the ones we go on vacation with. It makes for such a great relaxing time doesn't it?

Kay...I completely agree, but I was being honest about my observations of how we (including myself) react to the aura of someone who is uncomfortable with themselves. There is such a strong feeling of oddity surrounding them because of the masks they feel they have to wear that it is very difficult to accept them for who they are. They don't even know who they are.....?
Yes, we should strive to love and accept everyone, and I try to, but when a person won't own up to REAL, than its difficult.
To tell you the truth, I've encountered many human beings over the years, in my office, on the streets, in their homes who have tested my ability to love the unlovely, but if they are at least in touch with themselves on the real meter, I have a much easier time accepting them right where they are.
Have i made sense??

Marja said...

Great post I recently came along the concept of anam cara or soul friend Beautiful When I talk to my friends it is like if you know each other You don't have to explain and you get all excited when they even finish your sentences to show they know and when you hear them saying what you are thinking. It is such a wonderful experience
have a great day

Gypsy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gypsy said...

I recently spent time with someone with whom I feel completely at home and it's a liberating experience. I felt my soul soar for a few hours and there's no more precious gift than that.

PS Your friend Lisa is a complete individual. How I wish I had her courage to just be.

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

can't quite put my finger on exactly Why Lisa's clothing makes me really really happy....but it all does!

Awareness said...

Marja...theres nothing like it ... i think it has more to do with having our love and belonging needs met than anything else.... home is where you feel your heart belonging.

Gypsy... I find that too. Time seems to take on new meaning and a sense of escape from the harsh realities is always a good thing.
ps. I wish I had her courage too.

MMP.... Saturday mornings at the market would not be so smiley without her there selling her wares. I have a whole collection of shots and I should get them all blown up and hung up as a collage.