our value and letting myself be misunderstood

Another thing I’ve been learning along this journey of healing and freedom in my life is this:  it’s ok to be misunderstood.

This one made me all squirmish at first.  I was all like, “WHAT?, nuh-uh!”  For real, don’t all human beings desire to be understood?  I’m wondering if for those who stuggle with co-dependency*, like me, this desire is intensified.  I’m not sure if that’s the case, but it seems logical.  It’s not wrong that we want to be understood, but NEEDING to be understood is just not necessary, nor healthy.

When I think of being understood, I tend to automatically attach it to my value and worth.  It goes a little something like this:
I do something that could potentially confuse someone or make them think ill of me.  Therefore, I want to defend and explain myself, so they understand where I’m coming from.  Therefore, when they understand me, they can agree with and validate the decision I made.  Therefore, I’m approved of.  Therefore, I feel good about myself and have value.

This is a dangerous road to go down.  Because, what happens when someone doesn’t care to hear me out or someone still thinks my actions were selfish and wrong.  Then I’m not validated, not approved of, and my value has been shot in the foot.  Do you see how faulty and unstable this system is?

I must constantly be reminded of where my value comes from.  My value doesn’t come from my doing.  My value doesn’t come from my being understood.  My value comes from my BEING.  That way, it’s completely independent of my actions, it’s completely independent of other people, and it will NEVER change.  Really, that’s because it is God-given.  He’s created us with value.  Period.

This can be difficult for some people to chew on.  This means the person that you feel  has thrown away their life because they’ve made destructive decision after destructive decision….VALUABLE.  This means the person continuing to cheat the system and live off the government, rather than take care of themselves…VALUABLE.  This means the suicide bomber…VALUABLE.  Do you see how completely contrary this way of thinking is compared to the world’s?
But you tell me, what is it that is going to give people (such as those I mentioned) motivation to change?  I ultimately believe that it’s the TRUTH that no matter who we are, where we’ve been, or what we’ve done, that we are still VALUABLE.  This is what can and should literally make life worth continuing to live.  It’s what can give the person wanting to commit suicide the strength to hold on another day.  It’s what can give the person stuck in addiction the desire to fight for freedom.  No one can ever screw up so far that they are beyond redemption.  That’s what God is all about.  That’s what his Kingdom is all about.  This I know from very personal experience.

So lately, I’ve been sort of practicing letting myself be misunderstood.  I’m pretty sure there is plenty that people could assume about me lately…people I long to raise up my fists in self-defense to.  So I keep my mouth shut.  I remind myself that others don’t need to validate my heart and motives.  I can be misunderstood and still be ok.  God knows my heart and my value has already been given to me by him.

is this really true?…i fight it…breathe…this is so strange…so much messier…so new…but so beautiful…sigh

*codependency- “…codependency can be defined as an addiction to people, behaviors, or things.  Codependency is the fallacy of trying to control interior feelings by controlling people, things, and events on the outside.”  (taken from “Love Is A Choice: Recovery for codependent relationships,” by Dr. Robert Hemfelt, Dr. Frank Minirth, and Dr. Paul Meier.)




2 thoughts on “our value and letting myself be misunderstood”

  1. There can be more to it also. I am often misunderstood and it does bother me a lot. Partly because it makes me feel like I am not very good at verbal communication. Partly because I care about the other person and I am trying to communicate something for that person’s benefit so misunderstanding is counterproductive to reaching that goal.

    It is natural to take offence to being misunderstood. The hard part is remaining patient and understanding when trying to remedy the situation. Not addressing the accusation but answering the underlying question or issue.

    And there must also be discernment. Many people will embrace a critical spirit and simply not hear what you are saying. In response, they will attack you. It has nothing to do with misunderstanding but a desire to quarrel. You will feel one of three things (or all) 1) defensive 2) angry 3) grieved. These are the people you simply need to walk away from, hard as it may be. They will drain you emotionally which will equally drain you physically. (This has to do with spiritual warfare and is one of the things Paul is referring to when he says, “We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood . . .” (Eph 6:12))

    But yes, it is okay to be misunderstood; it’s part of becoming a stone ;). Sometimes it simply takes us a while to process the information presented to us and understand it (though it doesn’t seem like very many people seek to understand and simply take and hang on to offence).

    And like you said, when you are misunderstood, it makes it harder to express yourself; especially the things that are dearest to you.

  2. Thanks, Joshua. “Not addressing the accusation but answering the underlying question or issue.” That’s tough, because that means the person is willing to go there…ya know what I mean? Unfortunately, we can’t make people look into their own selves to determine what the underlying issue might be.

    I guess I wouldn’t think that a persons unwillingness to try to get to the underlying issue is a reason, in and of itself, to walk away from the relationship. Life is a process of people being in different places…so I’m trying to learn to let people be where they’re at…does that make sense?

    However, I do think you’re right…if they not only don’t want to dig deeper, but continue to accuse for the sake of accusing, then definitely that relationship is unhealthy and detrimental.

    And I seriously can’t get over the brick and stone deal. My whole life, until lately, has been me trying to be a stupid boring brick. Even in the so-called christian circles I’ve been in…I feel like people just wanted to make a bunch of frickin bricks. WTF is that? (I should stop now). But thanks again for sharing!

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