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.)