Give up your craving to be understood and you will live in peace

A lot of our suffering comes from our desire to be understood by others.
It is normal for communication to be misunderstood and misinterpreted by others at times. Just as a spelling mistake is possible in a simple word, so is a misunderstanding possible in relationships. And all of it is caused by how someone wants to interpret what is being said or imagine that something else, than what is being said, is being implied! In a situation when there is repeated breakdown of communication, or even aggravated, angry, violent expressions of communication, it is best to remain quiet. And, more importantly, it is best to give up the need to be understood.
This may also require remaining quiet for long periods of time. Maybe even for years at a stretch. This is true in all contexts__with parents, children, spouses, siblings, extended families, friends, neighbors, workplace teams and such. Time and the truth alone can heal such situations. On the other hand, when you try to force an understanding and try to get people to see you the way you want to be seen, you will undoubtedly suffer. But you have a choice not to suffer in the throes of the pain that such misunderstandings can cause. Just stop feeling pity for yourself, stop demanding that you are understood, and your suffering will cease. The pain may still be there, and so will the factors causing the pain, but you will not suffer.
Accept that this strained situation is the current reality that you have to live with. Give the situation love by practising forgiveness – forgive yourself and the others involved too. Who started it first is immaterial, just accept being a co-creator of the situation and forgive everyone. Slowly, surely, you will find yourself becoming peaceful. When one person is at peace, the entire circle of influence of that person, even if people are estranged, benefits from the peace. Be a peace champion. Begin with yourself.

Don’t shed a tear for those who insist on misunderstanding you!

Sometimes in Life people may choose to consistently, continuously, systematically misunderstand, misinterpret and not relate to you. When these relationships are with people that you are close to or with immediate family, the situation gets confounded and it becomes very difficult to accept the reality.
Our biggest grief is not that we are being misunderstood but that close people, whom we imagined as our own, are the ones misunderstanding us. Relax. You are not alone. It happens to all of us at some time or the other in our lives. It has happened and continues to happen to me too! I can relate to your sense of anguish if you have been in a similar situation. You then try to redeem your image not with an external audience, which still is a social or professional requirement and so is understandable if it takes time or some machinations to be successful with, but within your closed circle, where ideally you must be accepted for who you are and not for what you are perceived as!
Don’t despair. Hear this story that a spiritual thinker once told us.
There once was a blind man. And he lived in difficult circumstances. His family did not quite appreciate his blindness. They felt he was a blot on the family’s otherwise ‘happy and beautiful’ existence. One day, the God of Luck, arrived in front of the blind man. And said to him, that he could ask any number of wishes that he wanted – and they would be immediately granted. The blind man said he was humbled that the God of Luck had visited him. He expressed his gratitude and said he had no wishes of his own. The God of Luck insisted though that he ask something. The blind man said, that while he didn’t want anything for himself, he did want the God of Luck to grant whatever each of his family members wanted! The God of Luck was perplexed. And wanted to know why this man did not want to avail of his lottery. The man replied, “Sir, look at me. I have no wants. All my needs are met. I have made peace with my blindness long, long ago. I am happy despite being blind. It is my family members who grieve over my blindness. My sister often says she is embarrassed that she has a blind brother. My mother thinks that I am useless because I am blind. And so, each of them has a different grief. And all of them grieve over my blindness. So, I ask that you too teach them to be happy despite their circumstances. I have no image to protect or to redeem. And I love the world I live in and can’t see. I am not sure I want to see the world I live in and then discover that I don’t love it at all!”

Big lesson there for all of us who are grieving, wishing, pining that people close to us understand us than misunderstand us. Our grief drives us to trying several methods, often with no avail, for rebuilding our credibility among those that have chosen to doubt our integrity and suspect our intentions. The truth is they are not true to us. And not the other way round. Because true friends, true family, will believe despite evidence to the contrary. It is the flippant lot that will insist on misunderstanding no matter what evidence you place, in your favor, before them! There’s no point shedding a tear for such people!