Understanding is involvement with and reverence for another; it gives both encouragement and support. We have all experienced the feeling of not being understood, of being in a situation or relationship where our motives, needs or actions are misinterpreted or worse, not considered at all. We know how wonderful it is to then experience understanding. To listen to another with understanding is to be open to a person’s self-revelation, to assess what the other is feeling and let him/her know that we care. This is the gift we can offer others. We can learn from our own need and move beyond our own experience to the need of another. We can let others know they are accepted not judged, that we see their worth, and that we feel with them.
O Divine Master grant that I may not so
To be understood as to understand.
Prayer of St. Francis
In your relationships with others, try to assess what the other is feeling and not focus only on yourself. Try to listen and respond with understanding.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is despair, hope…
O Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek–
To be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand…”
Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
“Come and see a man who has told me everything I ever did!”
Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self- control to be understanding and forgiving.
Try to understand men. If you understand each other, you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love.
The reality of the other person is not in what he reveals to you, but in what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says but rather what he does not say.
It is quite clear that between love and understanding there is a very close link…He who loves understands, and he who understands loves. One who feels understood feels loved, and one who feels loved f
One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people.
Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
Understanding is a two-way street.