By Bernadette A. Moyer
Understanding as a noun is defined as the ability to understand something: comprehension and are synonymous with comprehension, grasp, and mastery.
When used as an adjective sympathetically aware of other people feelings: tolerant and forgiving. Synonyms are compassionate, sympathetic, sensitive, considerate, tender, kind, thoughtful, tolerant, patient, forbearing, lenient, merciful, forgiving, humane, approachable, supportive and perceptive. Understanding is also defined as having insight and good judgement.
So after reading all that, who would not want to have more understanding?
There is no question we are living in a time of fear, anger and judgements and I have to question if that serves any of us well?
I never had any hatred toward my parents, not ever, and that didn’t mean they didn’t do things that I didn’t like. I might have had an occasion to be disappointed in them but I always tried to understand them. This served me well in never having to carry the burdens of anger and judgements and hatred.
Some of my father’s behaviors were questionable to me, so I tried harder to understand him. I could never have at age18 entered into the service during the Korean War like he did. I could and would never know what it feels like to have an enemy shoot at me and want to kill me all the while living in a foreign country. And yet as a teenager, this was my father’s reality. As a child, just a little boy he experienced the death of his seven year old brother. Again he lived through an experience that I never had but always tried to understand how that formed him and his life and contributed to making him the man that he was and that I knew and loved.
My mother was more of a mystery to me. She had what appeared to be a large loving family with six siblings and parents that loved each other and worked hard for their family. She was intelligent and highly educated. The mystery for me was why a woman who appeared to have so much going for her also had a history with men that were abusive to her. I still don’t understand it yet I know that it is true. What happened to her? I truly can’t answer that but I always tried to understand her. For me it was harder to love her because as much as I tried, I didn’t really understand her.
Today there are so many adult children that have decided to judge their parents so harshly; I witness it every single day in my support group. For me the take away is so clear, these kids have absolutely no desire to understand their parents and what formed them. And it is so sad, because they too will one day require understanding. We all do.
Prayer of Saint Francis Lyrics
Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury pardon
Where there is doubt faith
Where there is despair hope
Where there is darkness light
And where there is sadness joy
Oh divine grant that I may
Not seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life
Today I pray for a world and for a life that includes more and more understanding and less and less criticism and judgement.
Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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