I Just Want to be Understood

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“Seek first to understand and then to be understood.” – Stephen Covey

How often have you heard yourself say:

“I just want someone to understand me.”
“I just want to be heard.”
“I feel invisible.”
“I just want to be seen.”

I know what it feels like to not be understood, heard, or seen, as I spent most of the first 45 years of my life feeling invisible.

It feels terrible.

By that time I had learned to do what Stephen Covey recommends. I was very good at understanding others, but I still didn’t feel understood by them.

It only took me 45 years to understand that what was really happening is that I wasn’t seeing, hearing, or understanding myself, and the people in my life were reflecting my own inner system. I had worked so hard to hear and understand others that I had completely forgotten to hear and understand my own feelings and needs. I fully believed that since I was good at hearing and seeing and understanding others, they should do the same for me.

That never happened until I learned to see, hear, understand, and value my own feelings and needs.

It wasn’t easy to start to listen inside. I was so focused on others’ feelings and needs that I was completely out of touch with my own. And I had to come to grips with the fact that my listening and hearing and understanding others had an agenda attached. It wasn’t coming from love but from neediness – I NEEDED them to listen to and understand me because I was completely abandoning myself.

Today, many years later, life is completely different. Sure, I love it when someone hears me and sees me and understands me – but now it’s the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. Now I can listen to others from my heart and truly see and understand them because I don’t need anything from them.

I don’t need anything from them because the little girl in me feels me with her all the time – listening to my feelings, taking loving action in my own behalf, learning about what my inner child needs from me as a loving adult – a loving inner parent. Because the child in me – my feeling self – feels seen and heard and valued and understood by me, I can offer my caring and understanding to others from a full heart.

This is the inner work that we all need to do if we ever want to experience the wonderful feeling that comes from being truly seen and valued.

The thing that was in the way for me is that I always believed being seen and understood by others is what was truly important and fulfilling. Before practicing Inner Bonding, I had never experienced the profound joy of seeing, hearing and understanding myself. I could not even conceive of it feeling better than being understood by someone else. After all, wasn’t my value, as the wizard said to the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, not in how much I loved, but in how much I was loved by others? (The typical false belief of a narcissist!)

Now, I still love to be understood by others, but I don’t NEED to be understood by them to feel worthy and full within. Now, when someone important to me doesn’t listen or see or care or understand, I can fully and compassionately understand and care about the loneliness and heartache my inner child might feel, without taking their behavior personally. Seeing, caring about and understanding myself is profoundly powerful and fulfilling.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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