The Importance of Being Understood

I think, in the grand scheme of things, the most important thing, and the most terrifying thing, is to be understood.

With our friendships, family, significant others, we are ultimately searching for someone to tell “hey, this is who you are. I know. It’s ok”. Because having someone see you for everything you are is downright scary. And I don’t mean the persona you write about, self indulgently and somewhat pretentiously (subtweet @myself) on your blog, I mean the you that includes bits that are too ugly and raw for you even to really look at.

Really seeing yourself is scary. What if you’re more inadequate than you thought? What if you’re barely ordinary, nondescript, barely an individual at all? What if you’re exactly as shitty as the shitty people you hate? So when someone can parse out those hard and tender parts of you it can be really difficult to not run as far away as fast as you can.

But the first time you meet someone who really gets you, that moment will imprint itself forever on the underbelly of your eyelids and you may not even like them, but in that moment you will love them. Because being understood is like the first breath of air after you spent a lifetime drowning, it is the believer reading the bible, it is a birth, a second chance, and you realize what you have been waiting for.

Understanding is a precursor to the kind of love we all crave. We all just want to be seen.

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