My Personal Story

This is from my personal history. I’m 27 years old. I find myself back at community college. I need to make up some science classes before I enroll in Chiropractic College. For me, being in my late 20s in community college feels like I didn’t get it right the first time. I’m taking physics, a subject I didn’t comprehend well the first time I took it in high school. My professor is a nice guy in his late 30s with curly long blonde hair and round rimmed glasses. He’s a super sharp guy. You can tell by his ease and mastery of Newtonian physics. It’s child’s play to him. His physics degree is from Yale (to add insult to injury from my perspective).

Whenever he assigns homework he provides the answers so you can check your work. After class I approach him about a question I had on the previous homework assignment. “Hey professor, I have a question about the homework,” I say. “What is it?” he replies. “It has to do with question 4, where we have to graph the acceleration of the bouncing ball,” I add. I go on and talk about how I didn’t understand his graph in the answers. His graph didn’t make sense to me because it didn’t show the negative acceleration of the ball, or the ball slowing down. He took a look at his graph and compared it to mine. “Nope, you’re right,” he said. “I’ll have to change the answer sheet. Thanks for pointing that out.”

Yes! Victory. I’m beaming. Little ole me found a mistake in my Ivy League professor’s homework. I can’t wait to tell my dad. When it comes to smarts my dad respects the math and science fields. My dad holds a master’s degree in mathematics.

I get home and my dad is at the kitchen table having tea and working on the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle. I interrupt him, “Dad, I found a mistake in my physics professor’s homework today.” “Well, what was the problem?” he replies. “The problem was about graphing the acceleration of a bouncing ball,” I say. Then I read the problem to him. The moment I read the homework problem my dad loses interest in my story and starts working on the problem. My dad sits back, looks up and starts writing on his air chalk board. My dad just poked a hole in my ego balloon of excitement and pride. Instant deflation. I want an “Atta boy!” from my dad and he wants to play with his fresh brain teaser. I’m overcome with disappointment and hurt. I give up. I leave him to his new toy.

I am not feeling understood. I am feeling frustrated, hurt and invalidated. I didn’t get to share my excitement of impressing my professor.

Feeling understood is a universal need. Yet feeling understood happens so rarely, especially feeling deeply understood. When was the last time you felt understood? Hard to recall? You’re not alone.

***

What does it mean?

Feeling understood applies to toddlers as well. It’s summertime, and my sister and nephews are staying at my parent’s home for a visit. My nephew, Kyle, is 3 years old. Kyle, my dad, and I are seated at the breakfast table. Kyle is eating cereal. My dad tells Kyle that he needs to finish his breakfast before he can leave the table and play. Kyle gets upset and starts to melt down.

Fresh off reading a parenting book, about how to talk to kids so they listen, I try my new active listening skills. “Kyle…Kyle…” Kyle is on the verge of crying. His face is turning red. His eyes are drawing shut. He’s taking in air. My shoulders are starting to cringe. I know it’s coming, like a foot cramp starting to grab hold. “Kyle,” I repeat. I get his attention and catch him right before the crying rings out. He looks at me with tears in his eyes. “Are you feeling upset?” I say. He just looks at me, perplexed. “Are you mad?” I continue. Confusion masks his face. “It’s ok. I would be mad too. If I wanted to play but was told I couldn’t until I finished breakfast,” I add. Then something magical happened. Kyle’s face changed from confusion to calm. Without a sound he turned back to the cereal bowl and continued eating, like nothing had happened, content as could be. I couldn’t believe it. I was bracing myself for my ears to bleed, but disaster avoided. Kyle came up to the brink of meltdown, then just calmed right down. Unbelievable. His emotional upset receded like an ocean wave. That’s the moment I knew there was something special to feeling understood.

Feeling understood affirms you. It establishes connection. It’s powerful. It’s magical. Feeling understood brings calm to your soul.

Not feeling understood severs connection. It hurts. It’s painful. It makes you feel alone. It’s frustrating, like ending up behind the world’s slowest driver when you have places to be. Let’s go, come on. When you don’t feel understood you feel angry, frustrated, powerless, sadness, hurt, even shame.

Feeling understood speaks to a deeper issue for connection. Not feeling understood lies at the heart of our wounds. Severed connection inhibits emotional growth and recovery. When we don’t feel understood it can trigger old wounds, unresolved hurt and feelings. It can even bring up shame – based wounds such as not knowing you are worthy or lovable. Or not knowing you are wanted or precious.

Feeling understood is what we all want. It’s healing. It gives us a sense of belonging. A good feeling that we’re part of something, like a family, a group, or community. Feeling understood connects us with other human beings.

You do not have to wilt under the summer sun like a flower waiting on water to feel understood. You are not powerless to feel understood. Feeling understood is not dependent on someone doing it for you.

Feeling understood is something you can do for yourself. All you have to do is feel your feelings, with a twist. Feeling understood is one of the results as you make your way through Shame Hack. Feeling understood helps heal the hurt of shame. Besides that, it feels good, like completion from within.

When in your life have you been yearning to be understood, yet weren’t?  How has that experience impacted you?

Your Truth

If you would like to know more about how get to your truth and know in your body that you are acceptable. Let’s talk. Book your free call now. Click the link below to schedule your call. It will be the best hour you spend freeing yourself from shame.

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Shame is NOT a life sentence, so free yourself.