When you put yourself out there on the world wide web, there is an inescapable chance that misunderstanding and judgment will occur. Within relationships misunderstanding happens very easily, pulling families apart. The work place is a hot bed for misunderstandings to occur, its the job of management to resolve staff conflict.
In his blog, Ryan Frederick points out that when misunderstood, you must Find your identity & security only in Christ. The following is a quote from his blog to help you get started with this idea…….
……………” Christ understands you. He sees you from afar (Psalm 138:6), he designed and crafted you from within (Psalm 139:13-14), and he knows what it’s like to be human and to be tested (Hebrews 4:15). I hope this doesn’t roll off your back as a cliche. You are KNOWN. This is the first point because the rest will flow from this. If you know who you are in Christ, you can proceed with that knowledge and his perspective in mind. For example, maybe “being right” isn’t important at this moment. Maybe you just need to extend grace because your spouse hurting or not in a place to be corrected.” From <https://fiercemarriage.com/4-things-consider-next-time-feel-misunderstood>
Although Ryan refers his idea to marriage, it is also relevant across the broad spectrum of relationships, and we can learn from this. As you know, I hold to the fact that holistic living is the way to bring wholeness to your everyday life. To make Christ the centre of your life feeds and frees your spirit. Your mind is calmed and brought hope and peace, then your body responds positivity.
There have been times that I have shrunk away from God, sort of blaming him when in times of turmoil. Until a wake-up call thought entered my head! And it went something like this….
……….you are rejecting me when things go wrong. This shows you are laying the blame squarely on me- isn’t that what others have done to you? So, why play the blame game- it gets you nowhere and will estrange you from me….
Well, I have to say that it certainly was woke me up! I realised I was feeling sorry for myself and had to snap out of it.
So, What did I do next?
Forgiving (the holistic spirit)
I knelt in prayer asking God in Christ to forgive me for withdrawing from his presence. I asked for forgiveness for any part that I played in the problem. I asked for wisdom (which I need tons of!) to work through the situation with grace and love and kindness. I asked the person for forgiveness and offered to talk it through, they refused to accept it and wanted to keep the drama playing. I was powerless to change that, so I prayed again- this time it was a blessing on those who misunderstood me, thus rejecting me. I asked God for the strength to let go and let God have his way.
I know I have written extensively about forgiveness in the past, but I think we all need a reminder to ensure that we do apply forgiveness. It’s far too easy to be so emotionally involved in our hurt feelings, that our hard heart will not reach out to forgive. Forgiveness applies to everybody. Forgive yourself. Forgive others.
Pay it no mind (the holistic mind)
In 1 Corinthians 13, the “love chapter,” we have a list of love’s attributes. Included in the description of love, however there are some things that love is not. Verse 5 says that ‘love keeps no record of wrongs.’ Or, as the Amplified Bible translates it, “It takes no account of the evil done to it, in other words – it pays no attention to a suffered wrong.”
The bottom line is that If you say you forgive, but keep the offence at the forefront, throwing back details into the person’s face, keeping the drama going– let’s get real here- You have not forgiven! True forgiveness pays no mind, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Stop digging holes (the holistic body)
This is what I am guilty of and the situation is always made worse. I try to rescue the situation, and the more I try the deeper the darn hole gets! Soon I have dug so deep that I can’t see over the rim. I have buried myself in all the turmoil and hurt! look familiar?
Well, I think if you are a rescuer or fixer, you can relate.
We must learn when it’s time to quit – then quit. This is the best thing to do or even the right thing. Surrender the situation to God. To leave the person who says you have offended them its best to leave them to their own emotions and choices. If the other person is not happy with your explanation, it’s their problem not yours. You cannot satisfy someone who is adamant about having an argument. Do yourself a big favour and don’t engage in further discussion – stop digging!
It is time to stop digging and to cement that hole over and don’t go there again. It’s time, to take a breath of fresh air and start again. Accept when the situation cannot be rescued by you. If you wish to, leave the door open for the person who has misunderstood you. If they truly love you, they will want reconciliation as much as you.
Concentrate on those who truly care for you!
People get sacked from work due to misunderstandings and end up suing their employer for unfair dismissal. When misunderstandings cause family estrangement it is heart rendering indeed. Families who fall out forever is more common than you think. For many people, family is the centrepiece of their life. It’s where we gain a huge aspect of our identity, find comfort and support, unconditional acceptance, and a sense of belonging. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have raised the issue of estrangement to a world wide level. On the internet their is a plethora of websites dedicated to helping parents of estranged from their children. One web site community group that I visited had over 40,000 membership! This shows how common this problem really is. For those who are estranged from their families, the family unit may become threatening as and not feel safe or nurturing. I have readers and followers from all over the world so I will outline some recent research from a few different countries.
Social worker and academic, Dr Kylie Agllias, has been researching family estrangements and how they impact us. Her research has revealed that about one in 25 Australian adults has been estranged from their family at some point in their lives. She says that family estrangements occur when there is a breakdown of trust, emotional intimacy and there are strong contrasting values.
In the UK statics show that family estrangement has been defined as distancing and loss of affection that occurs over years or even decades within a family. It isn’t clear if such estrangement is on the rise since it is a relatively young field of research, but it is common. However, Research by Stand Alone, a UK charity that supports people who are estranged from relatives, suggests that estrangement affects at least one in five British families. Stand Alone founder Becca Bland, who has personal experience of estrangement as she has no contact with her parents, has also noticed that the topic is much more discussed than in the past. This is borne out by Google Trends data showing steady growth in people searching for estrangement-related terms, primarily in Canada, Australia and Singapore.
One United States of America study of more than 2,000 mother-child pairs found that 10% of mothers were currently estranged from at least one adult child. And one US study found that more than 40% of participants had experienced family estrangement at some point – suggesting that in certain groups, such as US college students, estrangement may be almost as common as divorce. Sound like an epidemic doesn’t it?
I am sure the statics are similar across the world. It is a sad situation but one that is very real, and common. If you have been misunderstood and estranged from your family, be assured that you are not alone and there is a lot of help out there if you research and look for it.
Those who truly love and care for you may not be your family. Friends are great because there is no history of offence with them. Unless you have grown up with them, you have a clean slate upon which to build a relationship. Appreciate them and keep in contact with those people. I have lots of lovely friends. I have found a unique relationship with each of my friends. With each one, we talk about different things and enjoy together various activities which are quite different from another. The friendship develops around the common ground which must be nurtured to grow.
Care for your Body
Being misunderstood causes your inner gut to twist and turn to make you feel sick. This is your body reacting to your emotional mind. You must care for your body. Don’t pummel it with alcohol or overload it with sugar, or late nights out. Nurture and care for your body with good food and passive exercise. Your body is the house your live in. In a time of turmoil, we forget about our bodily needs.
When upset, I tend to stop eating and work from Dawn to Dusk. However, I am learning to do things differently. I look at my body like I look upon my two dogs. They are helpless without me. Whether I feel like it or not I must feed them, walk them, and stroke and groom them. I must provide a safe and enjoyable environment for them. Do the same for your body.
Whether you feel like it or not, provide a safe and enjoyable environment for yourself. Feed your body well with natural foods, exercise it, groom it, care for it whether you feel like it or not – this is the only one you have! Your emotions can make you sick if you do not righty care for your body. I use many tools to help me with this and in posts to come, I will share them with you.
But in the meantime, you will find about how to care for your body mindfully, which is laid out in my new course and will be made available to you in summer 2021. If you want some ideas and tools to how to self-care, making it a priority or do not know how to start your holistic journey, check out the course, – subscribe free to this blog to get updates on this!
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Paula Rose Parish