While perusing twitter posts, mission statements and other news of the day, I was reminded of the often quoted statement, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” made famous from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits for Highly Effective People, not to mention, the Prayer of St. Francis.
I searched to get the exact saying and found this great website – take a peak when you have a chance – many great thoughts to explore.
For spiritual seekers the lesson is clear – you cannot change another, only yourself. So, how does that really work?
Understanding doesn’t always lead to peace and harmony.
Seeking to understand can lead to despair, confusion…surprise. Any number of emotional reactions depending on the circumstances. That we have the ability to choose what feelings we smack onto our understanding is another blog.
So, what do you do when understanding leads to No Where? What do you do AFTER seeking to understand?
There are times when your seeking to understand, while it may help you see yourself in the equation, only repeatedly hits resistance to responsibility on the other end. Sometimes understanding remains elusive, a desired state totally impacted by another’s desire not to understand themselves. If the one on the other side continually refuses to understand themselves and THEIR drivers, what then?
Sometimes the question is not ‘Why does this person act this way?’ or ‘Why does this keep on happening?’ The only question needing to be answered is ‘What am I going to do about it?’
Shifting focus from ‘Why is that over there like that?’ to, ‘What or how am I going to respond to that?’ takes the focus off another and onto oneself. That is the kernel of changing oneself. Sometimes the only response is ‘What am I going to do now?’ ‘What next appropriate action is my spirit directing me to take that will keep me whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy?’ That is the real deal.
In the end, the wisdom is within.