Feeling understood

7 Jun 2020

Consciousness is a strange gift. We are ‘blessed’ with an awareness of our thoughts and feelings, and with the bonus gift of imagination, we can attach meaning to this soup of sensory awareness.

Some gift!

We can use the same awareness to ascribe the worst possible significance to the tiniest event that crosses over the threshold of our senses.

But then, having danced with depression, you’ll know that only too well.

The physiological and psychological ‘truth’ is that our awareness is only ever a partial ‘map’ of reality, and, as the linguists say, “The Map is Not the Territory.”

I can demonstrate this within milliseconds. All I have to do is take off my glasses and my awareness of the ‘real’ world shifts dramatically. My glasses are a physical example of what psychologists call ‘filters’.

Change the frame through which you view the world (like glasses) and you’ll transform your experience of the world.

Change the filters through which you process the world (like a tint on glasses) and you may even end up with a rose-tinted view of ‘reality’.

Change your map of the world, and I promise you, your ‘world’ will change.

So what’s the message today?

The message today is a simple one because of one indisputable fact: I can’t promise you’ll ever be understood or that you will understand the beauty of this world.

Instead, for one day, I open up a challenge.

The challenge is that we would listen to someone else’s map of the world without thinking about how we could respond. We will listen to at least one other person with a single goal in mind: to understand more fully their ‘map’ of the world.

In practice, this will be how they view, see, or perceive a situation.

You’re allowed to ask questions! But you aren’t allowed to ‘fix’ them or give them advice until they ask for it!

This is from Stephen R Covey’s highly influential book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

It is his 5th habit - to seek first to understand and only then to be understood.

Why am I sharing this?

Because consciousness is lonely.

When we finally feel listened to at least, and even ‘understood’ a bit better, some of that loneliness departs for awhile.

After all, we all need a jolly good listening to.

If we do that for someone else, who knows, maybe someone will reciprocate?

Here’s hoping.


A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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