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I’m starting up my “Quote of the Week” posts again, so without further ado, here is one of my recent additions to “My Favorite Quotes” page:

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We’re all so desperate to be understood, we forget to be understanding. ~ Beau Taplin

As an introvert and someone who often finds it rather difficult to express myself, I can definitely relate to the feeling of wanting to be understood for who I am, and to be accepted for myself despite my quirks and flaws. I want people to see me in a genuine light in which they know who I am and understand me in a non-judgmental and loving way–while still keeping my most inner self private, which is a hard balance to achieve. Consequently, I do often feel like I’m misunderstood and misrepresented, but it’s hard to correct that when I don’t really want to reveal my inner self to people in the first place.

So yes, I do understand the desire to be understood; but this guy’s so right, that I’m sometimes so focused on how little people understand me that I forget to try to understand them. It’s the whole idea of getting the focus off ourselves, off the excessive need for self-esteem and self-analysis (which is a common tendency of my analytic and introspective mind), and making our lives others-focused.

We so often put ourselves up on a pedestal as some sort of martyr for our personal distresses caused by being misunderstood as if we didn’t realize that the whole world actually doesn’t revolve around us.

It’s a simple root problem of pride. It seems that all sins eventually come down to that–pride and selfishness. We naturally put ourselves first in life: first in needs, desires, protection, nurturing, and everything else.

But Jesus came to demonstrate to us a way of life that is so backwards from our natural sin nature, a life of compassion and love for everyone else around us. A life of self-denial rather than self-elevation; of sacrifice rather than self-preservation; of love rather than hate.

Maybe if we took a few moments to actually look away from ourselves and into the hearts of others with love and compassion like Jesus, we would notice the deep needs and struggles of those around us, and we would begin to understand people and understand what we can do to help them.

And I believe that in the process of understanding them, we would become more understood by our friends, family, and even the strangers we meet on the street. They would see who you truly were inside and love that person, because they would see Jesus.

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