Two lovers greatly desiring to marry suffer a tragic misunderstanding that leads to a life of bitterness and despair between them. Only too late is the misunderstanding revealed bringing about healing and a renewal of love. Such is the main story line of one of my favorite movies, Immortal Beloved. The movie is based upon the tale of famous composer Ludwig von Beethovan who factually left his entire fortune to a woman known only as his “Immortal Beloved.” As the movie attempts to resolve who might have been the love of his life, it reveals how two people who once passionately loved one another suffer a lifetime of wounded hearts due to a minor misperception that led to a major misunderstanding. One reason the movie is so powerful, is that these kinds of tragedies happen too much in so many people’s lives.
Misunderstandings. How often do they lead to minor or even major difficulties in our lives? In my own life one misunderstanding in particular had lifelong serious consequences for me. It occured between my father and I when I was in my early twenties and took decades to heal. Eventually my father and I had the courage to revisit the past and talk about the events that took place. The end result? Both of us discovered we had totally different perceptions. And, we each learned how we felt wounded because our different needs at the time were not met, leading to almost a lifetime of misunderstanding and hurt. When at last those events were revisited, we were both surprised to discover how we had seriously misunderstood each others mostly good intentions and actions. Fortunately, we learned to listen to each other, opened our hearts, got a more holistic view of what really happened, and thank God finally healed.
On a more minor note I remember a time when I was in my Ph.D. program. I had just met a fellow student who had a short haircut. I asked her if she was in the military or if it was just a persona (meaning look) she had adopted. She acted upset and for the next two years she often revealed her total dislike of me. Eventually, in a class where we were all in a group process session together, she blurted out her reason for hating me. “When you first met me you told me I had a militaristic personality! What a rude thing to say.” I was dumbfounded. When I restated what I had originally said, she was embarrassed. We didn’t exactly become friends after that, but at least there was peace between us.
These are just a few examples of how many relationships are impacted in a negative way because we don’t take the time to consider another person’s perspective, jump in and cling to assumptions, and fail to communicate in an effective and compassionate way where we can reach understanding and healing with one another. So, what can increase the odds of healing? Can these misunderstandings and ruined relationships ever work out? Though at times they may not, here are a few things that will help.
1. Table your assumptions. Unless you are willing to consider that you may have only a partial perspective, you won’t even bother to consider that there is something more you need to learn.
2. Remember there is always another perspective. The famous story of blind men touching an elephant is the classic example of this this. One man describes the elephant as having a trunk, one a tail, one stocky legs. All are right in their partial perspective, yet only as they add their perspectives together do they get a clearer picture of the whole.
3. Become more holistic. Wisdom and understanding come about from being able to see and include more than one point of view. Years ago a spiritual teacher told me, “All truth is paradox.” It is. Opening up your mind and heart to include the truth of various points of views is the basis for clear seeing (the real meaning of the word clairvoyance). But, to see clearly, we often have to move to a higher and broader perspective. Be willing to do so.
4. Find the good. If you only believe that people operate from negative intentions, you won’t find their good ones. In the incident with my father, we were both surprised to learn how good our intentions were. Sure, it is hard when you feel wounded and disappointed by someone to find their good intentions, but if you want healing, it is worth the search.
5. Heal the shadow. When negative events happen they almost always take place because someone is acting out of fear. In the Immortal Beloved movie, Beethovan’s beloved was afraid Beethovan didn’t love her. Her fear didn’t allow her to see that wasn’t the case at all. When fears raise their head, take time to counter them with a period of reflection and insight to discover what they are all about. Then, lift those fears back into love.
6. When the timing is right, communicate. Communication doesn’t have to be face to face at first. As someone who has had a significant amount of psychic sensitivity since a very young age, I know the power of prayer and silent communication. At the very least, prayer, reflection, and silent communication set up a psychic field of greater clarity and loving intent. Like a mother who is pregnant, it creates a period of gestation, or preparation. Then, when the person you are having difficulty with senses that enough clarity and healing has occured, reactive triggers will be lessened, and the person you want to heal things with will be more likely to hear you, and heal it as well.
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Blessings and love,
Dr. Lisa Love
Copyright 2010 by Dr. Lisa Love. All Rights Reserved.
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