Please Just Let Me Be Understood ...

A few days ago I went to see a movie with 4 friends.  The movie was THE LOVERS and was the story of some nice characters who were wrapped up in some pretty bad and hurtful behaviors.  I got caught up in the story and the characters and enjoyed the pace of the film.  

We get to the lobby and immediately my friends start talking about how weak the film was, how there wasn't enough information given to really understand the characters and pointed out some visual flaws in the film.  Its one of those moments where you think "did I just see the same film".

I instantly felt a bit of  sadness.  Sadness that they hadn't enjoyed the film, sadness that I was alone in my enjoyment,  and a profound sense of being mis-understood.  I felt alone in the experience and felt a bit of the outsider -  there was 4 of them after all.  "George" my brain started the chatter, "see they are smarter than you"  and "they understood things that you didn't get."  

I've noticed that when I'm feeling like the outsider that I start fighting hard for my opinion.  As if I have to justify what I believe - almost like I'm trying to convince them that I'm right.  I start working to get them to change their minds.   My friends are great and have never called me out on it but its has to be pretty annoying for them.  I'm working on this part of me and am gently trying to change the behavior.  

This comes from a very deep and old wound - growing up with 10 brothers and sisters I was frequently told I was wrong and my life choices were often criticized.  I often feel like the outsider and feel so misunderstood.  I yearn for understanding and recognition that my beliefs,  values and judgments are just as valid as other peoples.  And more importantly even when I see the world differently I can still be part of the group and belong to the clan.

I'm working on separating out that different beliefs, opinions, or tastes are just that - different beliefs, opinions, tastes.  Its not a matter of right and wrong its just a matter of different.  The truly sad part is that when I start fighting for what I believe then I'm at risk at alienating others and I'm more likely to loose friendships.  Its a difficult balance to speak up and share my thoughts and opinions without having to sound like I'm convincing others that they have to think just like me.  

I'm working on the old wound of being told so frequently that I was wrong about things.  More and more I'm trying to create space that allows for differences and the recognition that people can think differently about things and it doesn't  mean right wrong it truly just means different.  

Like Nina Simone said: 

Baby you understand me now
If sometimes you see that I'm mad
Doncha know that no one alive can always be an angel?
When everything goes wrong you see some bad

Well I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

Ya know sometimes baby I'm so carefree
With a joy that's hard to hide
Then sometimes again it seems that all I have is worry
And then you burn to see my other side

But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

If I seem edgy
I want you to know
I never meant to take it out on you
Life has it's problems
And I get more than my share
But that's one thing I never mean to do

'Cause I love you
Oh baby
I'm just human
Don't you know I have faults like anyone?

Sometimes I find myself alone regretting
Some little foolish thing
Some simple thing that I've done

Cause I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

Don't let me be misunderstood I try so hard
So please don't let me be misunderstood

Songwriters: BENJAMIN, BENNIE/MARCUS, SOL/CALDWELL, GLORIA

Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.