Feelings and Understanding

As humans we have the pleasure of both thinking and feeling. Every day is filled with experiences that challenge both our mental and emotional intellect.

I remember getting my feelings hurt as a child or not understanding why someone acted they way they did, and as I would tell my mother about how I was feeling, she would share her thoughts with me, asking me why that person might act that way or say those things.

My mom was the smartest person I’ve ever know, and maybe the wisest.

She had this intuitive way of looking at the world through other people’s lenses. Often she could understand why someone did something and if she didn’t, she’d at least try to. I’ve always admired her for that.

As her child, there were times when I wanted her to agree with me; there were days when I wanted her to tell me it was okay not to like someone based on how they acted. But she always made sure that I looked at the world through multiple lenses, not just through my feelings.

It’s a remarkable gift to have. We can feel both joy and sadness or triumph and defeat while also being able to use our minds to empathize with our counterpart.

This practice didn’t always come naturally to me. It was something both my mother and father modeled as they raised us. I’ve learned that having an understanding heart and mind is the best way to keep the door open for people.