I Need Understanding!

September 17, 2018

 

If you were into 90's R&B then you gotta remember the popular girl group of that time, Xscape! One of their many hits was a song titled, Understanding. The first line went like this:

 

What I need from you is understanding

How can we communicate

If you don't here what I say

What I need from you is understanding

So simple as 1, 2,3. Understanding is what I need.

 

Many of you are probably singing it in your head right now! LOL. Am I right? Humor me and reply back to let me know.

 

Whether we are right or wrong we want to be understood! Right?

 

It’s comforting to know that you are not alone in how you feel, just ask misery. We all desire to know that there is someone who can relate not only to our struggles, but even to our strengths. Not just to our pain, but our joys. It’s one of the reason we join groups.

 

When I set out to do the first, Sisterhood~Call to Unity conference in 2017, I realized that one of the catalyst for unity had to be understanding. To understand there must be communication. Therefore, I hosted a series of focus groups at our local library, titled, ‘Help Me Understand.’ How can we as women connect with one another when we don’t even understand one another?

 

The goal was to have a diverse group of women, come together to share their viewpoints on women relationships. What still echoes in my mind from one of the meetings is what was said by a young beautiful brown sister, with long black braids. It was obvious that she had a lot on her heart pertaining to the topic. She spoke with passion and with concern as she shared her viewpoint. 

 

From her point of view, based on past conversations she’d had, White women, in general, failed to acknowledge, or understand the plight of Black women. They showed very little concern or support. At the same time another woman of color in the room shared how appreciative she felt when a couple of her White co-workers asked questions to genuinely understand issues of race from her perspective. 

 

What can we learn from these two scenarios? A simple acknowledgment, and genuine desire to understand one another goes along way! We must be open to filter questions as well as ask questions. How else will we understand? How else will we heal and move in the direction of true unity?

 

What understanding says to an individual: 

  1. I am important. 

  2. I am not alone.

  3. I am visible.

  4. I am respected.

  5. I am LOVED. 

 

Ways to Understand:

 

  1. Ask questions/Be open-Make sure the individual you are asking questions to understand your hearts motive. Let them know that you are trying to better your awareness. 

  2. Converse with those you normally would not. Learn what you have in common.

  3. Never assume. 

  4. Understand that one persons experience or opinion is not always indicative of a mass group of people.

  5. Don’t allow fear of rejection prevent you from reaching out to understand. 

 

YOUR GROWTH CHALLENGE: Find someone with a very different viewpoint than yours on a big topic, and ask them to share why they maintain their viewpoint! Make sure you listen with a open heart!

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