Teacher, Teacher

Mutual understanding is glue that brings and keeps relationships together, but, understanding cannot be forced, or contrived. We are able to teach, but we are not able to make someone understand.

There is a metaphor I read in passing that made me think: “I am a book, in a world that doesn’t read.” This made me think: just because a person has a lot to them, and it may be great – doesn’t mean that everyone will want to experience them. That’s okay.

Something I’ve learned:

I need to not explain how I think, or try to get people to understand me: people that are worth understanding me and being in my life, have asked the questions, taken the time, and attempted to read me, in their own time. In other situations, where I rushed ahead of others, and tried to teach them who I am, felt rather like forcing a relationship. In those times, maybe I should have been at peace enough to know, and able to rest on that fact that what is meant to be, will be: no “force” involved. A person who feels at rest, does not “force.” I’ve met people who I’ve instantly connected with, we connected well, or fairly well, and neither of us had to try. With a few of those, we met in the quirkiest of ways. I was awkward, I was fumbley, I didn’t think I had much to talk about, but we ended up talking anyway!

A reason I have felt unhappy or unsuccessful in relationships, I’ve come to learn, is because I thought teaching people who I am, i.e. possibly trying to give it context by explaining them my personality type (that has unfortunately happened), meant that they would have something to go by to learn who I am, begin to want to learn who I am, and become more interested in me. In other words, I’d throw them sneak peak excerpts of the “book” and make them want to absorb my information. “Take it, you know you want it!” Slick, huh. Nah, I’d call that pretty unattractive. Lowers value, as well.

Here’s the idea. If I felt compelled to go after them and teach them about who I am, well, that’s mooost likely because I could subconsciously sense that they were starting to lose interest, or, that they weren’t all that enthralled about learning about me in the first place. Do I value my time? Why would I want to waste my time teaching or giving hints to someone who doesn’t feel like learning, or isn’t ready to learn? At that point, they’re not focused on me at all. This also probes the thought: in the midst of this, what if I was a little too focused on getting them to understand me, and pushing my agendas in that sense, whereas maybe I could’ve or should’ve been taking time for them.

Someone who is ready and willing to understand the complex and beautiful treasures that are people, and who are ready or possibly willing to be being in their life, will not just jump to conclusions: they will pursue learning. Nor will they be quick to put labels or premature judgements on people. They will want to get the full picture. They will know that understanding takes time, and they will not try to force things out of you when you’re not ready to share them, cut corners, or be short in any way, shape, or form. (This is not to say they will make mistakes: mistakes just can’t be the common theme here.) These people will not try to force you to absorb their information or throw book covers in your face, trying to get you to learn them and love them. “blah, blah, blah, understand mee!” See where I am going, here? I have been on either side: I have been the person doing the unjust labeling, and the unjustly labeled.

Emotionally available people, that are ready for understanding, and who are ready to be in people’s lives, will come as they do. Not by many other means than that. What kind of person would I be, anyway, if I assigned myself as “teacher” anyway? That would be awfully arrogant. Who am I to think that I am so great or magically powerful of a person, that I can get them to understand something about life, or a person: which are two very complex things? Who says they’re even ready? Also, who would I be to say that they need to be? Many, many people, in my lifetime may probably be way happier without me, and me without them, because if our journeys aren’t already lining up, there’s probably a dang good reason for it.