Understanding essentially means awareness / realization / comprehension of all or most aspects of situations, people or concepts and forming ideas around / about them.
It involves cognitive thinking and reasoning and is associated with higher centres of brain’s functioning. This remarkable capability of the human brain makes man superior to all other living creatures on earth.
Here, I do not intend to delve into the biological aspect of understanding or development of it. I would rather emphasis on how important it is to have an understanding of oneself, and not just that of others, to attain inner peace and tranquility and also to help us be a little judgmental in life.
Before you claim to have ‘rightly’ understood others, why don’t you pause to give a thought about yourself? Tough!? I bet. Take a deep breath, stay still for a few minutes and try to focus on your own being.
Here’s a questionnaire that helps you delve into your inner self:
What kind of a person am I – introvert, extrovert or ambivert? Am I generally happy, gloomy, contented or simply bored?
What is it that I appreciate most in life? What is it that I can’t really stand happening in life?
What are my hopes, dreams, ambitions that I really haven’t given a thought about, but which I would honestly love to pursue?
What type of people or situations do I feel comfortable with?
What kind of people and situations do I really try to avoid?
What are my perspectives about relationships, life in general, beliefs, values, morals?
What are my greatest fears, darkest secrets & vulnerabilities?
How has my life been so far?
Does the past haunt me with worrisome thoughts or regrets? If so, what can I do to make my future happier and more gratifying?
Jot down answers to these questions. Difficult? Confused? Suddenly, do you have this queer feeling that you really don’t know yourself in your entirety!? Or do you feel like the more you muse about these questions, suddenly, you have got a clearer picture about your needs, desires and cravings?
No one can understand oneself wholly. In retrospect, one feels taken aback at times with the way one had behaved on certain occasions. Some situations lay bare so many aspects of yourself that you perhaps never knew existed (both positively and negatively). The human mind is a complex phenomenon which its possessor himself cannot fathom.
It’s nice to congratulate ourselves on all those attractive characteristics of our personality. It would also be wise to seriously think about our not-so-attractive attributes and work upon them! After all, if we can’t change our own selves, how can we expect or ask others to change, even if they be our very own kids?
Self-realization implies understanding and accepting both our strengths and flaws. Surely, no one is perfect. Having an idea of yourself helps you work on the bad points and score on the good ones. Plus, it will help you cope with relationship issues with family members, friends, colleagues, partners, children, because you shall be capable of analyzing where you had gone wrong and on what aspects you had been right.
This will also help you accept others and be more acceptable to others as well. Also, it helps set realistic expectations about others, yourself and life in general.
Well, it is easier said than done. But it is always worth a try, ain’t it?