School helps confuse us with the answer to this question. We are conditioned to read a chapter, do some homework, and take a test to demonstrate that we understand when in school.
Quickly into adulthood, all of these guard rails and landmarks disappear. So when do we truly understand? When do we know “that we know”?
Throughout my life, mentors influenced my thinking. People who generously gave of their time to both listen to me, as well as guide me in difficult situations. Where I am today, is because of their teaching filled with genuine love & concern for me.
Many times, they shared with me different worldviews, ideas, concepts, and tactics that they felt I needed to embrace in order to see progress. Confidently in their presence, I would answer that I understood and then quietly stumbled, on my own, when trying to implement what I heard.
Confused and uncertain, I returned to see them, sharing my questions & doubts about what they told me. I couldn’t get their words to fit into my life. With patience, they repeated themselves and encouraged me to go back and try again. I was simply following instructions blindly with little depth. I tried and tried to execute what I heard. It was truly frustrating when I couldn’t get to where their words guided me to be.
Until one day, much later (sometimes as long as a year or two later), when I began to understand & really feel the value of what they told me earlier. Things became easier and I could begin to see the results that their words promised. What they shared finally became engrained in my thinking. It finally made sense within my own life. So much so, that they became my good friends.
Out of words that seemed strange & foreign at first,
much wisdom revealed itself further down the road.
So many times we get frustrated when we continually try to help someone. Where they just don’t seem to get it. It’s during these times that we need more patience in understanding that at first, your words will seem strange & foreign to those that listen. Patient repetition will be needed. And where it will take time for the wisdom of your words to take root in another person.
This is just one way that life reveals its mystery, struggle and joy for all of us to experience from either side of these types of conversations throughout our lives.
It’s hard to understand things that at first sound very strange to us in our lives, but whose words could benefit us greatly, now that we better grasp how understanding in life many times works. As well as how long it may take!