A number of things have contributed to the inspiration behind this post: A few statuses on Facebook, a conversation with the best, my life experience.
A few weeks ago the Best, the Beloved, and I watched the super popular movie Frozen. With all the hype surrounding it, I assumed I’d be bored with it but that wasn’t the case. We watched it one evening at home and I really liked it.
Sometime after that, and completely unrelated to it, the Best and I were in my car going somewhere and were chatting about female clients in his chair when he remarked at how easy it is for him to evoke comments from those clients like, “You really understand me!” We agreed that it’s probably a far greater occurrence with the females of our species than with the males.
So…. then I thought to myself how I’ve never ever in 100 years thought of actually saying to someone something like, “You really understand me!” For one, it’s usually me who is doing the understanding. For another, I’m a male and in Indiana we don’t usually admit as much to each other (although I’ve probably at least implied as much during a conversation or two). But most, because I don’t think I’ve ever really truly and actually felt very understood. This is surely in large part because of being born as I was where I was. I’m not sorry for it, by any means. And I’m sure it’s been a big (albeit subconscious) contributing factor to my love of language and communication and culture and religion and a million other things that I’ve been drawn to because when I give them conscious analytical attention it’s clear that many of those things play massive roles in who people are and how they are understood by those around them.
So where does that movie fit into all this? The older sister, Elsa, is where. She’s entirely misunderstood. Sure, she’s different and all that. But I think most people don’t understand that that isn’t really where the difficulty is. As a gay male growing up and living my entire life in Indiana I know first-hand what Elsa felt. She took measures to conceal who she is. She took measures to stifle big parts of who she is – hiding away for years and then when in front of others she wore garments to further conceal her truth. She wished more than anything that she could change who she is into someone else. Why? It’s not because she really thought there is something wrong with herself. After all, until the minor mishap early in the movie she actually enjoyed the thing that made her different. The source of anguish was really that no one would understand. And even that isn’t the worst of it.
I can absolutely say the worst part about being misunderstood is people acting and reacting based on a lack of understanding – which of course, they don’t realize is lacking because we all tend to think that what’s in our heads and hearts is the truth. They say a person can only take so much… of anything. After so much, I can tell you, one is left with no choice but to move forward.
Nature makes one either weaker as a result of these experiences or Nature makes one stronger through them. The difference is left up to the individual and ultimately makes no difference to the bigger picture. This sense of being misunderstood, or not understood at all, ends up being fuel for the individual. Of course, to what end that fuel is burned is entirely up to the individual. Many use that fuel to travel a path that essentially destroys who they are while others use it to launch who they are into new and deeper experiences. The movie Frozen shows the potential of both.
Whether you’re gay or whether you’re an ice queen in the making, it’s all the same. The struggle is the same for each of us. It’s important to never forget the feeling of not being understood (as it’s different from being misunderstood). This truth applies to each of us regardless of what uniquely makes us who we are.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha