I'm somewhat of a loner. I don't enjoy being the center of attention, and I relish my privacy and time alone. But I am human. I'm a wife and mother, a daughter and a sister. I do have friends and neighbors and co-workers. I love my family and enjoy spending time with friends and neighbors and co-workers. I enjoy most casual social interactions, and I, like most people, crave and need to be understood. We are taught that one of the most vital of human needs is the need to be loved, and I believe, understood.
As babies and young children, most of us were given huge amounts of love and care from our parents and other care givers. Along with this love and care we received huge amounts of empathy. As parents, older siblings, grandparents and other adults, we understand what it means to be tired, hungry, too hot or too cold. We understand what it feels like to be uncomfortable and what it is like to be in pain. We do all that we can to make sure that our sweet children and babies are taken care of, loved, and happy. We can have true empathy for them in most situations that they encounter.
As we grow older, we encounter many varied situations and challenges. At some point we each face problems and situations that our parents may not have faced. Even if they have had similar problems, the circumstances are different, and the way we react to the same situations and challenges will be different from those who are close to us. The same holds true in our relationships with siblings, friends, roommates, and even BFF's and spouses or significant others. They may not have experienced a failing grade, the accidental death of a good friend, losing a parent, abuse from a loved one, divorce, cancer and it's treatments, diabetes, anxiety attacks, depression, loss of a job, serious sin, having very limited money/financial resources. They may have had similar experiences, and time has numbed their memory and pain. They may be the very ones who have inflicted the pain and have no real realization of what they have done.
I don't know about you, but I find it even harder to face a particular challenge or situation when my loved ones don't quite understand what I am going through. Yes, they are usually sympathetic and empathetic to the degree that they are capable, but I often feel that they just don't quite understand. You know the old teenage refrain . . . "but you just don't understand!!" Yes, it's true. At some point in our lives we each reach a place where none of our closest friends or loved ones quite understands what we are going through or where we are coming from. So why do I always expect my loved ones to totally understand???
So where do we turn? As Christians, we have been taught that we can turn to Christ. WAIT. STAY WITH ME HERE. I know this, but still I would rather have my loved ones understand. They are usually who I turn to first. My dear husband. My daughters. My sons. My sisters. My co-workers. To their credit, they do their best to sympathize, understand, empathize and comfort me. But why do I always turn to them first for comfort rather than turning to the Savior, the one who knows me better than anyone else? Do I not believe that he will understand? I have been taught, and I believe, and I think that I know that he understands better than anyone else. That's what the whole atonement is about, that he has suffered and understood every single sin and pain and sorrow that I have or will ever suffer, and has ALREADY suffered these things for me.
So what is the problem? It is me. Where do I spend my efforts? Who do I spend the most time with? Who do I live, work, and play with? Who am I most comfortable with? Who do I know the best? Am I spending enough time with my Savior, and am I close enough to him that he is the one I instinctively turn to? Instead of my spouse? Instead of my children? Instead of my co-workers? He has already offered to comfort all of my sorrows and my woes. He has already suffered for all of my pains and sins. Am I comfortable with Him? I need to learn more of Him. I need to turn to Him more often in thought and prayer and study. He is there. How well do I know Him?