The characters in Which Brings Me To You* by Steve Almond and Julia Baggott discuss the importance and rarity of being truly understood. Jane writes to John: "I'm not afraid that I can't give love, fully, doors swung wide open. I'm afraid that I will not be really and truly, deeply understood...Aren't our souls--again, I apologize, but I don't have a better term--listing toward some kind of benediction, and what better benediction than love? And not some generic version of love store-bought in cans like those novelty gifts of Florida sunshine, maybe not love at all but just understanding--which the world rations and hoards."
Being understood at the deepest level is one of those feelings that can be tremendously comforting or tremendously terrifying, depending on your level of comfort with yourself at the moment. Like most of us (I hope), I've spent some time thinking about the people who "get" me and the people who just don't get me at all. (Not to mention the people I get and the people I will just never get no matter what.) Sometimes when I'm whining about how so-and-so just doesn't understand me or know me at all, it hits me that I've been instrumental in that person's failure to get to know me on a deeper level. We hide so much, even (maybe especially) in our closest relationships. Being understood is something I alternately crave deeply and fear even more deeply.
Nita over at Advanced Maternal Age has a husband, Bear, who "gets" her, at least part of the time, and in her post "the best Mother's Day present ever," what Bear gets about her involves books thus appealing both to the married-damn-near-twenty-years side of me and to the nose-stuck-so-deep-in-a-book-I-can't-see-daylight-side-of-me.
For a double-play of perfection, here's my button:
And, Nita, it's all yours.
Other winners at Suburban Turmoil and Petroville.
*Highly recommended, by the way.
1 hour ago