Don’t look at them to know what they are feeling; listen instead to their inner cries, indeed, their inner screaming. They would like you to know so much more than they can articulate or show. It is not they who do not understand; it is us. We are too wrapped up in our normalcy of life to allow time, a little time to stop and listen, to observe some more. When you do, you will become enlightened to their need; the need to help them, not reject them. A need to understand and support them, not to be rid of them; to give them to another or send them somewhere else, out of your hair, our of your sight, out of your life.
Stop looking at them to find what you will never physically see and begin to listen to them with your hearts as you connect with them at the deeper level of their pain. Don’t listen to what they say with their lips, for with them they do not, and cannot fully express what irks them; the dreadful battle within. Don’t be alarmed that they may speak more loudly, for it is not that they take pleasure in applying the higher decibel of their vocal chords, they often are unable to control their behaviour and would prefer some understanding and support. They are usually reaching out; reaching out to everyone around them..
Don’t focus exclusively on the fact that they behave or misbehave in unexpected and inappropriate ways that are in clear violation of your standards of normal behaviour. If they could, they would act in the way you’ve laid out to them. Understand that as much as you do not understand them, in turn they do not understand you. They realize that you appear not to take complexity of their lives into account when you judge them so severely.
What you see as restlessness, they experience as an internal struggle that is acted out in ways that do not comport with the rest of the world. It is as if they are on a treadmill that does not have an off switch. They are constantly pushed internally to move onto another assignment, another topic, another activity, another place. None of us is better than they. We are simply different. Your brains tell you things just as much as their brains tell them things; only different things.
Listen to their inner voice as it continues to speak, to seek, to plead, to beg; for help -your help and mine.
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A. Adolphus Evans