(Estimated reading time two minutes) Damaged or broken relationships are an uncomfortable reality in most of our lives. Like a constant nagging or a wound that will not heal, we eventually relegate them to the dark recesses of our minds and get on with our lives. Buried and almost forgotten we move forward mostly unaware of our past in our present – incognizant of the power of these unresolved issues on our day to day lives. On closer inspection, we might find that there is a link between our lack of peace or joy and this unfinished business. We may uncover a connection between our steadily drained energy levels and these unconcluded events.
This is a difficult topic. I almost didn’t write about it because there are no formulaic answers here. What works in one situation may not work in another. Please know that there are some exclusions to this. I am not writing about abusive relationships – they are different. I am also not suggesting that all relationships should be continued. Even in relationships that will not continue, a good conclusion will help you to move on. The bottom line is that broken relationships eat up energy and peace. They consume mental space even when relegated to the hidden compartments of your brain. If this is the case, how do we best deal with them?
Do whatever is in your power to make peace – even if it wasn’t your fault. Try hard. Go one step further than you think you can. Use generous eyes in looking at the other person. Ask yourself what part you may have played. Say you are sorry. Ask for forgiveness. Patience, perseverance and creative thinking will be your friends. It may take time.
What can you do in those situations that stubbornly remain problematic? Be open to future opportunities for resolution if they come your way. Talk to a counsellor if you need to. The truth is, some situations tap so deeply into another person’s pain and experience that they may not be able to respond to your olive branch until they have dealt with their previous damage. Rest in the knowledge that you have done all you can and give yourself permission to move on.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
If you have some wisdom to share on how you deal with damaged relationships, post a comment or a link to your blog post on this subject.