At one point or another, we have all experienced a misunderstanding or problem that has caused friction in a relationship. Whether that relationship be with a family member, a friend, a partner, or any loved one, we may find that the relationship has been changed. Time passes, and before we know it, we no longer have their presence in our lives. This connection has dissolved, and we may feel a sense of wanting to start over… but how?
Today, April 2nd, is National Reconciliation Day, a day that aims to patch up strained relationships. The act of reconciliation requires much forgiveness, strength, compassion, and at times, the will to compromise. Reconciliation can be defined as the process of healing relationships that at times requires honesty, apologies, acknowledgement, accountability, and addressing past harms.
In order to fix a broken relationship, one must take the first step to do so, to break down the barriers that have been built. Fear, pride, and bitterness can prevent us from taking this step… Which is why we must make sure we are ready to take action. If there is still a stir of emotions within, you may find it confusing whether or not you want to begin this process. It is important to take the time to sort through our thoughts and feel our emotions in order to be in a stable mindset to make that decision.
If you are considering moving forward with a reconciliation,
You can ask yourself…
Is this something you genuinely want, or are you still “heart broken”?
What advice would you give or tell a loved one if they were in the same situation?
What would it take to fix the problem?
What reasons do you have for wanting to fix this relationship?
Are the issues that led to the “separation” still there?
Has there been any changes on either end to mend the issue? If nothing has changed, Would the relationship still work?
What is motivating you to reconcile?
Is there anything that gives you pause about reconciling?
Is this a relationship that is “safe” or worth having?
Only you know whether a relationship in your life is worth reconciling. It is not easy, and it is not quick, but it can be worth it, if this is a relationship you genuinely care for. Forgiveness may be required, and this is another step we may find to be difficult. But it is important to remember, apologizing doesn’t always mean one person is wrong and the other is right. It can simply mean you value your relationship, and each other. In any loving relationship, there is the potential for argument to arise, as we are complex beings. It cannot be avoided and no one is exempt from this experience. Get to know yourself better and get in tune with your wants, emotions, and needs to make sure you are choosing to reconcile for the right reasons. The energy of reconciliation can create a new, beautiful future!
Are you feeling inspired by National Reconciliation Day?
Take that step and make amends.
Reach out to that friend or loved one for a fresh start, it is not too late.
If it is worth it, Accept the olive branch when it is offered.
Share your experiences of reconciliation.
Below are some of my favorite quotes about Reconciliation:
“In the end, reconciliation is a spiritual process… It has to happen in the hearts and minds of people.”
~ Nelson Mandela
“Reconciliation is more beautiful than victory."
~ Violeta Chamorro
“We must not only speak about forgiveness and reconciliation, we must act on these principles.”
~ Desmond Tutu
“The overall purpose of human communication is - or should be - reconciliation. It should ultimately serve to lower or remove the walls of misunderstanding which unduly separate us human beings, one from another.”
~ M. Scott Peck
“If there is to be reconciliation, first there must be truth.”
~ Timothy B. Tyson
“Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution. It is unrealistic to expect everyone to agree about everything. Reconciliation focuses on the relationship, while resolution focuses on the problem. When we focus on reconciliation, the problem loses significance and often becomes irrelevant.”
~ Rick Warren
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
~ Winston Churchill
“Only fight for a growing relationship; Enough of us fight for dead ones. A growing relationship can grow out of the bad times, a dead one is the reason you are in bad times.”
~ G. Hood
“The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh