November 26, 2010

Making Repairs

Greetings Dear Readers,

I know it's been more than a month since I've updated my blog, and there is simply no excuse.  Well, I have a million of them, but none are valid.  The fact is that I let myself get distracted by other things, such as reaching my goal of writing 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month and watching some of my favorite shows on TV. If you're still with me and still reading, I hope you recognize this is just how life is and how we are as people.  Even things that are important to us are sometimes set aside in favor of things that are frivolous and fun.

As you know, if you've read my blog for any length of time, I don't really have a focus or specific topic.  Whatever happens to be on my mind at the moment is what I write about.  I considered changing that for the new year, thought maybe I would drag you along with me on a journey in writing a book, but I've decided against it.  For one, I think you'd be bored.  For another, there are times I simply want to share things that are on my mind and have nothing to do with writing; this blog is my personal venue for doing so.  Which leads us to what is on my mind today.  Actually, what has been on my mind for some time.

Relationships.  Whether friends, family, or significant others, relationships are difficult to maintain.  One wrong word, one wrong deed and everything can fall apart.  It can take years to mend and sometimes it can never be mended.  We're supposed to forgive those we love, move beyond the misspoken word or the angry statement, but too often we don't.  We hold on to the perceived wrong, the perceived ugly action and we effectively end what was once a beautiful thing that gave us joy and filled a place in our life.

Why is it so hard for us to give the other person the benefit of the doubt?  Why can we not move past the first transgression?  Why do we sometimes actively look for other transgressions after that first?  I don't have the answers.  I wish I did.  I know we've all been on both sides of the action.  We've all held a grudge and we've all been the victim of someone not giving us a true second chance.

There are several scenarios happening with people I know right now.  All it would take is conversation, forgiveness, and trust for them to regain the happiness they once had.  I don't know if it will ever happen, I can only hope.

An elderly father and his son who had a falling out several years ago haven't spoken, other than the son yelling from his front porch for the father to go away.  What is the issue?  One can only guess about the deeper underlying causes, but the surface story is that it's years of perceived misunderstandings.  The father isn't the most tactful person, and the son isn't the most forgiving.  The son has held on to an early wrong, and he's never moved beyond it.  In fact, every word and deed since that first wrong has been proof that his first judgement of the father was correct.  Now they don't speak.  The father wishes desperately his son would talk to him and let him be part of his life, but the son is having none of it.

Friends haven't spoken in years because one made a selfish decision at a time when things were strained in her life.  One doesn't know how to reach out to the other and ask for forgiveness.  The other doesn't know how to offer forgiveness unasked.  So a friendship built on years of shared secrets, tears, laughter, adventures, and love dissolves.  Over the years they think about each other and the selfish one reaches out, but the other has to forgive and trust has to be given again.

And that's what it comes down to; forgiveness and trust need to be given to the "offending" party.  Not the fake, smile to their face and tell them you forgive them kind, but the real deal; the kind that comes from your heart and the depths of your soul.  It has to be complete forgiveness.  Without forgiveness, trust simply can't follow.  If trust doesn't follow, then all of it is for naught.  But true forgiveness is difficult and sometimes impossible.  Will the son ever forgive his father?  I really hope so.  I can think of nothing more sad than for one of them to die before they've made amends.  Will the friends reconnect so forgiveness can happen?  We'll see.  One has reached out to the other, so perhaps there is hope on the horizon.

So my questions for you, dear readers, are these.  Who in your life do you need to forgive?  Who do you need to extend trust to right now in order to repair a relationship well worth saving?  Who do you need to apologize to or make amends with in order to move toward obtaining forgiveness and trust from them?  Maybe the answer is no one.  Maybe you're one of the lucky few who has perfect relationships.  If so, you are fortunate indeed.  Call or write your friends and family and tell them how much you love and appreciate them.  But if you're like the rest of us and have a relationship in need of repair, take a deep breath and make the move to regain the joy you once had with the person.  Maybe you can't get it back, but if you don't try, you won't know.  What if you take a chance and it works?