RECONCILIATION – THE NEED OF THE HOUR: CONFESS AND FORGIVE

We humans are majestically interwoven in relationships YET, we find some kind of brokenness everywhere. We have trust issues with people all the time. Our environment is not friendly to us. Often we fight with guilt and largely, we just go in the way opposite to godliness. God and our life seems like the pole of two extremes.

We are broken, we cannot trust one another,

We need protection from each other!

NOW, it is a solid state of affairs…

Once, someone shared with me her deepest secrets on WhatsApp chat. But after our chat, she asked me to do something which I had never thought anyone would ever ask me. She said, “Brother, I trust you but I cannot trust your phone and others who might check your phone sometime. Would you please delete our chat and send me the screenshot?”

Brokenness in relationships is the violation of purpose, the forcible act of separation and the need for reconciliation. Often, we blame others for our brokenness but we tend to forget a clap cannot sound with one hand! The repercussion of brokenness keeps us separated. According to the nature of law, punishment is a reward or repay YET, punishment never mends the brokenness, it never restores the broken relationships.

THEN WHAT CAN BE THE BETTER OPTION FOR US?

HOW TO MEND AND RESTORE?

One of my favourite poems is penned by an anonymous elementary school teacher, which goes like this:

He came to my desk with a quivering lip,
the lesson was undone.
“Do  you have a new sheet for me, dear teacher?
I’ve spoiled this one.”

I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted
and gave him a new one all unspotted.
And into his tired heart, I cried,
“Do better now, my child.”

I went came to the throne with a trembling heart;
the day was undone.
“Do  you have a new day for me, dear Master?
I’ve spoiled this one.”

He took my day, all soiled and blotted
and gave me a new one all unspotted.
And into my tired heart, he cried,
“Do better now, my child.”

I see two sides of this poem – ‘CONFESSION and FORGIVENESS’  – the ONLY answer to our questions on how to mend and how to restore.

CONFESSION and FORGIVENESS are means of communication. Where one admits his wrongs and the other person forgives him embracing the priority of reunion in the relationship. In this sacred communication, the required sacrifice is our EGO, ARROGANCE, PRIDE, SELF-RIGHTEOUS and all sort of things that separate us from one another and keeps us under subjection.

It is the grace of Confession and Forgiveness that work as the final portal of reconciliation. This grace is available and the Bible says,

“Come now, Let’s Settle This,” says the LORD.”
Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

God Almighty reconciles with sinners like us. So, how much more willing you and I must be to confess and seek forgiveness as steps to reconciliation when we are the offenders in any relationship? Also, how much willing we must be to accept the confession and forgive those who offend us?

What do you think?

RECONCILIATION -THE NEED OF THE HOUR: BE HUMBLE AND PERSEVERE

I have a younger brother and like every other sibling, we too fought when we were kids. Actually, it would be no wrong to say we fought like cats and dogs. After fighting we used to decide we are not going to talk ever. But in a short span of time, we would come together to reconcile. Since I am elder to my brother, so he would walk to me and would ask, “Di (sister) can you please teach me this topic?” I would then ask him to apologize (sometimes I used to be bossy) and would teach him. At times, I would too initiate the talk after our silly fights in a very polite and calmer tone. Despite fighting a lot we never fail to reconcile. But why am I telling this? The reason is when we wish to reconcile then we ought to be humble. I remember whenever the two of us initiated; it was always in a polite way.

Once I had a heated discussion with one of my friends and it really felt bad to me. I decided I won’t talk, as his words made me upset. That day I was in anger but the next day I felt sad and I wanted to reconcile. However, I couldn’t do so as I got some important work. On the other day, he made the first move, as he too wasn’t feeling good. He was determined that even if I deny he wouldn’t give up. He knew the denial would feel more humiliating to him but still, he chose to reconcile. I too reciprocated with the same. We cleared our misunderstandings and I must say that reconciliation proved to be of great help.

When we talk about reconciling it doesn’t mean to patch up. It’s about restoring the strained relation with love once again. At times it happens when we have a strain in a relationship or in a friendship, we might experience humiliation or we might have been hurt a lot. But when it comes to reconciliation one should keep in mind, “it is my choice to reconcile and therefore I should be humble”. Unless you are not humble and determined your effort for reconciliation won’t sound real. We need to recall positive and happy moments with the person we want to reunite.

Is humility the only factor that contributes to reconciliation? While reaching for reconciliation there’s a fear what if the person denies? Or what if it turns out to be something more humiliating? At that point in time we need to think whatsoever comes we have to face it with humbleness. Perseverance and humility are equally important for bringing two people together. Think about the situation where I could have denied at the initiation of my friend for reuniting. Notwithstanding his humility, I could have yelled at him and would have dishonoured him. Now, had not he persevered, our friendship would have ended. So it’s not that we only need humility for restoring a relation. We need perseverance in addition to it. Owing to the fact that perseverance helps us to keep going when the situation is adverse. It’s just a determination to put your relationship or friendship back on track.

There are times when we don’t want to reconcile, because the reason, is far beyond the time we spent together. Finally, when we feel the need to reconcile, we should remember that a wound needs special care and it may hurt when we medicate it though eventually the wound gets healed. And for that special care, we need humility and perseverance to go hand in hand ahead of reconciliation.

RECONCILIATION – THE NEED OF THE HOUR: TAKE TIME AND BE PATIENT

Today itself I was very happily surprised because I saw a relationship reconcile. A relationship that was strong, but got turbulent due to various reasons a few months back – but when the relationship is strong and based on values, it is there to stay. I am talking about my husband’s relationship with one of the close relative. I was happy for them just to know that they realized that the value of a relationship is much more than the value of grudges that we might have against each other.

Our ancestors have always said – “Just give it some time!” and it is true that time is all that is needed to heal from inside.

Time and patience are two great warriors that protect a relationship. It makes the anger subside, it gives you a chance to look at things from a different perspective and it gives you enough distraction so that you can appreciate your relationship. It also gives you an opportunity to take responsibility for your actions. There are so many times when a relationship gets stuck in a blame-game. A little bit of space can make one see his/her own actions and realize that blames won’t take them anywhere.

Important things to keep in mind are –

  1. Never take an important decision when feeling low
  2. Never make promises to yourself or others when feeling angry
  3. Try to take a time out from the situation when anger becomes uncontrollable
  4. Figure out your own thing that gives you pleasure always – it could be a hobby
  5. Rethink about the situation or a relationship only when you know you are in a positive frame of mind

I know it is easy to mention such points but it takes a lot of courage to really implement those. I have made certain ground rules for myself when taking a time off because patience is not just sitting and waiting for things to work, patience is an art to have the right attitude while working in your own transformation.

My time in doing my stuff

Currently, I have also taken time off an important relationship in my life. It becomes very difficult at times to not get back to blames. It becomes very difficult to ignore the hurt and guilt. What works in this situation is to focus on myself and my hobbies. And that is not a very inviting thought when I am really low but it works wonders. I write, I dance, I read, I talk to strangers, I work for the society and feel motivated yet again.

My expectations should be my responsibility

What must be done in a time off is to take responsibility for your own expectations. Almost all grudges happen because of unsatisfied expectation. It is important to understand that my expectations are my responsibility alone and the other person will only fulfil what he/she can (it might not be as per my expectations) but my expectations are not his/her responsibility. I own them and hence I have the power to change them too.

My emotions should be in my control

Another thing to keep in mind while taking a time off from a broken relationship is to take responsibility for your own emotions. My emotions are residing in my brain and hence I should have the power to control them. The statement that we very often make – “He made me so upset or she made me so angry” only shows that we give the responsibility for our anger and upset to the other person. Something that belongs to us and resides in our head should be in our control. Yes, external factors do impact one’s emotional state but we must always make an effort to keep our emotions under our control.

I shall observe myself

During time off it is also needed that you look inside yourself. See how you behave in certain conditions. Literally, imagine being outside of your body and see yourself from a distance in a particular situation. You would see a very different perspective of yourself and that would help you be more self-aware. Take up meditation or other activities to be more mindful of each situation.

I shall not deny myself the hurt that I feel

All said and done, we can follow the above guidelines but sometimes one slightest thing can cause our high spirits to crash down. In such situations don’t deny yourself the right to feel hurt. Positive thinking has one flaw that it becomes a burden when you force yourself to be positive but in reality, you just want to cry your heart out. So, don’t do any of the above when you really feel low. Take time to feel better again and slowly gradually do all of the above. With time you will notice that such moments will keep reducing and eventually will disappear.

Doing all of this will make you a much better person and then when you return to the relationship being this different person – relationship goes to a different level altogether.

“Waiting is a true sign of love and patience. Anyone can say ‘I love you’, but not everyone can wait and prove its true!”

Patience,
that’s what you have
when there are
too many witnesses.

OF DAYS GONE BY, THOSE THAT ARE AND THOSE YET TO COME

Oftentimes our human mind is hasty to picture modernization merely in terms of technological advancements. However, the concept of modernization is much broader than that. A reflection on the emergence and development of various civilizations of the world would make us realize that each civilization that came into existence centuries later, was more advanced and modern than those preceding it. That is how we have the Stone Age giving way to the Bronze Age which in turn gave way to the Iron Age. And gradually, we are today in what can aptly be called as the Digital Age! In historical and sociological terms, the present age that we are living in today is termed as the ‘post-modern age’.

As we look back to the blissful past, there are indeed certain things that dim the illumination of this post-modern age. Today, the world is teeming with high human population; but sadly humanity is on the decline. Education opportunities are on the rise – scholarships, fellowships and educational loans are easily available now than they were in the past. However increasing knowledge base has reduced the basic levels of common sense in people – leave alone digging deep into the mines of wisdom. IQ levels have risen, but EQ levels have miserably dipped. The global job market offers numerous opportunities for people to carve a niche for themselves. With high standard jobs come high income, more facilities and less peace of mind. Many people have tasted sweet success in their careers today, than they could do in the past. But the pressure to remain successful makes life and living stressful.

Newer explorations to the space, sun, moon, Mars and other planets are being planned everyday; while people have little communication with their own family members and with their neighbours. The picture at the dinner table is increasingly becoming like this: the family members sitting around the table – a spoon in one hand and a mobile in the other, eyes fixated onto the screen! Where is the time for bonding, communication, emotional development within the family that used to be a tale to boast years down the lane?

There was a time when families lived under thatched houses or one-room apartments, but did share their joys and sorrows with each other. With increasing modernization, bigger houses with excellent amenities mark prosperity. But, with it comes the concept of individual space (which is so widely misunderstood) – a room for each member of the family, thus isolating each person to his/her own corner. Gaps in the family bonding are wide enough to give space to extra-marital relationships and conflicts among the members.

Healthcare is at its best today than it was few decades back. But giving the healthcare think tanks a tough time, are lifestyle diseases and psychological problems, which are at their peaks today than they were anytime previously. Alienation leading to depression, performance pressure giving rise to anxiety disorders and the pressure to conform to changing patterns giving rise to personality disorders.

We are increasingly developing into an impatient generation. We want things to be done instantly – no matter to whatever extent we need to go to get our ends met. The practice of delayed gratification and self-control are quickly fading into the oblivion.

We cannot travel back in time to those simple days of innocence and bliss. Time moves forward. Development is the name of the day. And we all want to taste the boons of modernization. However as we aim to fly high in the air, let’s bear in mind that dust we are and to dust we shall return. No matter what era we belong to, we need to hold the basic life values dear to the heart and pass on the same to the generation next.