RECONCILIATION – THE NEED OF THE HOUR: FEELING THE NEED

Why these wars?
Why this loss of lives?
If men can love men,
And choose to live as close brethren.

Aching minds and crying hearts,
Longing for peace instead of fiery darts,
To love, indeed is an art,
Which every man must master and strive to play a part.

Reconciliation is a fruit of love. Love in the heart yearns to be reconciled with one who is not deemed to be on the same page as before.

Reconciliation refers to the restoration of previously existing friendly relations. It doesn’t simply mean ‘to patch up with someone.’ It involves much more. Though Reconciliation has been dealt with in Candles Online previously, this week is again devoted to the topic, thus recognizing its significant importance – be it in interpersonal relationships or in global ties. Without a doubt, reconciliation would make the world a better place to live in than it already is.

In today’s piece, I will be dealing with Feeling the Need for Reconciliation.

For any behaviour to manifest, there has to be a felt need. Though we do many things out of sheer habit, the human clock – be it biological, social or psychological – operates out of a felt need. Take, for example, hunger. When the hypothalamus perceives the need for food, it sends sensory signals and so you and I experience what is called hunger pangs. This leads us to go near a source of food and consume it to satiate our hunger. Just like hunger, most other physiological processes are born in the mind and are then translated into physical action/behaviour.

Reconciliation is not a physiological process, though the act of being reconciled with someone is reflected in physical and social behaviour. Unless one feels the need for reconciliation, the actual act of reconciliation doesn’t happen.

When we speak of reconciliation, we assume that there has been a point of conflict which was preceded by good relations. Genuine restoration of previous friendly relations is possible when the conflict is followed by forgiveness (which will be extensively dealt with on another day this week). Forgiveness, then gives way to the desire for reconciliation.

So then, what does it take to be reconciled with someone, why ought one feel the need for the same and how to reconcile? I’ll deal with the what and why of reconciliation in today’s piece. In the subsequent six articles of this week, we’ll talk about the how.

The intrusion of conflict into friendly relations results in the friendly ties being cut off, thus giving rise to enmity, anger, jealousy, a desire for revenge, stress and lack of peace as by-products. A continual indwelling of these vicious by-products results in a sick mind and body, thus affecting one’s intrapersonal and interpersonal well-being. Too much a cost to pay for the one life that is gifted to us!

The Bible says –

“If possible as far as it depends on you live peaceably with all.”

 These words of wisdom are not without reason. Count the costs of conflict and the blessings of peace – you’ll realize it!

So then won’t it make one look like a fool to be reconciled with someone who was only yesterday trying to cause harm? Won’t it make one a weakling before others? Is it not more logical to avenge oneself – tooth for tooth and eye for an eye?

We see this happening. Our newspapers and News channels are full of hate stories – whether social or diplomatic. Is it doing anyone any good? Well, the earth is still rotating and revolving. It hasn’t come to a standstill. But, human life feels the impact of unreconciled strained ties. Hatred breeds hatred and Love breeds love.

How then do we deal with the wrong done to us by a friend?

The easy way out is, of course, to shun all ties. But then, reconciliation is just the opposite of it. The answer to the above question is – deal with love. Sounds a bit impractical, doesn’t it? True.

How do you talk sweetly to a friend who has publicly ridiculed you? How do you go back and love your husband who has hurled abuses at you? How do you love your business partner who has syphoned huge amounts and got you thrown into prison? How do you love your wife who has cheated on you and is romantically involved with someone else? And, do you need to be reconciled with such people at all? ‘Not needed’ – many would say. ‘Not humanly possible’ – I say. Not possible unless we invoke the power of the Almighty to renew and strengthen us from within. It is for God Almighty to avenge the evil, injustice and wrongs that plague humans, and He sure does it in His way and in His time. Not for you and I to think of ways to get even and scheme and strategise the means for the same.

Reconciliation follows forgiveness and needs repentance as a necessary precursor. It takes one to forgive (or seek forgiveness) but, two to reconcile. Unless there are realization and repentance from the erring party, any desire for reconciliation doesn’t materialize.

That gives an easy excuse. Of course, you and I cannot go to such extreme extends to make an erring party realise, repent, seek forgiveness and have the desire to be reconciled. This is being over-ambitious for one’s self. And here again is where we need the power of the Almighty as He alone is the one who transforms human hearts and with God nothing is impossible – absolutely nothing!

Reconciliation not only restores friendly ties but also elevates us to a higher platform of functioning. It ensures a continued flow of love, peace and joy in our heart. It aids our soul to reflect the character of God in us. You see, while we broke away from God owing to our sin, He walked towards us to restore the friendly ties. And so, when we strive to reconcile with others, we strive for a greater goal!

Think about the depths of these words as the next six articles would take the topic to further details.

WHAT CAN SIN DO TO US?

“Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person  that defiles them.”

Sin never comes from outside, it comes from the inside. The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.

For I was BORN A SINNER–yes, from the moment my mother conceived me

For I THINK SINFUL–everything I think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood

For MY WORKS ARE SINFUL–I have fallen short of God’s glorious standard

For EARTH IS CURSED–God said, the ground is cursed because of you

Above are few interesting facts about sin which we had read earlier in the Mega Article which gave us an overall view of sin. But to be specific we need to know that sin has deadly consequences and when we commit sin we face THREE major consequences that can affect not only our earthly life but also our eternity. Let me explain them one after the other:

1. Strains Our Relationships:

How can I forget the years I wasted living a debauched life. From June 2009 to September 2011 my father never called me “SON” though both of us were under one roof. I was deprived of my father’s love. I was in such malady, my days and nights were spent in wetting my pillow, just to hear the word “SON”. I don’t blame him for not talking to me those days because I was wrong. I faced rejection and broken relationships with every human being and moreover with Jesus. Life seemed to me burdensome, cursed and death was looking like the solution for freedom from all worries.

Sin destroys our relationship with the Environment , with other Human Beings, with Self and  above all with GOD. We become hostile to God. Our relationship gets strained as I had with my father because of my sin against him and God.

2. Hostage of Guilt: We suffer with guilt of doing wrong to someone and committing sin against ourselves as well as God. Guilt literally eats us daily. I have another true story to vouch my words.

In the high school, she had friendship with her classmate boy. Though she didn’t like his behavior, she was emotionally very much inclined towards him. In their tender age they did a big mistake. She was the hostage of her sin, depression and guilt started eating her daily. The havoc of time didn’t allow her to express her inner pain to anyone. Though she was living a good life from outside but there was too much of chaos in her. Fear of rejection from her own and the guilt of sin capsized her hope of a better future. Suicide seemed the last option for her. She felt so obsessed by her sin that whatever happened around her, she started blaming herself though most of the time cases were different. It felt her good to lock herself and she thought it was right to stay aloof. Though she was fearful of death but death stood the ultimate choice. And it all happened because she was forced to surrender herself one afternoon.

3. Eternal Death: As we are spiritual beings with a body, mind and spirit we live for eternity. Our body may end when we are dead but our spirit lives for eternity. But when our spirit is soiled by sinful acts of us on this earth we face eternal death. We face eternal death when our sins are not forgiven or blotted out by God Himself. We might try to patch up with good works but it never rescues us from the guilt and condemnation within us.

John Bunyan said, “One leak will sink a ship: and one sin will destroy a sinner.”

Though by birth, by thought, by work and by living we all are sinners yet God has given us the freedom of choice. When we take the freedom of choice in absolute it takes our eternity in account. The creation of human is so enigmatic that God has put eternity in us and alongside He gave us the freedom of its sustainability. Taking freedom as absolute is sin and it ultimately gives pathway to Guilt – Condemnation and Eternal Death.

Friends, the Bible says, “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.” The choice is ours.

God the one who created us in His image is so loving and gracious that, He always keeps an EXIT door for us from sinning. Whenever we are tempted or about to commit Sin, there is always an EXIT point.

Avinash

REST, RELAX AND BE THANKFUL

What a perfect time to write about Rest and Relaxation! Summer vacations have just ended for a few and have just begun for a few. This is the time when almost everyone takes time out for some or the other form of relaxation.

But why do we need such time? Have you ever noticed? – If the computer is behaving erratically or if the Wi-Fi is down, and it seems the modem is not working. The first bit of advice that we get is switch it off count till 10 and switch it on again. And 90% of the time it works. The following quote explains the whole thing.

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… Including you. – Anne Lammot

We are all busy making something out of our life for it to mean something. We get involved in it so much that at times we forget to give ourselves a break. And stress of our daily life mounts on us. That is where rest and relaxation comes in. So, my dear friends never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

Is there a difference between rest and relaxation? Yes, even if we take a few minutes off from some strenuous work it is resting. Sleeping is resting. It gives our body some time to rejuvenate. We have all studied in Biology our body uses the sleeping time to rebuild. Many illnesses like body aches and pains and mild fever etc. are cured by a good night’s sleep.

Wherein relaxation is like meditation. It helps us unwind our mind, reduce the stress, pressure, anxiety etc. Many a times it is possible to rest without relaxing. When people have difficulty sleeping, or are restless during their sleep it is because their mind is so wound up and knotted that they are not able to relax or let go.

Coming back to our work after proper rest and relaxation increases our work potential and the quality of our output. Like they say ‘A field that has rested gives bountiful crop’.

Going on an exotic vacation is an obvious way to relax. Seeing new places, meeting new people and having different experiences gives our mind a perfect way to break out of our monotonous routine and stress of our daily life. But it is not always possible to get enough leave from work or afford an expensive getaway.

So, what are the other means to relax? I would personally recommend that we should have a regular relaxation routine instead of depending only on our annual vacations. It should be something that so completely occupies your mind that there is no space left for our niggling worries and tensions.

Playing a sport is one such activity. Because we need to concentrate so much on our game we tend to block out all other thoughts from our mind. So, playing while being an excellent exercise for our body becomes a very relaxing activity for our mind.

Same is the case with music. Singing or listening to music or playing an instrument also has a very calming effect on us. All the agitation or stress inside us just flows out of our body.

There are many other such activities. Like any kind of hobby, taking a walk in the greens, getting a massage, even doing social worketc. etc. I would look forward to hear from you all what is the most relaxing activity that you do.

Different things work for different people. For example, I hate spending time in the kitchen. I spend only the bare minimum time in kitchen that is required for cooking the daily food. But for my mom – in – law…she loves cooking and making different dishes. So, what is stressful for me is a very relaxing activity for her.

Look around and find the activity that makes you forget all your worries when you are at it. And make it a part of your regular routine.

If nothing else works the most tried and tested one is meditation and prayer. Be thankful for the things you have and give your worries to God, blank out your mind and start with a clean slate.

Rest, Relax and be thankful.

EMPTINESS OF HEART HAS THE POTENTIAL TO ACT ON RECONCILIATION

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The parable of the Prodigal son may be looked upon as a tale of forgiveness but there can be another approach to the subject. Here, we come across a man and his two sons.

One day, the younger son demands his share of the property from his father so that he could go abroad and live a luxurious life. With much hesitation but keeping his son’s momentary happiness in view the father divides his wealth and lets the son take away his share. The younger son goes abroad and squanders off his wealth among the friends he acquired.

Gradually he is left with nothing. Struggling for survival, he seeks shelter in the house of a man who put him on a job of looking after his pigs. When he encountered hunger, guilt and sorrow, he realized his mistake and thus decided to reconcile with his father. When he returned to his father, he forgave him as he was eagerly waiting for his son to return to him. And thus, his royal life was given back to him.

This feeling of reconciliation only comes when a person feels empty inside. The boy felt so and given his circumstances he could have decided to not to go back to his loving father dwelling on his guilt and embarrassment. Regardless of his father’s reaction he reached out to him. Many of us could have chosen our ego over reconciliation or even contemplated suicide, if we felt dead with guilt. The prodigal son’s elder brother was unwilling to forgive him but with the guidance of his father he too agreed to a reconciliation. Therefore, friends we can follow the example of these two brothers who chose reconciliation over their ego and self.

Next time you feel empty consider what the positive part in your heart says and choose to be productive.

Ruth Samarpita Sarkar

“EGO IS AN DEADLY ENEMY OF RECONCILIATION” – A LESSON ON WORLD PEACE DAY

i-741508_1280Today, September 21st is celebrated as the ‘International Peace Day’ and my good friend Kriti commented on yesterday’s Article on Reconciliation like this: “Sometimes peace is better than being right.. Ego should be kept apart when any issues arise between family or best friends… After all, ego will be just for an hour or day, but relationships are forever!”

She was absolutely right.

I was trying to see the dictionary meaning of the word EGO online, which describes it as: “A sense of one’s own dignity or worth, amour-propre, pride, self-esteem, self-regard, self-respect.” 

Huh! Reconciliation can’t happen at all with a person possessing the above explained attitude within him/her because ‘Reconciliation is an Humbling Experience.’

Pride is absent in Humility where as the base of Ego is Pride.

Now it is very clear to understand that how ego comes in the way of the good act of Reconciliation. There are many today who feel the need of reconciliation with their loved ones, they cry and feel sad day and night for being at a distance with their loved ones yet their ego keeps them unmoved. That is very sad.

As I mentioned earlier, that I feel so desperate to reconcile with the person I fought with previously. That’s because ego is for an hour or a day, but relationships are forever.

Friends! Is EGO the enemy, holding us back from Reconciling with our loved ones? The Bible says, Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” An enemy always destroys. So today on ‘World Peace Day,’ let’s get rid of Ego & Pride at once and reconcile to live a peaceful, happy and joyous life with our loved ones, fellow human beings and with our neighboring countries.

Stay Blessed!

(READ the Mega Article: “7 FACTORS TO RECONCILE WITH YOUR LOVED ONES & RESTORE A BROKEN RELATIONSHIP)

7 FACTORS TO RECONCILE WITH YOUR LOVED ONES & RESTORE A BROKEN RELATIONSHIP

‘Re’ is a very interesting prefix and has been used to explain something good. For example, ‘Re-union,’ ‘Re-store,’ ‘Re-conciliation,’ ‘Re-build’ and so on. But the actions involved in all these words are not easy or very difficult. I mean to say, reunion of old friends and family members is a difficult task to undertake and doesn’t happen often but it is something which is really good & is a beautiful thing to happen for everybody involved in it. Rebuilding an old house is an amazing experience though very difficult. Similarly, Reconciliation and Restoration of broken relationships are utterly difficult.

One of my younger cousins has named me as ‘Glue Man,’ because I love & try to keep my cousins together despite of regional & other differences in us. I literally hate dissension and strain in any relationship. I do not like to stay away or stop talking or communicating for long after a fight or difference of opinions. I love to keep the relationship on and on in every situation.

Because, I believe a relationship is that what gives us the strength and reason to live and survive. A relationship is the only potion that prevents and cures loneliness, depression, distress and sadness. A relationship is the only mean and measure that helps us to find a way. A relationship gives us authority on each other’s lives. A relationship is the radar or rudder of our life boat. When a relationship is broken we find ourselves in the middle of the sea, sinking down in the water inch by inch.

I feel burdened when I look around and find many broken relationships in the world today. My heart aches when I see a home torn wide apart and shattered. I feel so sad to see a child getting parted and divided physically, mentally & spiritually between two separated or divorced parents. I feel sorry for the parents who are being driven out of their homes by the children. I feel bad when the brothers fight for a piece of land and cut off their relationships with each other forever.

I know there are many among us who are broken yet want to be united back again with their loved ones. I know there are many husbands who want their wives to come back to their arms. I feel the need of many wives who are desperate to reconcile with their husbands. And I also know that it’s never too late to mend a broken relationship. It’s never impossible to get back, reconcile and restore the strained relationship. It’s never shameful to get back to your loved ones.

But the biggest difficulty that stands as mountain before us is – HOW TO RECONCILE? HOW TO REBUILD? HOW TO RESTORE? HOW TO START?

I have 7 very simple yet important factors that will help us to reconcile & rebuild a broken relationship which are mentioned as under:

  1. Feeling the Need:
    A relationship can be restored only when we have the desire to reconcile and rebuild. Unless we have a longing to come together or unite together we can’t imagine of rebuilding. For example if I think “She doesn’t show any interest to reconcile” then I would be sure that I am not ready to reconcile. When we feel the relationship with our loved ones needs to be restored because of our own need then we know that we are ready to take a step forward towards restoration.
  2. Taking the first step:
    I have seen that in life, we always tend to expect the first initiation from the opposite party. I have also had the experience in my own life that if I want to reconcile then I have to take the first step. I can’t expect that somebody will come and give me a glass of water when I feel thirsty. I need to express my feelings or ask for a glass of water or get it myself. The process of reconciliation and rebuilding starts when we take the first initiation in response to our own need.
  3. Expecting Denial:
    When we are on the verge of rebuilding & restoring we should always be ready for denial to our attempts. The other person may not want to rebuild or reconcile initially. So we should not be disappointed with her/his denial, we should be ready to face that and accept it in a very positive way.
  4. Patience is the Key:
    We should never lose our patience. We always need to remember that “breaking is much easier than rebuilding.” We need patience. We need perseverance. We have to keep coming again and again to reconcile. And one day when we succeed we have to start rebuilding slowly.
  5. A Humbling experience:
    It is really not at all easy to come again and again expecting a response to our invitation to reconcile and restore a strained relationship. It is a humbling experience. We need humility along with patience to break the wall between us and our loved ones. When we face denial our ego may challenge us to take a step back and stop thinking of bending down again. We might have patience to come again but we might not stay calm when we hear absurd & hurting words from the other side. We need to remind ourselves that rebuilding was our need and we have to bend down again and again to reconcile, to recreate and to rebuild.
  6. Asking Forgiveness:
    We may say, ‘I was not wrong’ when we are allowed to come close to the person with whom we want to restore our relationship. But we should remember that we were also part of that act of breaking our relationship. So we need to ask forgiveness from our partner, from our children, from our parents or whoever it may be.
  7. Having Faith in Our Love:
    The Bible says ‘love never fails.’ It is true. When we have true love springing up from our heart nothing can stop us. Love really never fails. So we need to have faith in our love for our beloved. That will win the battle for us.

I have never mentioned that these are the 7 steps to reconcile & rebuild, rather I said that these are the 7 important factors involved in the process of reconciling and rebuilding. All these factors have to work together. It’s not that we should finish the first step and then try out the second one. All these have to work together and then only we can expect a rebuilt relationship.

Friends! Let’s start our reconciling & rebuilding process with a word of prayer. May God bless us to cherish a reconciled and rebuilt relationship.

Author’s Bio: Chiradeep Patra is a finance man who works in a NGO at Kolkata. He is a writer, motivator & counselor.