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.

COST OF BITTERNESS

Sana was extremely angry at her husband “How dare he say something like this about my body in front of his friends? He doesn’t love me anymore. He only likes to make fun to me.” She even fought with him which only landed in a few more blames games and finger pointing.

This did not end just a few days. He continued to mock her and she continued to feel disappointed, rejected and angry. Gradually, that anger turned into resentment. She started disliking her husband. Everything that he did – she would resent.

On Valentine’s day when he came home with a bunch of red roses – instead of feeling special, Sana said “After 5 years of marriage, you don’t even know that I hate red roses. You should have got me carnations. You don’t know me at all. You never even make an effort to know what I like and dislike.” One can imagine how there Valentine’s night would have ended.

As a little girl Sana was physically abused by her Uncle. This is deep dark secret inside her heart that nobody knows not even her husband. From that age, she started to dislike her body and feels horrible about it. She doesn’t like the touch of her husband nor does she enjoy being intimate with him. She has a very poor relationship with her own body so even a slight remark about her body makes her angry. This is something that her husband doesn’t know and resentment also grows inside of him because of Sana’s bitterness.

Bitterness in life usually comes in because of some injustice that has happened to a person. It is a state of persistent resentment which has resulted from a combination of anger, rejection, frustration and injustice. Bitterness is a state of mind when no stimulus is a positive stimulus. All that happens around that person is bad/wrong.

Such people very well know that if they let go off this bitterness, life can be merrier but they still hold on to this resentment as if this is a life-saving boat for them. Why is it so?

Being bitter or resented has its own gains but these are very selfish and short term gains. For example –

  • Being right or proving the other person wrong
  • Gaining sympathy/importance of others
  • Need to hurt somebody else and hence feeling superior or powerful
  • Seeing yourself as a victim “always” and hence feeling helpless and powerless

These are some examples of what a person gains by being bitter.

However, there is also a huge cost compared to the gain. For example, Cost of bitterness can be:

  • Lose loving relationships
  • Prolong mental and emotional pain
  • Leads to long lasting anxiety and depression
  • Lose out on joyful moments of life
  • Resentment is a huge stress. Ageing quickly because of this mental stress
  • Affinity to diseases because of this bitterness. Impact on physical health is immense.

Remember negativity only breeds itself.

Do you really want to choose a short term gain which comes at such a huge cost?

Just take a step back from your situation and you will be able see what is the short term gain you are running after whereas you losing out so much on life by paying the cost for it.

Often when I get bitter in my life – I just ask a question “Is being right more important than having a loving relationship?” And almost instinctively I know the answer.

DELIBERATION LEADS TO LIBERATION

(Image Source: www.healthcourses.com.au)

Anger is something which is very common and very difficult issue to deal with. I struggle daily. I try to keep my anger as my slave but the reverse always happens.

We had a good week discussing about anger with lots of ideas regarding what anger is and what it can do and there were also many suggestions, advises and steps to get rid of anger.

But one thing I marked in all the discussions that the step to manage anger is an act of deliberation. We have to take steps deliberately to get rid of our angry attitude.

Whether we move out from the place where anger can be flared or say a sweetest ever sorry to the person concerned, are deliberate actions.

Instead of getting angry we can also take a deliberate step of taking a time out or few seconds off to get the right perspective by going for a jog or doing something else than moving around the “anger spot.”

It is a deliberate action to keep our mouth shut and not utter a single word when we are angry or else we can hurt so many people. Another instance will be when we come across a person who is often angry with us, we should make sure we treat him well so that we heap coals of fire on his head.

We need to understand the fact that we can only control our own selves, the sooner we realize that, the sooner we’ll be on our way to mastering our anger.

We all know when anger takes over awful things can happen. Anger is a bondage. It’s a natural emotion but if not controlled at the right time it can be devastating even to the point of murder. As the scripture says –

“Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down.”

Let’s be liberated from the bondage of anger by deliberately taking the steps that can put off the anger within us.

Stay Blessed!!!

HOW DO YOU CONTROL YOUR ANGER?

(Image Source: www.time.com)

All of us experience “uncontrollable rage” at times. It is a feeling of being out of control; it is an acute negative and evil feeling which I really cannot describe in words. I remember the first I got into an anger of this kind. It was a fight with my husband and I know that I was feeling completely taken over by somebody else. I said harsh and bitter things which I really did not mean but it was almost like a devil taken over me wanting to hurt everybody around me. I later realized that it was a feeling of extreme helplessness that made me so angry and so harsh.

Like they say – words once spoken cannot be taken back. Anger does no good to anybody. There have been instances where I have broken things in anger and hit myself (because I cannot hit the other person), only to deeply regret later on. Anger makes you do things that you could be extremely ashamed of.

After a couple of such incidents, I figured out a way to handle my anger. Every time I feel out of control and have an urge to spit out poison on the other person or go violent, I just take a second off to get the right perspective – then I just put on my running shoes and go for a jog. The first time I did this, I ended up running almost 5 Kilometers non-stop because there was just so much angry energy inside me. After the running, I usually get so tired that there is no energy left even to argue with somebody. Then usually the next day, I talk calmly with the concerned person to get issues resolved. I have even done this at my professional life as well and it works without fail for me.

This is my way to handle the uncontrollable rage, but everybody has a different way to do this. It is very important to know what works for you. It is also a test of your own will power.

So, take some time off and think what your behavior is when you are angry and what could work for you to get over that heated moment.