There is disaster in the air. Miscommunications. Anger. Blame. Recriminations. It is so incredibly difficult when we find ourselves in the middle of a firestorm of emotions and conclusions when relationships fall into disrepair.
Whether it is friends who part with acrimony or parents who find themselves fighting over children and property in a failed marriage, it results in truly being unable to see the other person in an rational manner.
Sometimes I find myself attempting to bridge a chasm of communication between various warring parties and find both feet on fire. Tact and discretion is strained.
Having “been there” and “done that” a few years ago I understand how emotions can run rampant when friends find relationships have reached a rupturing point and when long-term families sunder. What begins in such hope, joy, and promise is laid waste by time, miscommunication, and an inability to forgive and move forward.
There is finger pointing, harsh words are exchanged, mistrust developed, and for the married folks, lawyers and legal point/counter-point. Sometimes parents lose track of what is really important (the children) during attempts to achieve a particular goal – custody, a house, who gets the dog, and so on and so forth. Former friends may divvy up friends in common, forcing them to take sides (never a good thing).
Sometimes there are true crisis points and when the warring parties are unable or unwilling to look beyond their own pain, their own mistrust, then even greater harm happens. All situations pass in time. All pain lessens in the long run.
It is difficult to forgive in the middle of a firestorm. It is not impossible, though, but difficult as the firestorm itself whips up emotions time and time again. Just as things calm down another raging bout of inferno sweeps through triggered by some life event.
Sometimes, only through reaching forgiveness and acceptance can we survive emotionally. Sometimes only forgiveness allows us to see how we are harming others – and ultimately, ourselves. Failing to forgive is like drinking poison and then expecting it to kill the person we’re refusing to forgive. It ain’t easy, merely necessary lest we die on our own sword of anger.
Usually, forgiveness comes pretty easily to me. The worst case for me was three years of agony attempting to let go of what I could not change and accept that I have no control over another person, since the only person I have any control over is myself. It was probably the worst period in my life, bar none.
If, today, you find yourself at a juncture at which you can rage or at which you can step back and
consider forgiveness as a tool to helping yourself, I hope you travel the path less chosen. The one of forgiveness.
Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time—just like it does for you and me. ~ Sara Paddison