In our lives we inevitably make relationship mistakes, or at least, we think that we do. Todays piece is not about dwelling in who was wrong and who was wronged, but it's about what to do when a break up of a valuable relationship had already occurred. We are going to define one way we can begin to approach what should be and could be mended.
Restoring damaged relationships is an effort. A lot of things come to consideration for the one who attempts to make the first move: the fear of re-entering the pain that even the thought of reaching the opponent may bring, the inner conflict between whether or not that reconciliation is necessary, and not knowing how to begin.
I can confirm that over-coming the fear of emotional pain, as well as making a firm decision about reconnecting is a must if you want to have a heart and energy to precede.
In dealing with those two elements of reconciliation I invite you to think objectively, bring in a common sense and common wisdom about forgiveness. We all can agree that forgiveness is a steady and, often, the only path to freedom, salvation and love, all collectively manifesting an inner peace the broken relationship might be robbing you off from. You may think about forgiveness of another person, your opponent, or yourself or the circumstances, or the god itself, or all of them together. Really it is the act of forgiveness, the ritual of acceptance and unconditional surrender to love that will bring you comfort. Once you understand the value of your inner peace it's going to be easier to make the first step.
Now let's talk about your first step. From my experience with working with many women who felt either victimized or guilty, depending on which side of the conflict they were brought up to perceive themselves on, forgiveness actually wasn't the hardest part of reconciling process. It was the actuality of facing the opponent again in the real situation. They treasured their newly obtained peace so much that they would avoid at any cost confronting the person they managed to forgive.
And, you know what? As a compassionate being I could agree with them on that. But unfortunately, some times, there was no other ways: they really had to make those broken relationships work. Examples are: the parent and child relationship, or a couple which have children to look after, or an ailing parent needing help.
So here I want to give you three things you can start doing before you enter any close proximity with the person you may have forgiven in general terms but just can't seem to embrace with an open mind and heart, not yet anyway.
First step is to make a clear intention to re-start a relationship.
Here you can look at couple of elements playing a part: one is an understanding that you can start anew vs going back to what you had in the past. This will allow you to create new expectations or even minimize your expectations to simply seeing how it works out.
Another element is having a vision of what kind of relationship you would want to have with that person. Again to avoid the danger of premature disappointment, I recommend sticking with how you want to feel in that relationship. Find one positive aspect, a feeling you want to have during your first interaction, adding on as you go along, and use that feeling as an indicator of whether or not you are succeeding.
For example, one of my clients wanted to be able to be in the same room with her husband, who she felt, had betrayed her, and feel all right, like she can continue do what she would be doing and not fall into pieces or start arguing or bring up the past. That was a good modest goal she could begin with. It certainly helped her to gain confidence in herself, start trusting her own ability to be independently happy. From that strength she could continue to explore and express her needs within a renewed relationship, ask for more and give more.
Next thing after making a clear intention to reconcile is visualization of a positive outcome. If you ever were or are in the middle of a breakup that need to be mended, you would know how difficult it is to contain yourself from anger and bitterness, or guilt and embarrassment, both equally destructive for your new beginning. It seems impossible to bring yourself to a state of perfect inner peace from which you can open up and towards the other.
Visualization prepares you to contain yourself within those new positive intentions you had created earlier when it matters the most, at the very beginning of your first reconnection.
Here is a beautiful visualization I had used many times I needed help with facing people I avoided due to anger or quilt. I call this process a Rose Prayer...
A Rose Prayer
This process can help you to begin thinking about yourself as someone who can handle their feelings, someone who had practiced compassion and kindness. Believe me, it will absolutely make the difference when the real situation comes up. The scent of a rose is something you can come back to whenever you want to reinforce your confidence and positive expectations of your reconnection.
I am wishing you all the best in this most important humane process. I hope knowing how to approach the broken relationships would help you to make your first step to forgiveness and begin your healing and reconnection with your loved ones.