Sunday, January 06, 2008

Reconciliation

Conversation on a Park Bench, by Jack Riddle


Usually I keep my posts pretty light, but today I find myself feeling introspective. Those who know me best know I'm prone to holding grudges. Maybe "hold" is too mild. Cherish grudges, keep score, harbor resentments, believe fervently revenge is a dish best served at any temperature... well, okay, I'm not that bad. I've never put out a hit on anyone (even one ex-boyfriend who really deserved it).

Lately reconciliation has been on my mind. The Sunday before Christmas I was assigned to give a talk in our sacrament meeting. Right away I knew I should focus my talk on a line from "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing":

Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled

In researching, I found something interesting. Reconciliation is a compound of three Latin roots: re, meaning “again”; con, meaning “with”; and sella, meaning “seat.” Quite literally, reconciliation means “to sit again with.”

In church, I talked about how earlier last year I had resolved to put aside the assorted resentments towards acquaintances, friends and particularly family members I'd been carrying around over the years. In the months following my decision, I found forgiveness challenging. (Note the subtle tone of understatement.) Some of those grudges were longstanding, but I began to realize being willing was enough for the change to start to take place. When I prayed for help, the Lord made up the difference for my shortcomings and as I became open, chances to forgive came to me.

Much of what happened is too personal to share on the internet except in the most general terms, but I profoundly appreciate these lessons I'm learning and those who've graciously forgiven my flaws. I'm so very grateful I can again sit comfortably together with family and friends because life is too short, too fragile, for me to waste time feeling hurt, self-righteous, and estranged.

3 comments:

aubrey said...

"..because life is too short, too fragile, for me to waste time feeling hurt, self-righteous, and estranged."

i love that. this is exactly how i feel! i've had a few bits of drama with the women in my family and i am of this opinion. though they are not. why the heck hold a grudge and coddle those mean feelings when life is so short..you want to enjoy every minute and you can't enjoy it when you're having mean thoughts about someone or something that happened.

good for your for making reconciliation with your fam!

No Cool Story said...

Thanks for writing that. It's a good reminder and encouraging knowing that prayer and willingness to obey commandments can heal anything.

I love the meaning of "Reconciliation"! :)

chicklegirl said...

Aubrey, the thing I am finally learning (and I'm sure will continue to learn on new levels) is the only thing I can control is my own response to a situation or to someone else's behavior. I'm trying so hard to just be in the present (forget past wrongs, not anticipate any new drama, just let people be where they're at). If it's not a big deal, I try to just let it go right then. (Most of the time I can do this!) Then my energy is freed up and if there's a real problem (me or someone else truly being harmed), I can deal with it in the moment, as soon as I am calm and collected enough to talk about my feelings. To the extent I am able to do this, it feels so much more peaceful than the way I used to operate.

NCS, I think it just takes willingness and time. Each of those mean different things to different people, depending on how deeply they've been hurt. If the hurt is very deep, forgiveness may take a lifetime, and that's okay. Once my counselor said that the important thing was to be willing to let go, be able to visualize myself forgiving at some future point, and that if I could do that, it would happen when I was ready. And she was right.