You may have read the title and thought to yourself, ‘sure. who doesn’t want better relationships’ but that never happens. People are people and we are all just stuck with them.
While this may be a negative viewpoint; although true as well, it doesn’t mean that your relationships can’t be better. How do I know? I used to have terrible relationships. Ironically enough; I am educated in the field of communication and have taught communication courses at the collegiate level for over a decade. It just goes to show I too have had to experience those relationships that are now not.
So that’s the secret? How do we get better relationships with people who just aren’t willing to change? How do we get better relationships from those who don’t see our point of view? Those who just never seem to listen to what we have to say? Those that just don’t seem to get it?
I will tell you plainly like I was years ago. Your problem my friend is you. Yep. I said it. You are the common denominator in all of those relationships right? If you want them to be better then why not focus on what you can do about making them better? I can surely tell you that you complaining about what they are instead of what you think they should will not get you anywhere. I tried that too.
What was ‘my’ problem? Why were my relationships not going the way they should have been? Why was I not fulfilled? Why was everything so difficult? Simple. I was unforgiving. You see; unforgiveness steals your joy. It robs you of anything pleasing and sweet. It is like the cancer that spreads ever so slowly that you have no idea what is going on until the pain is so deep that you can’t handle it any more. It exudes out of your body in ways that people don’t talk about at Sunday dinner. It brings with it bitterness, resentment and anger. It is sly like that snake just waiting to wrap it’s nasty head around you; all the while you go about your business complaining that everyone else is the problem. They are not my friend.
Forgiveness blocks your ability to be of service to others because it keeps you focused on being the victim. It keeps you from receiving blessings because people quite frankly; don’t want to be around you. It destroys who you are to the deepest core. Not this; hypertension and arthritis are linked to unforgiveness according to a Harvard study in 2007.
It is through forgiveness that your relationships can be restored. You can be healed and those people in your life can be forever changed by your one choice to forgive. It may be the hardest thing you ever do; but the most rewarding. You see; none of us are any different. We all have stories. I was abandoned by my biological mother, lived in a foster home and at 16 a homeless shelter. If you think I wasn’t unforgiving you are kidding yourself! Maybe you too can relate; or maybe something else happened to you in your past. The time is now to forgive that person. Now is the time to be free. Now is the time to live your life. The forgiveness isn’t about anyone else but you. Don’t you think that you are worth it?
When I made the choice to forgive my mother and all the people who hurt me; everything in my life changed. My heart changed, my eye color changed and even my choice changed. You may think that these are great but wait- there’s more! I was reunited with my biological mother. We have a healthy relationship and were even featured guests on The Today Show.
Take it from me first hand; forgiveness steals so much. I would love more time back and maybe even some of those broken relationships; but the good news is that I am going forward free of what sucked the life out of me. And I can do it with my mother. If I had chosen to stay unforgiving there is so much that we both would have lost out on and I can’t imagine ever going back down that path. I hope that you don’t either!
There is so much more about forgiveness than I have time for in this post but this is the first step. You have to take an introspective look at yourself and see if maybe the real issues in your relationship are caused by you and your unforgiveness. If they are- stop blaming others and start fixing yourself. You will be glad you did!