I’m generally not the clumsy one in our family. I leave that title to they know who. I like to fix broken things. Especially relationships. Broken ones. It’s really hard for me to rest until I know I have done everything in my power to make things right. It’s really important to me.
In the past couple of days, I have been communicating with a friend who is very important to me. Trying to fix things. Again. Not that they keep getting broken, but they weren’t ever really fixed. At least from my perspective. Even after so many conversations and tearful moments. I was sent an article about “Overlooking Offences.” It was an excellent article and there were some good reminders which I took note of. I slept on it and wrote this in reply. “Some things can be overlooked but other things can be talked about. People have flown across oceans to make things right with people they really care about.” Talking may be more exhausting and for a while, things may seem like they’ve gone even further downhill; but isn’t that better than just pushing stuff in and down and pretending that everything is ok?
If we have questions, we need to be able to ask them. No limits. If those questions aren’t answered to our satisfaction, we need to have the freedom to ask them again; with no fear of rolling eyeballs and huge “Seriously?” sighs. I’m not talking about being deliberately annoying, but in a mature and reconciliatory way. Aiming at healing and deeper relationships. I agree, sometimes we can just “get over” things, but at other times, it is really helpful to talk things through.
I had this thought too. If my questions aren’t answered and I’m not ok with that, it leaves me with a sense of emptiness. It’s not as if I live in that place, but every now and again something will trigger it off and I feel the pain again. Maybe it’s like being an adopted child; so grateful for their beautiful adoptive parents, but empty with the unanswered question, “What happened?” Most go after the answers and for a while, the pain is cutting. They may even have more questions, but at least they know what happened and they can move on.
When there is a misunderstanding or fall out, we can go one of two ways. Ignore it and move on and away from the relationship, or do whatever we can to fix it. If it still can’t be fixed, at least we’ll know we’ve done everything in our power to fix what is broken.
This requires bravery. Courage. Vulnerability. The ability to face the truth about myself and own what I have contributed to the chaos.
So, this morning I opened our curtains a little too enthusiastically and knocked down three beautiful bowls given to me by my friend Cathy from Cyprus. They aren’t costly but really important to me. When I saw the bits of pottery all over the floor, I was tempted to sweep them all into the bin and forget I ever owned them. But then I thought of the letter I had just sent to my friend and I made a decision to fix them. Deliberately. Carefully. Piece by piece.
I’m so glad I did.
Part 2 coming up 🙂