As individuals, we are all unique. We all have our own interests, beliefs and opinions. Sometimes the greatest challenges we face with others pertains to differences of opinion or thoughts that someone has that we just cannot understand, relate to or accept. I've seen so many families and friendships torn apart by differences of opinion that lead to resentment and anger.
Last week I bumped into an acquaintance and we had a great talk. During that conversation I learned that she has not spoken to her mother for 5 years because of an unresolved incident that occurred years ago. She seemed to still hold a lot of anger about the situation as if it had happened yesterday.
I guess I get a little more sentimental during the holiday season, with thoughts of family and togetherness. I felt sad for her. Sad because if they continue to hold this grudge there may come a time where they might not get a chance to say the words they truly want to say to one another. We never know exactly how long we have on this earth, life is precious and short. I encouraged her that day to call her mom and I asked her, 'How would you feel if that was the very last conversation you got to have with her?" She got quiet, looked sad and seemed to ponder what I had just asked her but didn't reply. The truth is that almost everyone we know has had some sort of falling out with someone in their lifetime-be it their parents, siblings, neighbor, a friend or even a colleague, big or small.
Let us not create such high walls of pride that we miss out on the very joy of the most precious relationships around us. In our house, when hubby and I don't agree and one tries to convince the other that our way is better than the other's we have a phrase that we use to keep each other on track and accountable.
"Do you want to be right or reconciled?"
Usually after that we realize the silliness and triviality of what we were disagreeing upon in the first place and I would far rather be reconciled and living in love than holding a grudge, competing with or feeling bitter towards my husband. That doesn't mean that when he asks me that, it doesn't irk me for a second or two, especially when I'm feeling really passionate about something.
As December has arrived and the holiday season is upon us, I encourage you to seek restoration in your own friendships and family where things may have become strained somewhere along the way. Sometimes we try and try and it seems as if nothing will work or get the other person to break down their walls but persistence does pay off. If this doesn't apply to you maybe you can be the voice in a friend's life that encourages them to do just that. It may be the best Christmas gift that you could give to them this season.