Friday, December 3, 2010

Do You Want to be Right or Reconciled?

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.

Happy Weekend!


  1. What an encouraging thought for the season!

  2. I feel so bad for your friend! I couldn't live being at odds with my family. I am so fortunate to have my family and my in-laws that all get along so well.
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend Karla, we are going to go get our tree today, the kids can't wait!

  3. I truly hope that your friend thinks about the conversation that you had with her and swallows her pride. Forgiveness doesn't mean that you agree with a person, it simply means that you are willing to put aside your differences for the sake of the relationship. It's a gift you give yourself as well as the other person. There is so much power in forgiveness.

  4. Lovely post Karla. So agree with your thoughts and also the thoughts of Karen. It's so true that many of us (me included) feel that to forgive someone means we are saying they were right; and it doesn't mean this.
    A very timely lesson/post.

  5. I agree with this to an extent. I'm by nature not one to hold grudges, but I do think that doing so just gives that person more power over you by affecting your feelings negatively. It's very rejuvenating to just let something go and move on.

    The only part where I disagree slightly is that sometimes people pull away from their families for good reasons such as constant manipulation and/or emotional abuse. While a person might always be wistful about that decision, wishing s/he had a kinder family, it doesn't mean it's a poor choice. If someone does everything they can to reconcile, and the other party won't give at all, sometimes it's simply better to move on, even if they are family. Still, though, forgiving that abusive person without interacting with them again seems like the best of both worlds.

  6. @Anonymous. I completely agree with what you mentioned about pulling away from those that are manipulative and/or emotionally abusive. I think when it comes to differences of opinion and misunderstandings, it's much easier to reconcile.

    In fact, I had to distance myself from a close family member who was manipulative and also used our time together in person and on the phone to vent about everything under the sun which was extremely draining. Distancing yourself can certainly be beneficial and an bring you much needed peace. :)

  7. I wish I could get my brother to see this. He and our mother have not had a relationship in about 25 years. He was very upset with her about something and won't tell anyone what it is. she rarely sees her grandson and my brother won't talk to her unless he has to. I am hoping some day he will break down that wall of his and have a relationship with our mother. I know it is the only thing in the world she has ever wanted.

  8. This is a wonderful post. I haven't had contact with my brother for over ten years (by his choice). He doesn't have anything to do with anyone in our family for unknown reasons. It's hard, but there's only so much you can do if the other person won't respond. That doesn't mean I won't stop trying though.

  9. Hi there Karla, this is the first time I have been to your blog. I couldn't have happened upon this post at a better time as my family is currently experiencing a "falling out". It is so sad to me, as 1 of 4 children to see my once close family falling apart due to anger and resentment. I am going to forward your post to them with the hopes that something hits home. I love them all so much and long for the days when we can all get together as a family again. Thanks for your thought provoking words.
    Sincerely, Beth


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