I recently attended a conference for dads and, in one session, a man described a bitter divorce, resulting in him losing all contact with his young daughter, now 26-years-old. He expressed the pain and powerlessness of not being able to reconcile with her and of his daughter’s refusal to connect with him in any way. Others in the session found this difficult to comprehend and suggested he try again to reconcile with her.
I understood some of the pain and powerlessness this man described.
Sometimes reconciliation is not possible. What do you do then?
In a previous post I shared some details surrounding my divorce and a few of the lessons I learned in the years after. I briefly mentioned that my ex-wife made the decision to end all contact with me. This was very painful. She’d been my best friend since I was a teen and now she was cut completely from my life.
The loss of my best friend was difficult enough to deal with but as the years passed I began to understand myself more and to understand some of the dynamics of our relationship and what contributed to the end of our marriage. I regretted my failure to be a better husband.
Sometimes reconciliation is not possible.
I wanted to come to some kind of reconciliation with her but this was made impossible by her refusal to speak with me.
Over the years I gradually came to understand that I could still reconcile the relationship within myself.
If you are dealing with an irreconcilable someone or situation you might find some peace by implementing the following five practices:
1. Recognize and accept how you feel. There is nothing wrong with feeling angry or upset about a situation. These feelings are normal and appropriate. However, one must also come to accept the situation for what it is and realize what you are unable to change. You can change your response to the situation. Choose to focus on what you can control.
2. Change how you think about the other person. If something triggers a negative thought do your best to quickly replace it with a positive thought and memory. This will help with the next point.
3. Speak positively. Do your best to avoid saying negative things about the other person if they come up in conversation.
4. Recognize and appreciate the other person’s positive qualities and strengths. There are, in most cases, traits we can appreciate in another person and it’s always best, regardless of the situation, to concentrate on these.
5. Offer up prayers or peaceful thoughts & wishes for the other person. When you think about the person you are unable to reconcile with say a brief prayer for him or her or express a wish for happiness.
Offering up well-wishes for the other person will also improve your mood and prevent you from dwelling on frustrating and painful memories.
There are, in most cases, traits we can appreciate
in another person and it’s always best,
regardless of the situation, to concentrate on these.
Even if the other person refuses to participate in reconciliation you can still come to some place of peace and reconciliation within yourself.