I see a lot of strained relationships around me right now. Some of them are mine. It's difficult trying to sort out what my responsibility is in each of these relationships with family. (Another good reason to have a sound spiritual counselor; they will tell you what is yours and what isn't!)
In all these situations, I know there are deep wounds that really don't have much to do - on the surface - with the current issues at hand. However, if I've learned one thing in these past months in counseling it is this: If you don't fix your stuff, it won't get fixed and you'll just have to keep dealing with it. Issues like these do not fix themselves, and no one can fix our stuff for us. We have to do it.
Cold comfort, I know. That means we can't just sit around and whine (or wine, as the case may be.) Whatever is our responsibility in these messy situations, we can work on that AND ONLY THAT. Continually going over other's faults won't get us anywhere (except, perhaps, in a deeper hole.)
Even with the best of intentions, we sometimes hurt others and we get hurt. We try to fix things, and we make it worse. We try to talk to the other person and we get nowhere. We've done everything we can.
The Gospel yesterday had something to say about this. (Really.) Jesus, speaking to his disciples, promised us a Spirit of truth. If we are listening, we will hear the truth, sent to us by God. (Of course, if we are too busy picking someone else apart, we aren't listening and we will likely miss it.) This Spirit of truth, Christ says, will give us everything that is Christ's and give it to us. Wow.
How does that help fix a messy or broken relationship? Here is what to do: Shut up. Listen, prayerfully, to what God is telling you. Work on your stuff. Pray some more.
That's it. It would be nice if there were a magic formula that instantly heals all wounds and makes us forget why we were ever upset in the first place. But that is not God's design for us. His design is that He sends us the Spirit of truth, and that everything that is Christ's is also ours. That is surely a better plan than anything we could come up with.
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