How To Go From Forgiveness To Reconciliation : It never feels good to be in conflict with another person, especially a loved one. You know that no matter how much they hurt you, you’ll need to forgive them in order to move on. This is the process of healing, and once you forgive a person, you can then work on reconciling with them. How can you do this?
Are Forgiveness And Reconciliation The Same Thing?
When you read the title, you probably thought this. Surely, when you forgive someone, you reconcile with them? In fact, they are two different things. Here’s the difference between them:
Forgiveness: The important thing to know about forgiveness is that you don’t need the other person to be sorry for what they did. “We often think we need the other person to come to you to ask for forgiveness, but that isn’t true” says health writer Andrea Carpenter, from Essay Writing Services. “In fact, you can forgive a person even if they’ve shown no remorse for what they’ve done.”
Essentially, when you forgive someone, you’re releasing them from a debt. When you forgive someone, it doesn’t instantly make things better, or cancel out the hurt you feel. It also doesn’t mean that you’re allowing others to hurt you or excusing their bad behavior. Instead, you’re releasing the both of you from the situation, so you can move forward.
Reconciliation: This is where the true work begins, after forgiveness. Unlike forgiveness, the other person needs to be genuinely sorry about what they did, and want to find a way forward with you. When they do this, you can both work together to make your relationship stronger.
Again, you don’t need to accept reconciliation with that person right away. If they come and genuinely apologise to you, you have the right to accept the apology but ask for space. Those who are genuine and want to repair the relationship will do this and give you time.
Moving From Forgiveness To Reconciliation
Now you know there’s a difference between the two, you need to find a way to go from forgiveness to reconciliation. How does that work between you and the person that wronged you? It will always differ slightly, depending on what that person did, but let’s take a look at how it could work.
Minor conflicts: When the conflict is minor, you’ll often see that forgiveness and reconciliation happen together. For example, say a husband says something harsh to his wife, that’s rather out of character for him. In this situation, he may realise right away that he’s done wrong.
When this happens, he’ll apologise to his wife right away, and they’ll agree to move past it. The wife knows that this was a one off instance, and she can see that her husband is sorry for saying what he did. They can put it behind them, and their relationship is still strong.
Major conflicts: This is where there will be a longer road towards reconciliation, and the fact is you may not actually get there with this person. Let’s take the example of the husband and wife again. Perhaps the husband has a pattern of speaking harshly, or even insulting his wife. He says he’s sorry every time, but it gets harder to reconcile because it keeps repeating.
To properly reconcile, he will have to recognise this pattern, and make steps to break it. In this case, this could be anything from stopping to think before he speaks, to getting therapy to understand what he does. When he does this, it’s showing his wife he takes her feelings seriously, and wants to do better.
Is reconciliation always possible?
While in many cases you’ll reconcile and go on to be stronger, sometimes you just won’t. Sometimes you’ll be in a situation where you can’t reconcile, and that’s ok. For example, if the other person has a pattern of abusing you, then you may not be able to reconcile. This is no fault of yours, but you can still forgive them.
As you can see, forgiveness and reconciliation aren’t the same, but once you forgive someone you can begin the act of reconciling with them. It may not be easy, but many find that their relationships are stronger once they’ve been through the process.
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