In the past year I’ve had two unrelated relationships get strained for different reasons. In both cases there were some confusing pieces, assumptions made, and things left unsaid. Each situation reached a point where it seemed to me that if the matter wasn’t addressed, there would be a fading out of the connection. And since I aspire to keep authentic friendships, I went there. I took the risk to name the elephant in the room with each person. I tried to open up a discussion that could clear the air and heal anything in need of healing.
With one person, this effort was received and after a couple of real conversations we got back on track. I’m grateful I took the chance to cut through the misunderstandings and I’m grateful this person was willing to meet me there. We had not forgotten one another’s hearts.
With the other, it blew up in my face. Quickly I realized that this person did not want to go there. It was as if sharing my experience conjured up more than they could handle. Had I not gone the genuine route we might still be in touch. But I don’t regret trying to bridge the gap as it’s better to know the limits of this situation for now.
So often we are afraid to dive into the messiness of honest communication, to give the benefit of the doubt, to look at our shadows, to acknowledge shared pain, and to reach for a loving response that promotes reconciliation. And true, sometimes this process won’t unfold the way we had hoped it might. Yet if we don’t go there, we’ll never know the potential of our relationships. So why not name it and find out.
May you be inspired!