How to Restore Your Broken Relationships

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”
– Anaïs Nin

Let’s Start Here

Since Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, I’d like to put down the chocolate, over-stuffed teddy bears, vases of roses, and lovey-dovey sentiments because maybe you’re hurting.

A friend said something that cuts you in two. Your mind’s replaying a fight with your significant other. You can’t put your finger on it, but something’s just not right between you and your kids. It’s a struggle with someone you’ve known for years or a big misunderstanding with a new co-worker. While it’s nice to celebrate a day of love…life’s messy and I’m sure your wounds need healing just as much as mine do.

Next week I’ll be sharing several steps you can take to foster restoration in your relationships, but let’s begin with some preparation first so we step into it with
an open heart
.

How to Prepare Yourself to Restore Broken Relationships

Make time this week or weekend to ponder the state of your relationships. It’s easy to love those who love us and are kind to us, but let’s move into the the hard but beautiful work of taking care of the relationships in our lives that have brought us pain.

Commit to pray for those friends or family members; ask that God would show you how to restore what’s bruised and broken. Pray when you’re eating breakfast, pray when you’re chopping carrot sticks for lunch, pray when you’re pounding chicken flat for dinner.

Then, consider the following questions before next week:

  1. Who do you need to be honest with [and what about]?
  2. What hurts and offenses are you carrying? Who has made your heart weep?
  3. Who do you need to forgive for the sake of your freedom and peace?
  4. Is there someone in your life who needs a sincere apology?
  5. What friend or family member might need your attention and care? Care that maybe you’ve been withholding.

Write down your answers or keep them swirling in your head. Either way – be sure to come back next week as we journey into healing and restoration of broken relationships.

I’m proud of you for being here, for committing to authenticity, for sharing your burdens so you don’t have to carry them alone.

If there’s a broken relationship in your life feel free to express your thoughts in the comment section. I know this is a touchy subject so don’t worry about sharing a name or even a particular person – but let your struggles out. Let them out here because this is a safe place for the wounds you hold.


6 comments… add one

  • Katy February 11, 2014, 2:01 am

    These are wonderful and productive questions to consider. Thank you. I’m a very non-confrontational person who also takes negative comments to heart. I’ve struggled with people in my life who make snide and passive-aggressive remarks that can be brushed off as “no big deal.” Because I’m always at a loss for words to defend myself when someone aims a verbal barb, I end up storing my anger and venting later to another person. Basically, gossiping and adding to the negative energy. Not a great solution. One platitude I came upon recently that helps me tremendously is “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
    I’ve made a valiant effort to understand that I can’t change people and that instead of holding offenses inside, I can step away, say a prayer, and let it go. Certain relationships have improved on that basis alone.
    Looking forward to reading and learning from other’s struggles and solutions. Love to all!

    • Deborah Penner February 12, 2014, 2:57 am

      “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

      That’s so good!! I am totally laughing inside at that one … because it is truth … And knowing that doesn’t always help me let it go … (I keep laughing as I write … it is a hilarious visual for me !! Thank you Katy!!)

      • Alysa February 13, 2014, 2:28 pm

        Isn’t that a great analogy?! I’m sure I’ll think of it often and laugh too – maybe that’ll make it easier to let things go.

    • Alysa February 13, 2014, 2:27 pm

      Have I told you lately how wonderfully you write? I just love reading your beautifully crafted comments Katy. I’m kind of an “anger stuffer” too. Yikes. Letting go is a huge, isn’t it?
      I know I’ve made situations worse when I cling to grudges.

  • Deborah Penner February 12, 2014, 3:26 am

    I have been looking at those questions intensely and deeply over the past couple years as I explore the unconscious core beliefs that have driven my life in every area via Retracing Sequence Method. Every conflict is information for me. There is nothing in my space that was not drawn there by some deeply held belief, mostly unconscious.

    So this last weekend I was feeling stuck in my apartment thanks to more snow than Oregon knows what to do with .. and my 24 year old son and I had a conversation that elicited tears … mine … historically in our relationship my tears are a reason for me to go hide. I don’t want him to see them. This time I stayed and chopped my veggies and we talked it out … It was amazing … no “We need to talk!!” … just organic conversation that led to understanding … new for both of us. My exuberance can be a bit much for him … I love my exuberance. He … not so much. He is very sanguine and matter of fact. Doesn’t always mesh well. I have always taken the stance that I am the “wrong” one in my interactions with people close to me and have tried to change to suit whoever it is. I know differently now … I matter and that belief is rewired into my neuro-pathways and cells. Our relationship matters (in this instance my son … could just as easily be my daughter) and there is a way to manage it that is honoring to each of us.

    • Alysa February 13, 2014, 2:32 pm

      I love that you mentioned ‘hiding’. I feel very much the same way a times – I’ll either flee from conflict or exacerbate it with harsh words. But when I stay, calm myself, and engage fully in difficult conversations I’ve seen how solutions spring up organically, like you mentioned above. Isn’t it refreshing! Praying for you and your kids, Deborah! Thankful you’re coming to new levels of understanding with them.

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