Regardless of why or how people create relationships, it is no mystery that we love them. We love to be loved by others. But why? I believe we were created as relational beings, longing to be paired with another to fulfill our needs and help others fulfill theirs. Friendships, families, romantic partners, co-workers, even the friendly barista behind the Starbucks counter are all perfect examples of relationships. They all offer connection and a place to give and receive affection. Some relationships rarely struggle and some struggle all the time, but I believe their purpose is identical: to learn and experience love and forgiveness.
I doubt anyone reading this article has been exempt from a relationship without struggle. Struggle is an essential ingredient in relationships when wanting to experience the love we all seek from relationships, and without struggle, we would not need forgiveness, which is the other essential ingredient for fully experiencing a relationship. I believe struggle and forgiveness help us learn the true look of love. As humans, we are not perfect, so it is no surprise that someone in a relationship will mess up from time to time and need forgiveness. In those moments, it is important to remember the larger context of what is happening. I find most people genuinely good hearted and unable to intentionally hurt someone they love (call me an optimist). So in the moments when someone has hurt you by yelling, blaming, lying, etc., try remembering the little things like the day they had, the friend they are mad at, the hurt they feel personally from other people, the questions they ask about the future, their self-worth, and the direction in life that is being taken.
Unfortunately, you may be the person they feel most comfortable with and happen to give their frustrations to. (If you are feeling hurt most days of the week, I encourage you to seek counseling from a professional in your area. This may be a sign of something severe in the relationship that needs professional attention.) In the midst of an argument, numerous happenings take place. Feelings are hurt, needs are unmet, resentment arises, anger is shown, words are not heard, meaning is misinterpreted, and the relationship can feel incredibly unstable. Walking away and staying mad is easy, and sometimes necessary for a few hours, but healing and reconnection of the relationship happen when forgiveness if offered.
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to give when you feel personally attacked, hurt, and unloved, but I believe it is the only thing that will repair and heal a hurting relationship. Loose ends of an argument only create resentment and build up unhealthy residue on the relationship. Forgiveness seems to wipe the relationship clean and create a space for passion and healing. We love to be loved and we love relationships, but what I think is forgotten is that relationships are tricky, hard to navigate, and incredibly scary in moments when they feel unstable. Relationships hurt when our needs are not met and walking away has become the popular resolution to this problem. I challenge you to see what happens when you chose to not walk away, take a risk, and forgive the person who has hurt you. Experiencing unconditional forgiveness is incredibly powerful and repairing. I wonder what kind of relationships we could see if everyone stayed put and learned the power of forgiveness and love.
If you are interested in Indianapolis Marriage Counseling, contact Kristie L. Watts at Lotus Group, Fishers IN. When You’re ready, we’re here: 317-595-5555