Restitution & Reconciliation

Some of the pain we caused or received may seem unforgiveable. We cannot control whether or not the person we are seeking forgiveness from will actually forgive us. Nor can we control whether or not someone who has hurt us will want to reconcile. It may be that the person we are seeking reconciliation with is dead or refuses to have contact with us. Trying to force reconciliation on an unwilling recipient will most definitely cause more harm than good, and in this process we must remember—first, do no more harm. This may be more of a process than an event as trust is slowly rebuilt. In this process, realize that the words restitution and reconciliation are active words. They require us to DO something and not just say “I’m sorry.” It is the proof that we really are sorry and not just wanting to get ourselves off the hook. We are trying to give something in order to “restore” what we have taken away. If you can’t do something for that person, perhaps you can give to some cause that is important to that person. If you ponder the question, “What can I do?” with a humble and seeking heart, I believe ideas will come to you. Sometimes the only thing you can do is to wait for the other person to heal a bit first. Try to understand what the other person is feeling, and you can feel guided.

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