I hope you took some time over the last two weeks to think about a relationship in your life that has been suffering; that you’ve reflected on your memories of time spent with that person.
If you recall, I encouraged you to remove all judgment and consider only the positives that this connection brought to your life.
You may have completed my Let Go of What’s Holding You Back checklist and worksheet to help you decide whether to let go with grace or take steps to restore that relationship.
If you’ve chosen to restore a relationship to a place of importance in your life and you’ve set new boundaries, it’s time to talk about how to embrace the path forward.
We’ll frame that path in the context of forgiveness, acceptance, and enjoyment.
For many of us, all the strain and added stress from the pandemic and a contentious election year transferred over to our relationships. The loss of face-to-face interaction during stay-at-home measures meant communication had to happen in new and challenging ways, like video, text, email, etc. Our messages and meaning may have gotten lost in translation. We may have felt misunderstood or unheard, and the other person may have felt that way too. And when frustrations boiled over, grace was not always extended.
All of this is understandable. The absence of social interaction has deeply affected relationships. To be able to embrace the path forward, we must first extend forgiveness for all missteps made during this time — to yourself and to the other person.
If we hope to restore a relationship, acceptance must follow forgiveness. You or the other person may have acted in ways that have created feelings of guilt or shame. Practicing self-love can be a powerful first step to overcome these feelings and move towards acceptance of yourself and the other person.
Moving forward, life will return to a version of normalcy. But it is helpful to acknowledge that things may never be the same for this relationship. In some cases, scars from past hurts will remain, but there may also be opportunities for deeper and more meaningful connections.
We must acknowledge the collective loss of connection we have all experienced. We’ve lost precious time together, whether it be family celebrations, life milestones, or normal social activities. The enjoyment we derive from these moments of connection cannot be underestimated. They are crucial to our overall quality of life.
Focusing on enjoying life is a great first step not only to reconnect with this person but to restore some sense of normalcy to your own life. Think about what it was you missed about the other person and relationship. What drew you to each other in the first place? What did you enjoy doing together? Maybe it was that weekly cup of coffee, a chat at the mailbox, or a morning dog walk together. Now is the time to rekindle those simple moments of enjoyment.
Embracing the Path Forward Through Human Connection
In time, we’ll resume some semblance of our past routines and day-to-day life.
Whatever that looks like, we will always have an innate human need for connection. And relationships are essential for our overall wellness.
Your social connections will come from existing relationships and any new ones you choose to cultivate. As for this particular relationship — it has suffered so it is fragile. Restoring it may not be easy, but it is possible when you practice forgiveness, acceptance, and enjoyment.
Before you get started, check in with yourself and your feelings. What is your general attitude as you consider restoration? Then click here to claim your FREE gift, A Checklist For Keeping a Positive Attitude, to help you maintain an optimistic mindset along the way.
Make an effort to stay open to the new things you might discover about yourself and the other person along the way. I wish you luck in your relationship repair.
Until next time, click here and sign up for my future articles to be delivered to your inbox.