Restoration and Resolution
I have seen countless examples of where people have sought restoration rather than resolution. As you read this article, I hope that you are inspired to make the right choices in the relationships you have.
In both the Greek and Latin expressions of the word ‘restoration’, the word denotes a bringing back of something to its former state. In cosmetic terms, it implies the rebuilding or repairing of something. There are times when relationships are transformed through an act of unconditional love or incredible courage. These acts can cause relationships that have become deficient to be restored to the qualities that initially cause the relationship to be formed. I can recall working with a client who for many years had felt distanced from her father. However, once her father apologised unconditionally for his past failures, it released a measure of love from the daughter’s heart that surpassed her pain. Even though she was now an adult, she felt the love a young child would have towards her father. This was a type of emotional restoration. Many times our sincere feelings are constrained by pain or unforgiveness.
Have you ever felt that something was missing from your life? Is it possible to miss something you have never had? In many cases, we miss something because there is a subconscious record of it; we have actually experienced something and associated a feeling with an event. Genuine love and genuine experiences of happiness leave an indelible mark on our hearts and when this is lost, we cry out for it. I am amazed how people dismiss the concerns of loved ones when they say, “I miss when we used to do.....” or “I notice we do not do this anymore”. These are what I call ‘subliminal cries’, indicating that something is missing which was once in existence.
Resolution describes an act that brings about an agreement and a solution to a problem or conflict. How many times is conflict based on a problem we have magnified through our feelings? Interestingly, resolution in its earliest forms describes the loosening of something that has tension or the breaking down of something big into more manageable smaller parts. Agree to take small steps rather than giant ones! A great product of true resolution is that things become easier for you to manage. If you are in a relationship and a resolution has been agreed, make sure that both parties are happy with what they need to manage. Resolution is not keeping only one party happy. Ignoring your thoughts and feelings is not the long-term answer.
Should I just say sorry?
There are times when saying ‘sorry’ may restore a relationship but not resolve the problem in a relationship. It is not wise to apologise for actions you have no revelation into why it was wrong. You might be sorry for how someone feels but you shouldn’t say sorry for an action you still believe to be right. I discourage friends and couples from forcing each other to say ‘sorry’. Sorry should be a sincere response to self reflection and revelation. If someone cannot see that they are wrong, when they are, then you may have some major decisions to make.
So what’s the big deal?
There are some situations and relationships that for your personal well-being and destiny should not be restored. Resolution is important, as being at peace with people is important but do you always want what you had before to be restored? I have seen where friends in conflict have resolved their differences but never been best friends again. This is not always a sign of unforgiveness but a reflection of their current maturity and mindset. However, there are times when as a result of resolution, you will have the ‘emotional tools’ to rediscover the qualities that brought you into a relationship in the first place.
Be the ‘better man’
I can recall saying to my son, “You were the better man”. The humility and grace he demonstrated in defusing a situation was in contrast to my emotional disposition! Being the better man is sometimes being the person who is committed to solutions rather than problems. Be the person that seeks out support and intervention in order to save a relationship. Be the person that makes a decision to forgive unconditionally. Be the person that can be honest to acknowledge when there is peace but not a need for restoration. You can do more harm if something needs to be replaced rather than restored.
Keep checking on yourself
Take the time to find solutions to problems. Use your resolutions to restore moments of joy and fulfilment but also use your experience to let you know when resolution doesn’t equal restoration!
Till next time