I've written and deleted a post about this subject a dozen times. Today I think I'll push that publish button in the end. Perhaps. Have you ever been disliked? Or have you ever unintentionally hurt someone and tried to make amends, but to no avail? I don't know exactly what it means about me, but I've run into this situation more than once in recent years. I can honestly say that I have never intended to hurt others with my actions. I'm a deeply sensitive and empathetic person. I'm human and make mistakes, but I certainly try to make restitution for those offenses. I have tirelessly tried to repair said hurts and have shed more tears than imaginable.
Recognizing your own faults and seeking for restitution is a beautiful experience, but what about when the other person just isn't ready to let go or move forward? Honoring their agency while continuing to love and serve them can be a challenge. Not beating myself up over these conflicted relationships has been a struggle. I'm often left thinking, "What more can I do?" "If only I had..." When someone you love and care for sees you as the enemy, it is deeply painful. Perhaps it's that pride or perfectionism that makes it so hard to accept another's agency when it is turned against you. I pray for healing, not just to be right or accepted, but with sincere interest in the souls involved.
The book The Bonds that Make us Free: Healing our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves by C. Terry Warner has changed my life. I frequently read and study the principles of this powerful book. It is perfectly inline with the gospel of Jesus Christ and I have deep respect for the author. He has touched my life for good and the effects of his kindness have changed my course eternally. His book discusses how to look at ourselves and recognize our own responsibility in relationships. I constantly remind myself that I am the only one who can control my thoughts and behavior. Warner writes about scenarios similar to the ones I mention in my own life. He explains that even if the other person never chooses to forgive, we can love and respect them and honor their agency. I am in charge of my own reaction, and when my efforts of love are rejected, I must not give in to the temptation to fight. I must not find evidence to feel justified in returning fire with fire. With hope, someday sincere love might just break those barriers that seem insurmountable.
Let it be said that I'm certainly not perfect, and I have made my fair share of mistakes, bringing me to my knees in sorrow. Apologies have been made, life carries on, and hope remains in my heart.
I know there is one who understands my sorrow perfectly, and I turn to him for strength to continue, even when efforts seem to be in vain.
“And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.” 2
1 Nephi 19:9