How do I know—-really know—-that I am ready to reconcile with someone?

Reconciliation is different from forgiveness.  When we reconcile, this is a process of two or more people coming together again in mutual trust.  Reconciliation is conditional on the other person’s willingness to change, if he or she was the one who acted unfairly.  Forgiveness, in contrast, can be offered unconditionally to the other as a form of respect, understanding, compassion, and even love, even if there is no reconciliation.  So, you can forgive without reconciling.

With all of this as background, here are four questions which might help you decide if you are ready to reconcile (and I am presuming that the other is the one who has hurt you):

1) Has the other shown an inner sorrow about what he or she did?  We call this remorse;

2) Has the person verbally expressed this sorrow to you.  We call this repentance;

3)  Has the person made amends for what happened (and we have to ask if he or she has done so within reason because sometimes we cannot make full amends.  For example, if someone stole $1,000 from you but truly cannot repay it all, then you cannot expect that he or she can make amends in any perfect way).  We call this recompense;

4)  If the person has shown what I call the “three R’s” of remorse, repentance, and recompense, then do you have even a little trust in your heart toward the person?  If so, then perhaps you can begin a slow reconciliation, taking small steps in rebuilding the relationship.  Your answer to these four questions may help you with your question: How do I know that I now am ready to reconcile?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s