It’s a well-known fact that relationships require work. Being a good friend, colleague or partner means consistently choosing to be present and mindful in our interactions with those we care about. I like to believe that, for the most part, humans really want to help each other, support one another, and lift others up, but I also recognize that nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes and even the most well-intentioned person can say or do the wrong thing and, when they do, it tends to hurt...but what comes next can change everything.
The steps taken after the hurt or ‘rupture’ in a relationship are vitally important. I learned from a wise woman that the rupture gives rise to the opportunity to repair and reconnect, and this cycle can teach you quite a bit about how to nurture a lasting relationship. Although this advice might have originated in the context of parent-child relationships, I continue to find that it’s universal, and what better time to explore this nugget of truth than with Mother’s Day on the horizon?
When someone wrongs us in a relationship – harsh words are spoken, promises aren’t kept, a disapproving glance is lobbed our way – we tend to feel uneasy, unhappy, and generally uncomfortable. We feel compelled to find a resolution and repair the rupture as quickly as possible, wanting to remove this disturbance from our lives and push through the heavy feelings.
Whether it’s a relationship at home, in the office, or among friends, reconnection is rooted in forgiveness and empathy; in acknowledging how difficult it must be for the other person going through this with you. If we spoke harsh words, we owe the other person an honest apology. If we received them, we should offer them a chance to make amends. This cycle is natural as we learn and grow together (particularly as mothers), and the beauty is that each repair has the ability to make our relationships even stronger.
I hope you’re reminded of this concept next time you sense a rupture, acknowledging that it doesn’t have to be a dark and sad place to be. Perhaps it’s just your opportunity to repair, reconnect, and rock on.