By trying to resolve a conflict too quickly, we can unintentionally make matters worse. In accordance with Step Eight, our goal is to seek forgiveness from those we have hurt unless by doing so, we would cause further harm. I have been guilty of this, and have tried to avoid personal confrontation by sending a letter or email instead.
What a big mistake that often turned out to be. The problem, at least when we’re not face-to-face with a person, is they have no way of reading our body language — which often speaks much louder than our words. If we are penitent and apologetic, it shows on our face and in our posture. When we are not present, our words are often interpreted in the light of what was said previously in the heat of the argument. It is important for us not only to find the right words to say but also to say them in the right attitude and the right time.
Trying to force an end to the hurts and disappointments can often cause further damage. I used to think of this only in the additional damage it caused the other person, but the truth is, it causes further harm to the one giving the apology as well. Take time for anger, disappointments, and resentments to fade away. Remember, when we say “take time” we mean hours, days, weeks, and maybe even years.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.