If we have lived more than few days in relationship with others, we probably have seen our fair share of mistakes. Some mistakes were done to us and some mistakes we did to others. We all wish close relationships were easy, but the truth is, they are not.
Mistakes in relationships are sometimes light-hearted, but they can also bring about a great deal of pain. As with most things in life, we have a few choices on how to respond to mistakes.
As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, effectively addressing mistakes in our close relationships is critically important to reaching our full potential and having a positive impact on others.
For most of us, we have learned that remaining bitter and angry for a long period of time after mistakes does not particularly help the situation. Bitterness has been proven to result in greater pain and problems for all involved. In addition, the one who holds onto bitterness usually suffers the most compared to the one who first stumbled and fell short.
There are many terrific resources for us to gain some additional insight on effectively addressing mistakes in our relationships. Just search the internet and we can learn the 3 steps to forgiveness, a time to heal, the pathway to peace, etc. You get my point. Many of these resources will be helpful, if we follow them, in responding effectively to mistakes.
There is one step that is most likely not on these types of “to do” lists and is probably NOT on our list either.
Most often, when we don’t handle mistakes in a healthy way, we end up isolated and alone. Since feeling like we belong, and we matter are essential to solid emotional health, we can find ourselves in a real tough spot when mistakes send us to our own corner all alone.
On the other side of a painful mistake, there is one of the most effective ways that we can rise above and many times, permanently solidify someone’s sense of belonging and acceptance. We can take an action step they may never forget. The additional step that is probably NOT on our list is to show redemption towards the individual who hurt us. We rebuild a sense of belonging and acceptance when we demonstrate grace through communicating redemption towards the individual who made a mistake.
The act of “clearing” one’s debt or “saving” someone from the continual pain and isolation of a poor choice and communicating our willingness to trust again is probably the greatest challenge we will face in terms of building strong and healthy relationships after a mistake. Providing redemption from past mistakes, as opposed to remaining bitter, has been shown time and again to build a strong sense of belonging and connection to those closest to us.
As we make the effort to build healthy relationships through the power of redemption with those closest to us, we will build and strengthen our character, and Character Creates Opportunity to support the emotional health and well-bring of those we care about most.