The subject for this blog came to me as I was on my way to my spiritual community’s mid-week prayer service earlier this month. I had been listening to a local FM station where the topic was relationships with family members and how many become estranged between parents and their children and other siblings, some for years before there is a healing and others never healed before the death of one or the other.

As the sharing continued, the comment was made that, in dealing with such divides, one must be careful not to become intrusive in our efforts to bridge the gap, particularly when one has made it very clear they want no further contact until they are ready to re-establish a relationship based upon new ground rules. And that comment struck home for me…not just about family relationships, but about friends in general.

One friend, in particular, immediately came to mind, someone who had been a friend ever since middle school. It was a friendship that meant a lot to me and that grew and evolved over the years until a moment when, as an adult, I was triggered by a hidden bias, and its ugliness poured out of my mouth, destroying that relationship and turning it into something inauthentic and superficial. Yet I still had a need to keep the relationship alive, and I tried everything I could think of to bridge the divide. I “owned” my actions, did my own personal healing work, but then kept trying to bring about a renewed friendship when it had become very clear that it wasn’t wanted! I now realize I was being intrusive!

Now, as I take a second look at myself and the motivation for why I might possibly show up this way, particularly when I have made it my practice to be present to the voice of spirit within and to listen to it, I can see my need to be accepted and needed by others still colors my thinking and actions.

So what now? How does one “make amends”? Drawing upon the ninth step of the A.A. program, “Made direct amends to such people [those we had harmed] wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others,” I realized I was failing to honor the intention of that step when I was being intrusive! I needed to honor those boundaries and, as the twelfth step reminds us, “Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics [and any other human being], and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

For me, this all means that I need to Let go and Let God. I need to accept what I cannot change and simply cherish those moments and memories of harmony, love, and peace within the relationship.

And for you? What revelation, if any, has your reading of this blog pulled to the surface for you to examine and re-consider? If not in the interests of more honestly seeing yourself, then perhaps it will offer you an opportunity to see others and their unintentional actions in a kinder, more understanding light. That is my hope for you as we bring this year to an end, and a year of new beginnings approaches with all its new possibilities!

Love & Light, Steven