Let’s Talk

What Do I Say Exactly . . . to be a Repairer
of the Breach? Part 4

Q. You’ve talked recently about being repairers of the breach. Would you share more examples of what this looks like?

A. Let’s Talk! Reconciliation is a big subject for any time of the year, but the broken places seem to show up even more during the holidays. If you pray, think about asking for wisdom for what exactly to say and what not to say to others.

You might also want to choose to respond and not to react to difficult people or difficult subjects. When we react, we get defensive and start unraveling. Whereas, if we choose a response that is measured, fair, and truthful—and spoken in love—repair and restoration have a presence.

Walking away or physically removing yourself from a verbal conflict is often a good choice too. It can be a strong message, not a sign of weakness. For years I have shared with small children that if they are in a pressured situation, it’s okay to just turn and walk away. One doesn’t have to say a word, or if that feels awkward, say, “excuse me” as you leave.

Many times we wait for the “someone” who has been “most at fault” to initiate forgiveness. But, consider this: who is in the stronger position to initiate forgiveness? Maybe it’s you. The stronger, the more mature one can start the conversation!

For Deeper Reflection

James 1: 5 and 19 “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him . . . . everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”
Proverbs 16:7 “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.
You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com

Let’s Talk

What Do I Say Exactly . . . to be a Repairer of the Breach? Part 3

Q. You talked last week about being repairers of the breach. Would you share more examples?
A. Let’s Talk! An example this week is, “What do I say exactly when there are big differences of opinions and philosophies within relationships?

This is a tough one! The land mines in family relationships seem extra important to resolve. I’ve listed some truths below. If you have others, please chime in and share with us:

  • Land mines and differences of opinion are to be expected in families, even though we seem constantly surprised when they show up! It’s normal.
  • A suggested goal is NOT to try to change the other person(s). That’s often a desire, but carries land mines of its own! We need to let that one go, both for ourselves and for the other person(s). When people feel someone trying to change them, it feels controlling. This destroys relationships instead of bringing us closer.
  • After you have asked if you can share your thoughts, another goal is to be able to communicate your information in a way that shares information but doesn’t attack the listener.
  • During your conversation, it’s helpful to make the point that the relationship is more important than the argument. You may still leave the conversation with the debate unfinished, but you will leave the door open for more conversation. In a healthy relationship, you will most likely have more opportunities. We often think it’s our one chance and take a bigger lunge than advisable.

For Deeper Reflection

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.
You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com

Fireside Chat

If you and I were sitting around a roaring fire and chatting about life and our dreams and aspirations for 2016, I would hope we’d find ourselves chuckling and at ease. But, I’d also want us to stay real and transparent that we don’t always have life figured out and wrapped with a sparkly bow. Life just gets messy at times, but thankfully we don’t have to stay in the mess.
In our little fireside chat, here are some things I’d like us to ponder.

  • Am I an approachable person?
  • Who do I allow to speak truth into my life?
  • What keeps me from receiving insight or correction from others?
  • What little things am I letting eat away at me?
  • How might I risk more authenticity in relationships?

IMG_4066After I added another log to the fire, perhaps I’d share a bit from my journal, which I write in here and there. On December 18, I recorded in my journal an
excerpt from the Our Daily Bread devotional that day, “Once you have become grateful for a problem, it loses its power to drag you down.”

I wonder what problems I’d share with you over the crackling embers. I just said “no” to a new collie puppy that just wasn’t the right fit for me. How long will I need to wait? Do I go back to an online dating service or go with a local professional match service? I recently lost a couple of main clients, how will I regain that income?

We’d probably banter back and forth about our everyday dilemmas and even bemoan political campaigns and ISIS threats, but then maybe we’d dig deeper in conversation.

  • What do you say to a friend who has a loved one who is terminally ill?
  • How do you keep trusting God when others think He’s rather removed from everyday involvement in our lives?
  • How do you stay sexually pure when the world says, “Huh? Why?”
  • Is it really possible to find joy in gut-wrenching trials? How?

Questions like this is where trusting camaraderie is forged. I’m glad we had this fireside chat. We may not have solved everything we’re currently mulling over, but I think we’re on a good start for the year. Here’s one final question for you.

What keeps us from being real and approachable with others? I’ll add another log or two while you send me your thoughts on this.

Brave and Resilient Tip #130: Risk being approachable. Risk being real.