How do reconciliation and forgiveness differ?



“It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited.” — Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness is something we’ve explored before on our blog, it has many benefits such as allowing us to break free and move forward in our healing. But as Theo Fleury explains it in ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake’, forgiveness is an “inside job”.

Forgiveness is something that is ultimately up to ourselves, and for ourselves. Reconciliation is something we do in conjunction with another, for the mutual benefit of repairing that relationship. April 2nd is Reconciliation Day, and it’s a chance for us to reflect on the relationships we may want to reconcile.

Reconciliation is an interpersonal process that involves dialogue between two people and choosing to move forward in an effort to re-establish trust. Making amends is part of the 12-step program that recovering addicts go through in Alcoholics Anonymous. But it’s the concept of “living amends” that Theo speaks about in ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake’, that could really move mountains in your life.

“And then there’s “living amends”. That’s even better. It’s when we actually choose and succeed at living differently. Changing behaviour patterns for the better is an awesome way to say sorry.” — Theo Fleury from ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake’

So on Reconciliation Day, think about the relationships or friendships you’d like to repair, and remind yourself that it’s never too late. It just takes one person to take the first step.

“With relationships, it’s never too late for repair. And I know this with certainty. If both people want it, it’s never too late for repair, until you stop breathing.” — Kim Barthel from ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake’

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 – Written by Amber Craig
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