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How to Move Past the Hurt: 3 tips that could save a relationship

How to Move Past the Hurt: 3 tips that could save a relationship
In preparation for the Jubilee celebrated in the year 2000, a cleaning project was initiated for the facade of St. Peter's Basilica. Chemical agents were applied to the marble of the basilica. The workers were surprised as the cleaning progressed that the marble appeared to be a green color. Some even thought that the chemical agents used to clean the building were destroying the marble's color. After consulting the original plans for the basilica, however, it was clear that green was indeed the true color of the stone. It had been covered in grime for so long that no one could remember its real color.

A similar situation can happen with people. Grime can build up in our life and heart, covering over the preciousness of the essential gift we are, leaving us jaded. Layers of experiences that have been hurtful, disappointing, and disillusioning can cause our heart to retreat, to defend itself from potential pain, or even to lash out in bitter retaliation.

There is no simple solution to very complex histories and situations that have led to the isolation that we experience. For some of us it has resulted in a lonely existence that gnaws away at the joy of life, while for others of us the conflicts and disconnection are almost not even apparent as we go about life. But few of us, if any, have entirely escaped some pain or disappointing hurt.

Here are a few tools that will help you think about a "cleaning project" of sorts that could begin to polish away some of the grime that may be in your life, discovering again the original beauty and vibrancy of your life...and in the process save a relationship.

1) Remember your spiritual vision. When you see, hear, or read about something negative, picture in your spirit's vision the opposite. When you read of war, picture places of peace. When you disappoint yourself with your own behavior, remember a time when you acted with love and goodness. When a friend is telling you of their prognosis for their illness, remember the times of health you and they have enjoyed. Keeping a balance is important to keep the quality of your perspective true. When layer upon layer of negative and bitter sorrow builds up, clouding our inner heart's vision, we begin to see everything as dark and ugly and potentially devastating. Reversing this trend can have potentially miraculous possibilities.

2) If your relationship with a spouse or friend has degenerated, take a step back. Perhaps write a little history of that relationship from its early happy days till now. Give yourself the benefit of a time-out, or a space for reverent reflection. What was the relationship originally like? What happened? When did it happen? How did the difficulties develop? Where are you disappointed? What did you expect it to be and what is the disillusionment like for you? In what ways do you blame the other? In what ways do you blame yourself? Know that both you and the other person are suffering from a "grime" that has built up and covered the original splendor of your hearts. What is it that you really want to give in this relationship? What do you wish to receive? Can you speak directly with the person involved...heart to heart...about what you want to give and hope to receive? Would it be better to share this with a trusted friend and ask them for any tips from their perspective?

3. In a time of prayer, imagine yourself within the heart of Jesus. From within the Heart of the Healer and Teacher of Galilee, the One who washed feet, forgave sins, and died to save us, gaze at your friend or spouse. Watch how Jesus looks at your friend or spouse. Ask Jesus to help you see him or her as Jesus does, listen with his heart, speak as he would, understand with his patience, experience his firmness made strong with courage and compassion.

Know that this is just the beginning that can lead to the awareness of what is happening, what is at stake, and what you really desire for yourselves and for the other. After you take the first step, the next step will become clear to you.

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