- Special Resources
- Fiction and Creative Writing
Writer, Retreat Leader, Resource Creator
Starting a new year, we often look back on the past year and strive to do better. We make resolutions. And, typically, there is a backlash against resolutions and that we should be happy with who we are. I’m one of those who no longer likes to make resolutions because I fail them, often before January has ended. Instead, I make a few broad goals of what I’d like to do for the next year for myself, goals that are achievable in some way.
But when I think of resolutions, I think of the word resolved, which means these things have happened. Done. So what is left undone? What is unresolved?
There are two events from my past, both of which I had a great part in, that have been unresolved for me. Both resulted in a loss of friendships. Both were based on misunderstandings, but rather than gathering up the courage to confront the conflict and the issues, I pulled out. Unfriended on Facebook, stopped talking to the other. Both happened right when I was moving, too. Separation. A rift torn that is not repairable.
This is actually typical for many people, when a relationship is about to change because of a move, it’s easier to say goodbye if you can find a way to blame the other person and leave. As clergy, I have seen it happen in churches. A member starts to pull away, because their children no longer go there, or they hear about their friend’s church and want to start to go, or some other reason. Rather than acknowledging that they have decided to leave, they get into an argument or some other reason to be angry and declare they are leaving because of what the other person has done. Happens all the time.
I just never expected, or realized, that I participated in this same course of action in my personal life.
There are two friendships I regret having fallen apart, and I regret my part in them. I will acknowledge that the other party had faults, too, but none worthy of my actions. I don’t doubt that the other party made mistakes and acted in ways that were selfish, or seemed that way to me and perhaps others. But I didn’t have to react the way I did. I could have talked with them about it. In both cases, I chose instead to hold onto my anger and hurt and cut off ties.
I regret these unresolved endings of friendships now. I regret that I did exactly what I preach against. And next time, I resolve to recognize my anger and the value of the friendship before the event, and work towards reconciliation whenever possible.