Senile Texas Aggie - comic relief for the rest of you

Senile_Texas_Aggie

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1 Corinthians 13

1 If I speak with the tongues of mankind and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 And if I give away all my possessions to charity, and if I surrender my body so that I may glory, but do not have love, it does me no good.

4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant.
5 It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered,
6 it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with.
9 For we know in part and prophesy in part;
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with.
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known.
13 But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

(See https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1 Corinthians 13&version=NASB )

May we all put into practice these words.

Senile Texas Aggie
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

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Forgiveness and reconciliation

All,

I need some advice. My Asperger's is a handicap for me in dealing with others at times, so I am sure there are others on this forum much wiser than I on how to solve this problem. Before I tell you the problem, let me tell you a story that is similar.

On Thursday, Dec 23, I watched a YouTube video by someone that I watch on occasion, perhaps once every month or every other month or so. In this video, she told of what happened in her family, specifically between her and her husband versus his parents. A disagreement among them got out of hand to the point that the grandparents (the husband's parents) were harassing the couple and their children. The grandparents threatened to call the authorities and report the couple for child abuse. The couple finally decided to sell their house and move to a new location that his parents did not know about, thus cutting off all contact.

After watching that video I felt so sad, wondering why people can let differences escalate to the point to where it causes a big rift in the family. But that video seemed to be a forewarning of the holiday visit.

In my family, two members are at odds with one another -- so much so that they refuse to speak to one another or be in the same house. They weren't always that way. Prior to my dad passing away, they got along fine. But once my dad died, they had a big verbal fight, each calling the other nasty names. This was over 5 years ago and it hasn't changed.

On Christmas, my mom will visit with one of them and then the other, but not at the same time. While we were visiting one of the family members, my mom turned to me, laid her head on my shoulder, weeping, and asked that I help get the two reconciled before she dies. (Considering that she will soon turn 89, her death is probably not far away.) I promised her that I would try.

The problem is that I don't know how to go about it. I know that I cannot force them to reconcile, that each of them will have to reach that decision for him/herself. Yet I really hope that there is a way that I can make that decision easier. I really would like to see them reconcile and forgive one another and for my mom to see that happen before she dies.

Most of you on the forum know that I am an atheist. But while I no longer believe the supernatural elements of the Bible, I agree in large part with its ethical teachings, especially the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew Ch 25, and 1 Corinthians 13. I remember Jesus' words regarding reconciliation (Matthew 5:23-24)

Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Miss @frustratedearthmother, I know you have been able to forgive a horrific wrong. (For those of you new to the forum, read about what happened here. It would be even better if you read the prior 20 or so posts as well for context.) I am still in awe of that. I am sure you have words of wisdom for me. I am sure there are others on this forum who have undergone a lot of hurt in the past but have been able to forgive. Do you have any words of wisdom as well? If so, will you please share them?

Thanks in advance to all.

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frustratedearthmother

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STA - I am so sorry you are in such a rough position. :hugs

From my own personal experience, and what you mentioned above, you already know you can't 'make' this happen. I don't know if there's any part of the situation that you can help them resolve but if it wouldn't be offensive to them maybe you could initiate a conversation with each of them. Perhaps all you might be able to do is to help them understand how hurtful this is to your mother and how she so desperately wishes that they could reconcile.

I've certainly been in situations in my life where I simply wasn't ready to forgive. In most instances time can be a great healer. Holding on to anger for 5 years takes an enormous amount of energy. It would be awesome if they could take a fraction of that energy and turn it towards healing.

I wish you well and hope that they can lay their differences aside - even if all they can manage to do is agree to disagree.
 

Bruce

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I'm sorry for your situation STA.

I am not even remotely qualified to give advice here. Do you know the nature of the argument that caused this chasm between them? And if so, does it seem to you that it truly was a major affront of one on the other that it should be so divisive? Or something relatively minor that was blown up out of all reasonable perspective? My guess is they need "couples counseling" which might be of value especially if it is the latter though unless they both care to work on it, I don't guess they would go that way.

If you get along with both of them I like FEM's idea of explaining to them separately how much this means to your mother. I presume she is important to them. If they can just get along a little while she is alive it will help and they can go back to their separation after she is gone. Or, maybe they decide to let bygones be bygones and have some sort of relationship again.

:hugs
 

Alaskan

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I would talk to each party separately... or maybe it would be better to email them both....

In an email you could spend the time to carefully craft each word.

You need to start by saying you love them, and that it is clear that they are in great pain (for why else would they have insisted on not seeing each other).

Then say that their mother is also in great pain over their separation.

Then ask what concrete, specific things could be done to help to heal this rift.

If they start to spiral into their anger and sadness, calmly and sweetly redirect to "but what specific steps need to be taken"

So "he needs to be nicer" doesn't work. But, "he is NEVER to mention my job" is doable.

If things start to get too emotional, say you love them, you only want to be helpful. Ask if they want you to keep working on being the intermediary, or if they think a professional counselor would be a better choice.

if they want to keep talking...

Get the person to give you a list of points. Read them back, maybe say "this is a good start, let us think about it for a week, I will call back in a week and we can review if this is a good list" After a week of thought, if they still like their list of concrete things that can be done to fix things a week later... THEN bring that list to the other party.

I think the suggestion of a professional counselor could be useful. With a counselor, you need to meet with them first and make sure the person is competent and address issues in a way that fits with your philosophy. Only send them to a counselor that you have pre-screened. Some are horrid crackpots, some are great.
 

Baymule

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If you get along with both of them I like FEM's idea of explaining to them separately how much this means to your mother. I presume she is important to them. If they can just get along a little while she is alive it will help and they can go back to their separation after she is gone. Or, maybe they decide to let bygones be bygones and have some sort of relationship again.

:hugs
I like this idea. They could at least put on a nice face to each other, even if temporarily, for the sake of their mother.
 

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