Last post we talked about how, when a friendship or marriage explodes, at some point you need to move on in peace.
But what about when you’re continually forced to interact with that other person and the hurting cycle won’t stop?
An acquaintance recently mentioned his struggle with this. He’s divorced and shares custody of his children with his ex-wife. So they constantly interact and often negatively.
From the little I know, he tried to keep their relationship together but she wanted to move on and did after child three. Seems like a strange time to figure out you can’t live with your husband but I’m not here to judge.
When they interact now, they often have conflict. One is late to pick up or return the kids. One has to change the day because of an emergency. One wants money for something for the kids the other doesn’t see the need for.
The list goes on and on and they’re both stuck in this relationship of hurt. The scabs are continually ripped off the old injuries and new wounds are opened up.
It leaves both feeling continually hurt and angry.
Neither can move on in peace with their lives.
So how do you stop feeling hurt over and over when you’re forced to stay connected to the one hurting you?
When you can’t put distance between you physically you need to put distance between you mentally.
Instead of focusing on the hurts focus on the love God offers you.
When you do you’ll find a path to peace.
You’ll see the love in your life right now which helps heal you from the hurts you can’t escape.
It also changes your attitude about yourself. When you’re constantly torn down it’s easy to feel unlovable.
Yet, when you focus on the love you already have it helps you see the loving and lovable person you are. And that makes you even more attractive to others.
This also gives you hope that even if this relationship can’t be restored God has planned new relationships for you. That gives you encouragement to move forward and lessens the hurts right now.
Paul promised, “God who started a great work in your life will complete it.”
A reminder he’s not finished with your life yet. The best is yet to come.
But how do you change your focus from hurt to love?
First, if you feel there’s hope for your current relationship then ask God to restore it and believe he will.
Picture it growing again. Imagine moving back into that loving relationship.
When you do you’ll act differently. You’ll act loving and that you expect to be loved.
And even though you may not currently enjoy the relationship you once did you often can still find a level of healing that brings peace.
Second, focus on the friendships and love you do feel now.
Often we focus so much on the broken relationship we forget about the loving ones we already have.
Thank God, literally, for those friends. Enjoy good times with them. Bask in the positive memories.
This will lessen the hurts you feel. It will help you remember you’re a lovable person people do like and love.
Third, if the relationship can’t be healed, expect God to bring the right person at the right time into your life.
Picture the person you desire to love. Imagine him or her.
Trust God wants to fill your life with deep love again.
You’ll discover the peace to go on from the broken relationship and allow God’s healing to start.
I love how the apostle Paul, even when persecuted and rejected, never focused on that but rather on the deep friendships he had.
Over and over he wrote, “I thank God every time I remember you.”
A great perspective when you’re hurt and wanting to find love and peace again.
*Philippians 1: 6, 3
Photo Credit: Uditha Wickramanayaka; Creative Commons