Concerned mother at a computer, reading an email about a school's kill list, reflecting the emotional impact and challenges of parenting in a complex and intense environment.

The Healing Power of Reparation – Navigating Love and Forgiveness

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TeamConfessioners, can you believe it’s already February? As many of our teammates know, in February we often take time to focus on love. This week, I’d like to talk forgiveness in relationships and more specifically about a word that I think has a whole heck of a lot to do with love, and that word is reparation. Reparation is the act of making amends, or the act of making up for a wrong. It’s basically a conscious decision to either forgive a wrong or to make up for wronging someone else. 

Unlocking Emotional Freedom: The Healing Power of Reparation and Compassion

In October I talked about letting go of grudges. In short, I shared how I use compassion as a pathway through my own anger to offer understanding to both myself and others. It turns out that reparation can help. Reparation is a personal choice to forgive and wipe the slate clean. Warning: this slate-clearing often takes a healthy dose of humility, but Team, here’s why I think reparation is worth it…

Navigating the Rollercoaster of Parenthood and Relationships: Understanding the Challenges and Opportunities

There are plenty of things my husband does that make me want to pop his lights out, and there are plenty of things I do that make him want to pop my lights out. But, let’s take a brisk minute to break down what parents and partners have on their plates. In our case, for over twenty years, we’ve lived together day in and day out. We have needed to get kids where they have to be when they have to be there, we have had to make all of the decisions that come with raising children, we’ve had to make financial decisions, household decisions, gigantic life decisions. All this, of course, has been in addition to co-managing holidays, careers, transitions, loss, extended families, cooking dinner! I could go on, and on, and on. All of this management has been ripe with opportunity for misunderstanding and disagreement. On top of that, we both bring whatever our day had in store for us to our back-and-forths. Maybe we’re tired, hungry, annoyed with one (or all) of the kids. Maybe something stressful happened at work. One of us could be concerned about something. As you guys know, this list could also go on, and on, and on. My point is that we both have ample opportunity to say the wrong thing, an insensitive thing, an offensive thing. We also both have ample opportunities to feel like something was said to us that hits a wrong chord, that sounds judgemental, critical, or opinionated.

Given all of that negotiating, and all of those moods, and all of that time together, the best thing for my own personal peace and serenity is to practice reparation as frequently as possible. The choice to move past my crap and his crap is the choice to acknowledge just how flippin’ difficult the job of raising a family is in 2024. TeamC, in 1981, my parents’ biggest stressor was trying to shield us from “Video Killed the Radio Star” on the newly created source of terror to a child’s wellbeing: MTV. A few weeks ago, G Man and I got a notice that someone at my children’s school had a kill list. A KILL LIST! A different level of anxiety, wouldn’t you say? A level of strain that could and should be given supplemental consideration and understanding, no?

Well, What Are You Gonna Do About It?

So maybe you’re saying to yourself: Great, Mags, change the energy. Forgive and forget, but how do I do that? How do I single handedly change the energy in an atmosphere wrought with so much pressure and intensity?

I’m not sure what the experts would say, but I’ve been trying something that’s working for me. Honestly TeamC, the “swallowing my pride” part has been the toughest challenge so far. But the more I practice the easier it gets. The decision I’ve made to try and shift the heavy energy between me and G Man is by choosing to make the first thing that comes out of my mouth on a daily basis positive. Deliberately choosing positive language is my resolution to consciously abandon the potency and malice of the prior day.

Married to a Resentment Foster Parent: Shifting Perspectives

Now, I think it’s important that you all know, I’m not married to a forgetter. I’d actually classify my husband as a sort of resentment foster parent. G Man takes resentments in from the cold, gives them a warm meal, a well made bed, and fresh wardrobe of clothes. Right up until the adoption agency calls for a pick-up, that man is gonna look after that resentment-baby like he’s vying for “foster father of the year.” As a matter of fact, I can safely assume one of those bitter babies is going to be dropped by the house as soon as he hears this. But I just can’t do that anymore, Team. I’m at a point in my life where I want to move past anger. Because here’s what I know: we’re all doing the friggin’ best we can. Whenever I am able, I want to give grace to another and I want to offer that same grace to myself.

Daily Slate-Clearing: Ego Strengthening Exercise

As with everything, I’m not perfect at this. But for today, giving grace is working for me. And Team, daily slate-clearing is an amazing exercise for anyone looking to strengthen a frail ego. Reparation is humility boot camp—whew! And that ego work also reminds me that, while I’m powerless over how other people treat me and respond to me, I can control how I treat and respond to other people. And like we talked about in October, while the heaviness of life has the power to pull me down, the only one who can pull me back up is me. Starting the day with an optimistic observation feels like one small pull in the right direction for me and my relationship. 

Next week I’m going to share a trick I learned to get at the heart of what’s on someone else’s heart. If it’s cold where you are, stay warm. If it’s warm where you are, enjoy the sunshine! And, we’ll connect next week. Thanks for listening!

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  1. wow, that was awesome!! Packed an awesome punch!!

    • Kelly, thank you so much!
      I’m thrilled to hear that you found it awesome and impactful.
      Your enthusiasm means a lot to me.
      Here’s to more moments packed with positivity and insight!
      Whoopeeeee! 🎉

  2. Love this idea, not new at all to me but very rusty, of forgiving and wiping the slate clean. It’s so mentally healthy and that leads to physical health as well.

    • Susan, thank you so much for your kind words!
      I’m so glad this resonated with you, even if it’s not a new concept.
      You’re absolutely right, forgiving and starting fresh can work wonders for our mental and physical well-being — SUCH a great point!
      Here’s to embracing the power of forgiveness and nurturing our overall health 🥂
      Sending you warmth and positive energy 🌟

  3. I had to laugh….. it sounded so familiar 😁

    • Donna! Same boat, different harbor, right?!
      Your comment brought such a smile to my face 🙂
      It’s comforting to know that others can relate.
      Thanks for sharing your laughter and understanding!

  4. What a great reminder to wake up and the first things you say are kind words… starts the day off right!

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ginger!
      Starting the day with kindness sets a positive tone for everything that follows.
      It’s amazing how a few simple words can make such a difference.
      Wishing you many more days filled with kindness and positivity — Whoot! Whoot!

  5. Thanks. Mags – such important explorations here. Appreciate you sharing & the food for graceful thought.

    • Thank you for your kind words as always Julie!
      I’m grateful for the opportunity to explore all this stuff together and I’m honored to be walking alongside such thoughtful people.
      I always love hearing from you so keep those comments coming!

Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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