A few nights ago I emailed a guy I dated some years back. We broke up on unpleasant terms and haven’t really communicated since. It was a weird coming together, short and powerful relationship and just as bizarre tearing apart. But recently his name came up in conversation between a mutual acquaintance and me, so I decided to check in.
Being in a completely different space in my life, it made complete sense to me to reach out. (He did answer.) I no longer hold one iota of ill will toward this person. To me it felt like bad karma to be carrying around negative vibes with regards to him. Or towards anybody that I had fallen into a bad place with over the years. Trying to work much more from a place of peace, inward to start, this hopefully manifests itself by making peace with those I’ve had conflicts.
In some cases I’ve been fortunate and the person receiving my olive branch is receptive and takes it. There are all degrees in which they may choose to take my offer of peace. It may be simply acknowledging that I have contacted them again and leave it at that at present moment. Or a friendship may be revisited.
But sadly in many cases old friends may simple have no desire to re-open the pathway to something we once had. Sometimes I may not even know what broke down a friendship to begin with in the first place. Or maybe I do, but may receive no reply when communication in some form is sent. It is painful, but I have no choice but to accept it.
Starting small with the ability to make peace is what I hope sets the example for a more global example of doing the same. If we begin with ourselves and can show others: children, friends, colleagues and the like, that not holding a grudge takes less energy and only is hurting the person doing it, then slowly the world begins to change.
If we look at world struggles and break them down to what they really are, it is simply problems of humans. People like you and me, with egos that are unwilling to back down, forget the past and move on in a new and positive way. Making peace may sometimes involve letting go of something that you have held onto, some bit of anger or bitterness that has been eating away at you. It may have been a thing you feel that person did to you. Until you are willing to put it behind and live in this moment or at least own half of it, you won’t be free.
Even if you were truly a victim, making peace with the perpetrator, even if only in your own heart, you will find peace. It may be the biggest struggle any of us will ever face! And I don’t claim I would ever do this one very well. There are amazing stories where families forgive murderers of their children and do find peace by doing so.
But for most minor things that tore up friendships or relationships, there is a wonderful feeling to simple say: I’m sorry, please forgive me. Or at least: I’ve been thinking about you and hope you are well. Sometimes that’s all it takes to open the door.
So that’s my mission. I’m trying the best I can to do this where I can and feel I want to reach out. Not everyone responds, but that’s OK. At least I tried. I will admit I’m not ready to make peace with all the people of my past! I’m not that evolved yet. But I hope the ones that I have reconnected with will change my karma.
There is a Jewish word called “Mitzvah” and it’s come to mean: a good deed. The goal is to get lots of Mitzvahs in the book of Heaven. So hopefully, the more times I make peace with someone it counts as a Mitzvah. Hey, it can’t hurt?!