I recently decided to step back from a key relationship. I felt I’d tried and tried to make it work but every time we tried to be together I felt like I just got another slap in the face. The behaviour was unkind, and what was most hurtful was that it was intended. This had been going on for a few years, and it felt to me that the barbs slung my way always seemed unjustly and harshly critical.

Consequently I backed off and didn’t get in touch with this person but, as with all important relationships, I couldn’t really escape. There was, it seemed, more work to be done, particularly because it affected another key relationship. So I decided to speak my truth, something I have rarely done with this person. I decided to communicate my view of events that had been misrepresented and set the record straight on a few important matters.

I did this in a calm and unemotional way, to ensure the other person did not feel judged or threatened. It turned out well. They “heard” me and was receptive to what I was saying. They admitted they had been presented a completely different version of events and that they did not realise the truth of the situation. We ended the conversation happily, and I think we both felt the air had been cleared.

A short time later I had a dream centred around this person. As I woke up I heard two clear words being spoken to me: second chance. I have had many similar experiences where I have been provided with crucial information that has helped me sort out serious issues in my daily life. I have come to understand that it is my Higher Self speaking to me and I have learned to listen, and follow its instruction. I knew that I had to give this person a second chance and bring them back into my life.

About a month later I got in touch with them and we ended up spending a whole day together. Their attitude seemed completely different: friendly, happy, engaging and most of all, non-judgmental, just like the old days. They told me at the end of the day what a lovely day it had been and expressed appreciation for my efforts to make it all happen.

In most cases much of the hurt we feel others cause us is in our own mind. Perhaps they touch on an insecurity or a deep fear we have, and their comments or actions just serve to confirm the worst for us. But if we can detach, and dissect our feelings in the face of unkindness, we usually find everything points to where the real work needs to be done - in our own mind.

Once we recognise this, much of the work has been done. Just acknowledging the fear diminishes it, and its effect. Then the aim is to get to a point where our fear is no longer a part of our stuff. When we have no fear, and love all we feel, absolutely nothing anyone else can do or say will have the power to hurt us.

There are some people in our lives who need to move on without us, and vice versa. That is ok. After all, unconditional love only requires us to allow others to live how they choose without judging them or trying to change them. But there are some people, usually a fairly small, select group, for whom we have to continue to turn the other cheek and keep turning up.

We all desire second chances and the Golden Rule dictates that we should treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated. A Course of Miracles makes it clear that we do this for ourselves as much as for the other, exhorting us, that when we desire something, to make it happen for someone else, thus blessing all.

The world becomes a safer, happier place if we believe it is filled with second chances and we can all make that possible.

Eileen McBride
Eileen McBride is the author of Love Equals Power, and a spiritual seeker and teacher. This article was published on May 24, 2018.