Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Word of the Week Mend: Mending Fences

By Zen_sheila @BeZensational


Life is far too short to let other people bother us.  This week, let’s try and mend a fence; let’s try to build a bridge to someone we’ve had issues with.  I’ve learned that time goes by  I forget what the original argument was about… all I remember is that something offensive was said or “man, that person really bothers me”.  In reality, the only one that can let me be upset is… me!  I have two options:  Let it bother me or move on and focus on something positive.

Now you might be rolling your eyes thinking… “yeah, that’s easier said than done!“  I actually used to say the same thing, but it’s actually NOT!  There’s a couple things you need to keep in mind first and foremost:

Just because the person said something offensive doesn’t change the fact that they are still in your life.  Whether a sibling, parent, relative, friend, co-worker or neighbor.  If it weren’t for whatever they said, do you still love or like them?  If the answer is yes… then why let words define that relationship?  If the answer is no… then why let words bother you?  I mean… it’s YOU that holds on to these words letting them define this relationship.  Have you never said anything stupid or offensive?  Would you want someone to hold against you… all the dumb or mean things you’ve said?

Learn to forgive.  A good way to release someone or forgive someone is through a letter. Even if they are now dead. Write them a letter. Put it onto paper, get it out. Release it.  Send it, keep it, burn it.  Whatever helps you release them.  (and your self). You could also talk directly to the person and voice your concerns.  But again, alive or dead, a letter you never intend to send (or that you intend to burn) – or journaling your thoughts – is a great way. *You do not have to announce to the person that you forgive them.  (In many times they won’t care or understand anyhow).

Focus on the PRESENT.   When you feel those old feelings coming to the surface, take your attention and place it elsewhere.  Distract yourself by focusing on something positive.

Here’s a parable to enjoy!

Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.

Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.  One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days work” he said.

“Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?”  “Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor, in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence – an 8-foot fence – so I won’t need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow.”

The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”  The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.  The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.  About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.

There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge… a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work handrails and all – and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched.  “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.”

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each others hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother. “I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but, I have many more bridges to build.”

~Author Unknown

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