When angst and inner turmoil accompanies interactions with a person over an extended time period, it is time to reflect. And listen for guidance. Sometimes the answer is distancing yourself from the person, with the following benefits:

Proverbs 22: 10 Remove the mocker and conflict disappears;
    judgment and shame also stop.

If you’ve been forced to remove someone that you had hoped to have in your life, I offer my sympathy. You have suffered a loss. It is one to grieve.

For those still in the midst of the process, it is not easy to determine who is allowed near your heart and soul, and who is not. Should you expel a person from your inner circle? Does the relationship work as long as it is casual and somewhat distant? Should you leave them in your rearview mirror forever?

Should you set boundaries? Should those boundaries be permanent? Or temporary? What has to happen in them for you to consider moving the boundary line you intend to set?

Only you can answer those questions.

It is rarely simple, especially the nearer the relationship, the greater the social pressure, the longer your status-quo, and the more you have to lose.

If you are the one who is the wrongdoer: thief, abuser, user, deceiver, betrayer, mocker, judger, or shamer …

It is you who forced the boundaries that you must now accept. Let it be a wake-up call. A new beginning. A time to reflect. A time to take ownership of what you did that forced the change in the relationship. A time to change the destructive behaviors you impose on others.

If you acknowledge wronging others without cause, even if just to yourself, know that inner change cannot be done in a day. It takes significant time to unveil and consciously undo habits. On the hopeful side, if you genuinely and permanently change, recovery of the relationships you damaged may be possible.

Renewal of a relationship is yours to make possible, but not yours to force. Nor yours to manipulate.

That decision belongs to the victim of your wrongdoing.

When and if the time comes that you police your own behaviors, and never again betray and harm the other person …

Perhaps they will allow you back in.

Even if they give you another chance, don’t expect to have what you want in a day. You must earn their trust. That may take years, especially if you have done this to them before. If you have cycled gaining their trust only to destroy it again, the length of time it took for you to repeat the cycle is the minimum length of time they must be guarded with you.

It is the right of every person to determine the amount of wrongdoing they can tolerate. Your victim is the one who gets to set their terms, not you the wrongdoer. If they set terms that you are unwilling to meet, then once again the burden of blame falls on you. To save themselves, they may be forced to:

Proverbs 22: 10 Remove the mocker and conflict disappears;
    judgment and shame also stop.

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