It's amazing how when you say something to one person it can reflect back on you if you are listening and see that you yourself may be doing the very thing you tell someone else not to do. My writing today is a way of healing for myself and my niece and sharing a life experience with others who may be in the same or similar position. A while back my niece had sent me a very nasty letter and I couldn't understand why. So, my normal human reaction was to simply let it go and move on. But when I was speaking to my own daughter the other day I told her that many relationship breakdowns are because of a lack of communication. My advice to her brought it to my attention quick smart that I myself had failed miserably in this department. What a hypocrite I thought! I have to say I felt ashamed that I had not followed up with communication and sort it out with my niece, albeit her being in the wrong. I thought about it for days before making contact with her again and telling her if she wanted the truth about the situation, then to call me. I realized so profoundly I had allowed myself to be manipulated by another person who wanted me to react the way I did so as my niece would actually cheat herself and her sister out of their inheritance from her grandfather who passed away recently. As I have always known, effective communication is often the obstruction to peace. However, it can be such a daunting task at times to get past your own emotions of hurt and anger and to be willing to even bother in trying to sort out issues. It is very hard at times to live up to the Christian model of life, and at times Jesus teachings of; "turn the cheek and walk the other way" (ref. NIV Luke 6:29), is misappropriated. I found it just too hard at the time to turn my cheek to my niece and allow her a second opportunity to slap the other one (cheek). Open follow up with effective communication would have no doubt at the time settled the matter and I am sure we'd be talking by now, but we're not. This weekend, I am going to try though, I only hope that when I turn the other cheek she doesn't slap it too! I pray to God that she does want the truth and that she and I can resolve this past painful issue and move on together and not apart. The Christian model of life that Jesus represented in his life and the Bible teachings get harder each generation to live by. Especially in our modern world, it is like reaching for mars without a rocket ship. It's such a hard thing, even when you love someone, to absorb the emotional hurt and continue with trying to turn the other cheek and communicate properly until a situation is resolved. My mother had taught me that; "unless you have something nice to say, say nothing at all". In many instances, this is in direct conflict in some ways with Luke 6:29 and other passages in the Bible making reference to "turning the other cheek". I only realize that now well into my late adult years. It actually only hit me like a brick when I was giving advise to my adult youngest daughter the other day that it dawned on me that I never do what I told her to do. Maybe my mother had misunderstood what "keeping the peace" was all about. I finally worked it out that in keeping the peace by remaining silent, many of us in-fact start silent wars. These silent wars seemingly begin with people such like myself, that rather than speaking the truth that can spark arguments, we tend to remain silent much of the time and simply walk away from conflict rather than trying to resolve it. Well, I am almost at the end of my writing for the day and I know God is guiding me to learn more about fully understanding the peace process at the ripe old age of around 60! Finding the "balance" between truth and peace is an extremely precarious exercise indeed and one that I believe many people struggle with. Thank you for reading my article about "Communication Breakdowns", that can cost us dearly of the heart. God Bless!