We’ve all heard the phrase, “extend the olive branch,” for an offer of peace or reconciliation. I n the Old Testament, the sign that the flood was over was an olive branch brought back to the ark by a dove.
Olive branches were also a symbol of peace in ancient Greece. Some people have suggested the olive was a very deliberate and well considered choice as a metaphor for peace, because olive trees famously take years to mature. War is typically hard on the trees, because people can’t take the time to nurture them and plant new ones. Therefore the offer of an olive branch would suggest that someone was tired of war, whether an actual war or a falling-out between friends.
Hating someone uses up far more energy than loving them. Your physical health is affected as much by your relationships with people as by what you eat or your exercise regime. It’s important to look for ways to find peace in your families, rather than stir the pot.
You need to ask yourself if you really want all the problems with your blended family to end and if you’re prepared to do what it takes. If you do, and you are, then it’s time to start turning things around. It’s time to make peace with the past and make a bold and conscious effort to forgive and move on. Sometimes letting go of resentment and anger can be hard, but a life full of stress and misery is far worse.
Nelson Mandela said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” He’s the perfect role model of what forgiveness and reconciliation is all about. Mandela was sentenced to 30 years in jail for his protests against apartheid, of which he served 27 years. He then went on to become the president of South Africa for five years. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and was quoted as saying, “as I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead me to freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
This is profound. He had every reason to be resentful, angry, hateful and bitter for the 27 years of his freedom that he lost. But he chose to let it all go, to move on and make a difference in the world. I do believe it can be as easy as a decision to say “I’ll turn this around for the better. I’ll no longer live my life like this. For things to change, I need to change them.”
If you haven’t already, please don’t forget to join the Second Wives Community. You can do that by going to my website www.secondwiveshq.com
I would love to hear how my book has impacted or helped you as a second wife and stepparent in your blended family. Send me an email and let me know.
And always remember – You are Second to None! The Second Wives’ Guide
Angela Vassallo xx