The World Cup of Forgiveness

Conflict Remedy Blog by Lorraine Segal

A story in my local newspaper about last month’s women’s soccer world cup offers a beautiful example of letting go, forgiveness, and fresh starts.

Hope Solo, star goalkeeper for the US women’s soccer team, has a half brother she was estranged from.

David had avoided her for the 17 years since he was a teenager, bitter and angry that their father had abandoned him, but stayed for a while with Hope and her mother.

But then he saw interviews she gave in the lead-up to the 2011 soccer world cup and was touched by similarities between them. He broke his long silence and sent her a text congratulating her and wishing her luck in the championship game, ending by saying, “I will be a better brother.””

Although he wasn’t really expecting a response, she texted him back quickly, saying, “And I will be a better sister. I love you.”

It would have been easy for her to hold on to bitterness about all the years he had cut himself off from her, but she didn’t.

It would have been equally easy for him to stay mired in resentment about his childhood or, overwhelmed by regret about their estrangement, let it continue.

Instead, he found the courage to reach out, and she responded to his overture. They were both willing to forgive and make a fresh start, not letting the past limit the possibility of future closeness.

The new beginning between Hope and her brother David is an inspiring example of what can happen in difficult or broken relationships. With willingness, clarity, and support many people can follow their path and heal ruptured connections .

                        author

Lorraine Segal

Lorraine Segal, M.A. is a Conflict Management and Communication Consultant, Coach, and Trainer. Through her own business, Conflict Remedy, Ms. Segal works with corporations and non-profits as well as governmental entities and individuals to promote harmonious and productive workplaces.  She is a consultant and trainer for County of Sonoma. And, at Sonoma… MORE >

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