Nothing would make the holiday season more joyful and bright than to celebrate it free from any resentments, grudges and anger you’ve been hanging on to.
Even if you’re not going to be around anyone who stirs up those feelings in you, just storing such feelings buried beneath the surface has a profound impact. That sort of unresolved negativity is a heavy burden that robs you of lightness and ease.
Of course, the secret to freeing yourself from that heaviness is simple: forgive!
Forgiveness being a state of mind, feeling that you’ve fully forgiven someone is not necessarily a permanent one. Rather, it is something you create in those moments when you notice that you’re holding on to hard feelings.
So don’t judge yourself if you think you’ve completely forgiven someone, then something triggers a memory of whatever old hurt you feel they’re responsible for…and suddenly you’re back to feeling resentful. Just forgive them again!
Here is my recommendation for a holiday that’s truly free and joyful: keep forgiving whenever you notice an opportunity – it will help you feel lighter!
Here’s A Great Way to Practice Your Forgiving Skills
- Think of someone in your life who “doesn’t deserve forgiveness” (and you may want to do a quick check in with yourself – could it be that you are that person?).
- Take 3 slow, deep breaths.
- Resolve to completely forgive that person, allowing it to be only for the present moment.
- Remind yourself what Forgiveness IS NOT by reading these statements out loud:
– “Forgiveness does NOT mean I’m condoning bad, hurtful or harmful behaviors.”
– “Forgiveness does NOT require that I forget whatever behavior I am forgiving.”
– “Forgiveness does NOT mean I have to reconcile with that person, or even to see them again.”
– “Forgiveness does NOT mean I have to give up pursuing a just and fair outcome.”
– “Forgiveness does NOT mean I am dismissing my feelings as being unimportant!”
- Now read the following statements to remind yourself what Forgiveness IS:
– “Forgiveness is letting go of all hope for a better past: I will not spend any more time imagining what I wish had happened instead.”
– “Forgiveness is a choice, not an emotion. While emotions may arise when I decide to forgive, I must first make a conscious decision to let go of my unresolved grievance.”
– “Forgiveness is something I am doing for my own healing! I stay focused on being free and what I will gain from moving forward with my life.”
– “Forgiveness is taking responsibility for my feelings: I alone have the ability and the power to choose how I feel in each moment.”
– “Forgiveness is a process, and a skill that I am learning and practicing. By doing so I am giving myself the gift of greater happiness and wellbeing.”
- Finish with 3 more slow, deep breaths.
Go forth and enjoy all the gifts of the season! And always remember that while you cannot change things that have occurred in the past, you can learn and grow from those experiences!
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Remember: If you would like some help with applying this process to a particularly tough forgiveness challenge – or just want some support in this potentially emotionally stressful time of year – call me at (201) 489-6720 or email me at Loren@BeingWellWithin.com for a complimentary 20-minute consultation.
I have reserved some time on my calendar for the coming week, and will also be available after the first of the year. So don’t struggle on your own with whatever throws you off your game!
I’m here to help, and it’s my gift to you.