There are a number of steps that you can take on your journey to forgiveness. For example, you made need to:
Decide what you are forgiving
Are you forgiving just the resentment and anger that the other person’s actions have caused? Or are you also forgiving the action itself? The two don’t have to go hand in hand. You don’t have to pardon the offense to forgive the way it made you feel. For example, if you had an immediate family member who refused to stop smoking even though they were diagnosed with cancer, you could chose to forgive the worry and stress it caused you, without excusing their choice to continue with the harmful behavior of smoking.
Think small as well as big
When you are giving forgiveness, it doesn’t need to be for just a big action. It can be for something that at first consideration you may think is petty or insignificant. Maybe last Thanksgiving your aunt made a snide remark about your career choice and you’ve not been able to let the feelings of anger go. You’ll also don’t need to just forgive a big action. You could also be forgiving a personality trait. We all have that one family member that just rubs us the wrong way, not because of something they did, but because of their brass personality, way of always speaking out of turn, their foul language, and the list goes on. This holiday make a point of forgiving everything that you are harboring, whether caused by an action or otherwise.
Remember that it’s a Win/Win Situation
When you forgive someone, and they know about it, you both win. But often when we forgive, we do it silently without making a grand gesture or show about it or even informing the person being forgiven. So regardless of whether the other person knows or not, you will come out a winner. You’ll also free yourself from the preoccupations of the past.
Remember To Forgive Yourself
When you’re forgiving others, also forgive yourself for any thoughts, words, or deeds that you have done to yourself that are damaging. A great example is weight loss. You may be very angry with yourself for not sticking more to your diet and beating yourself up for not being motivated or disciplined. You may have even called yourself “fat” or “ugly”.
When forgiving yourself, however, don’t force it. Allow the thoughts and feelings to come and go as they need to, providing forgiveness when the time is right to do so. Let those thoughts and feelings play out their natural life cycle.
You always hear that life is too short to hold grudges so make this holiday the one where you let yours go. Take control of the things in your life that are ready to be forgiven and acknowledge the ones that may almost be ready but aren’t quite there yet. You’ll have a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday as a result. Now that’s a holiday worth having!
To your inner forgiveness – Anna