There’s something special about this time of year. It’s full of holidays meant for reflection, gathering, and peace, and that energy radiates amongst us. The people you meet in the street seem kinder, colleagues exchange gifts, time is taken to say thank you … this is the time of year when we most hope conflicts in the world can settle, and a sense of peace can be found. But here is something to keep in mind: We cannot have peace in our world without first having peace within ourselves. A large part of obtaining that peace is rooted in forgiveness.
Think of the family gathering. The Hallmark cards paint a picture of Christmas sweaters, roasted turkey and smiling faces. But what about that missing relative who has held a grudge too long, or that feud bubbling below those smiles, or the parent/child who couldn’t get away from work for the occasion? With this time of celebration also comes a time of vulnerability, sadness and—you guessed it—heartbreak.
But forgiveness. . . forgiveness is a healing balm that counteracts those heartbreaks.
The word “forgive” means to wipe the slate clean, to let go of being right about something, to forgive and forget. How often do we think “I will forgive her/him, however I will not forget”? Have we fully forgiven the trespass against us? I think not; we seek to keep it alive inside of us by not forgetting.
When we wrong someone, we seek his or her forgiveness in order to restore the relationship. It is important to remember that forgiveness is an act of love, humility, compassion, and grace. In the field of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), there is a saying that there are no unresourceful people only unresourceful states. People are doing the best they can with the resources they have available to them at a specific time. Think about forgiveness and see that it starts with forgiving our own missteps. When we forgive others, who are we forgiving? Ourselves, first. Isn’t that a freeing feeling?
If we can create feelings inside us of healing, of forgiveness or any other coherent heart based emotions such as, love, we can influence the field of energy in us and around us. In this space of peace, we can create new thoughts that, in turn, create images of new possibilities. With the power of the mind, imagine what we could invite into our lives if we let go of the guilt, the rage, the sadness attached to NOT forgiving ourselves and others. What would our lives be like if we had peace in our hearts—if we forgave?
Here is a link to an act of forgiveness that many must experience –that between the child and the parent. Watch this video featuring Nelson Mandela’s daughter, Zindzi Mandela, and learn how his being away for so long created a rift that was eventually healed.
May this holiday season hold moments of joy and moments of healing for you. I wish you the strength and humility to forgive and be forgiven. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
My questions for you
1. Can you describe a moment when you needed to forgive and you didn’t forgive? What resulted from that choice? How could have outcomes been different?
2. What do you need to forgive yourself for? How can you release the guilt, rage and sadness from your mind and body?