Forgiveness To Others
The end of the year is when you look back and reflect on the passing year. It is filled with holiday cheer and time spent with family and friends. It is a time to consider all that you have in your life and all that you are grateful for. However, the end of the year is also a time when there is lots of stress about holiday gatherings, concern over what we wished we had accomplished in the year, anxiety and awkwardness at family gatherings and even blame and judgment. It is enough to make anyone want December to be over with. May I suggest forgiveness as one antidote?
To err is human, to forgive, divine.
― Alexander Pope
As I thought about the power of forgiveness this morning, of course this famous quote immediately popped into my head. What I love about this expression is the acknowledgement that we humans are messy and make mistakes. Even a self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist like myself realizes that we are all likely to make slipups in life. And whether intentional or not, we are bound to hurt others by our actions or our words. Fortunately part of our talent as humans is that we can forgive and move on. Not that forgiving is easy to accomplish.
Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.
Forgiveness, like anything else that is worth attaining, takes practice. But it is possible and very important in order to cultivate a joyful life.
When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.
I love this image of dissolving the painful resentment link to another person through the act of forgiveness. Forgiveness disentangles you and allows you and the other person to not be stuck in the muck of a past event. And consciously creating and living a joyful life requires that you not hang on to the past but instead stay present to what is happening right now.
The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.
― Steve Maraboli
Forgiveness To Yourself
There are so many wonderful quotes about forgiveness of others because letting go of resentment is so important for building lasting relationships and for living in the real world with all its ups and downs. What this last quote also includes is the reminder to forgive yourself. Often that is the most damaging to your own livelihood. When you hold on to resentment and anger about something you said or did it is too easy to get caught in the circle of ruminating about what you wished you had said or done instead. Perhaps you need to forgive someone else. But just as importantly, you really need to forgive yourself. When you recognize that you are just as human as the next person, fallible and capable of making mistakes, you release yourself from pain and suffering that does not serve you.
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
As you go through your own personal journey in life and as you navigate the holiday season, may you be free from the pain and suffering of resentment. May you forgive and be forgiven and feel peace and love.