When holidays have arrived, you will likely be encountering relatives at the family holiday dinner that you have issues with. Possibly, you have been thinking about how mad you are at your brother’s wife, or your father, or your sister (just fill in the blanks).
You choose to:
a. not attend the family gathering
b. attend with your list of grievances and corner the person to unload
c. bottle it up and put on a stiff upper lip
d. sit back and make snippy comments OR
e. work on forgiveness in advance
Forgiveness is not an easy road to take. Frankly I never learned about it at school, nor at Sunday School, where I was admonished to do it. Furthermore, forgiveness was not modeled in my home. Holding grudges was. Needless to say, it was years before I even seriously tackled the matter.
The problem with lack of forgiveness is that the victim is saddled with bitterness, anger, and thoughts of revenge. These body and heart-damaging emotions can continue until death (and, I believe, into future lifetimes). At best, the feelings are just hanging around in the background of one’s life.
When you forgive, it doesn’t mean that you have to forget. Forgiving just means that you let go of the angst and resentment, and wish the other well. Forgetting would be foolish if it meant re-engaging in a similar pattern that was hurtful. You may decide to never spend time with this person again, nor put yourself in a vulnerable position with him or her. But you drop the misery around the injury or insult. You let it go.
I will not pussy-foot about it – Forgiveness is hard. So, how do you go about forgiving? In my experience, the most important part is a strong desire and will to do so.
What has worked for me is combining use of the Ho’Oponapona Prayer with EFT tapping. Just saying “I forgive you” doesn’t work for me. I have written two articles on forgiving, one on the Ho’Oponapona Prayer and I’ve created for you a fill-in-the-blank protocol to give you a framework to do some tapping. The forgiveness probably won’t happen over night, but with patience and some work, it will shift things for you.
So why not get busy right now? Work on forgiving the one with whom you are holding a grudge. Be ready to have a more relaxed holiday. Please call for an appointment if you would like help with this at 512-444-9777. And please write or email your successes to me. I wish you the best and a happy holiday season.