Still looking for that last holiday gift? Is there a person in your life that you really do not want to give a gift to, but feel obligated to give one to? What if there was a way you could “keep the family peace” this holiday season without having to spend a lot of time and money? If you are interested, then I have the perfect gift for you….it’s the “F” word.
What if you could give a gift that some have considered life changing? After all, they know because they have already given it to their own family and friends? And this gift can be a holiday hit even if the other person does not really want it. There is really no way to return it. What is this mysterious gift? The “F” word.
What if there was a gift you could give that is not just for giving, but for keeping as well? A gift to yourself, so to speak, not just the other person. In fact, this gift has the ability to improve your health, improve your relationships, and help you gain control of your life. There is no pill to take, or gift to buy. What is this gift? The “F” word.
What is the “F” word? Forgiveness. That’s right! Forgiveness. The gift that does not cost a dime, and can make all the difference in your health and relationships this holiday season.
What is forgiveness?
Here is my definition: when a relationship is free of the slightest bit of anger because you have worked through any negative emotions resulting from another person’s behaviors. It does not mean you have ignored what took place or just “forget about it.” Rather, you are making the choice to no longer allow another person’s behaviors have influence over your emotions, behavior or even influence the kind of day you are having.
Remember that person that we mentioned? The one you need to “keep the family peace with?” Why not make the choice to forgive them? By choosing to forgive another person, your holiday season can be filled with peace rather than resentment. Imagine that: peace rather than the rumblings of resentment this holiday season.
How can forgiving change your life?
First, you will improve your relationships. I can not think of any relationship that is not strengthened by a forgiving spirit. Parent-child relationships are improved. Marriages are more intimate. And friendships become more authentic. Forgiveness is the life blood in any healthy relationship. Without forgiveness, one cannot love to the fullest potential, walk in another person’s shoes emotionally, nor be patient without having expectations of the other person.
Another way forgiving can change your life is that it reduces your stress level. There is a lot of research on the positive effects of reducing your stress. Resentment only results in physical and emotional stress. Choosing to forgive someone, and letting go of resentment reduces your stress and therefore can improve your health. In addition, forgiving another person is totally dependent upon you. You do not need to have another person’s approval for you to forgive them. You can choose to forgive whether or not another person chooses to reciprocate forgiveness. Either way, you are a winner by choosing to forgive.
In addition, choosing to forgive puts you back in control of your life. When we live in resentment, we may feel like we are in control. However, we are actually being controlled by our anger. Think about something you are angry about, or an offense that another person did to you. Does anger, or frustration, immediately well up within you? At times, does the very thing that took place become front and center in your mind? Are there ever times that this incident can occupy your thoughts for extended periods of time? Then in a way, resentment can control you. By choosing to forgive, you take back the control and resentment no longer has any power.