forgiveness

How to Forgive, Even When It Seems Impossible

Right before Thanksgiving my ultimate concierge, our five-month-old adorable pooch, America, and I flew out of the Palm Springs airport to O’Hare.

We were home in time to have dinner with my mom in my beautiful Chicago. We just arrived in Palm Springs a week earlier and were turning around to spend Thanksgiving with my mother because it is all about love and respect.

I love Thanksgiving. When I think of this holiday, I feel warm and fuzzy. Thanksgiving calls to mind the pilgrims, the beautiful East Coast, and everything in between. And, what it means to be an American.

Thanksgiving is two days away. It is a wonderful holiday. Families and friends feast on a delicious meal of turkey, candied yams with marshmallows and pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, some of you are separated from your families because of the miles, and unfortunately, some are separated by anger.

I hope this Thanksgiving you were fortunate to have the capacity to forgive. I understand the personal benefit of forgiveness. To forgive another person is giving up your right to condemn. It is letting go of ill will and making peace. Don’t you feel wonderful reading those words?

This does not mean you will forget the way the person acted and it does not mean you will ever have the same type of warm relationship. Forgiving is letting the past go and using positive, productive energy to live in the present. The present is a gift. The past is the past. I genuinely believe that most people deep down understand forgiving others is the right thing.

Darlings, if you are quarreling with someone what better time than Thanksgiving to pick up your phone or drop a note or send a little gift? The message is simply, I forgive you

WHY PEOPLE DO NOT FORGIVE

  1. They don’t know how to handle the situation.

Forgiveness does not mean you are justifying and forgetting what happened. Forgiving is merely giving up your right to censure another person. You do not have to reconcile. Forgiving someone does not mean the person is released from the consequences of his actions. You are giving yourself a gift… you are letting go of ill will.

  1. They can’t let go of the past.

So many people spend their days living in the past. They dwell on days gone by. I live in the present. I have no time to dwell on what was. The present is a gift.

let-go-of-the-past

Holding on to past anger turns a lovely person into a bitter one. You want the other person who harmed you to suffer. You believe that this person should know that they deserve your wrath. Worst of all, incorrectly, you think that you are making them miserable. Darlings, you are making yourself miserable because holding on to bitter thoughts is a curse. When you forgive someone, you let go of your bitterness and become, yourself, once again.

  1. They are holier-than-thou, self-righteous.

You are sure you are the heroine, and they are the bad one. The other person may be wrong, manipulative or a bully, however, have you considered what led them to act in this manner? This thinking does not excuse their actions, but it gives you some insight to think about your actions. Perhaps you inflicted pain on them? This will challenge you to think of the part you played and your need to receive forgiveness from the person you are demanding apologize to you.

A SMALL STORY OF FORGIVENESS

A few weeks ago, I received an email meant for someone else. I was shocked when I read the few short lines. It was written about me, and it was unkind. The email was sent, quite by accident, to me. What did I do?

My initial reaction was to act with a full heart. I felt empathy for the person who unwittingly sent me the email. Did I feel weak because of her words? No, I felt strong.

I did not write her back, nor did I call her. She knew at this point that I accidentally received her email. No doubt, she was punishing herself when she learned that I received the email. Her words in the email showed a side of her…not a side of me. A month later we talked. I hold no anger. We are friends. All is forgiven.

So please, celebrate this Thanksgiving with a heart filled with love. Forgive someone. You will be giving a gift to yourself. Enjoy your families, friends, perfect foods and lastly, if you find yourself upset with anyone remember two things that will bring you peace: kindness and forgiveness.

Susan “Honey” Good is the founder of HoneyGood.com where this blog originally appeared. The site is a collection of lessons learned, life advice and insights from not only her, but from a fantastic group of contributing writers, each adding their own spice to the recipe. Honey Good.com representing “a family tree of women” — wives, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law, sisters, aunts, cousins and girlfriends — coming together to talk about what makes them tick as well as what they have in common. Honey Good discusses life experiences with wisdom, humor and intellect, enabling all to attain a “Honey Good Style of Life.”

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