I’m sitting in the living room as I write to you. The Christmas tree is twinkling. Simon kitty is on the back of the comfy chair rubbing my ear and cheek as hard as he can while purring his happy song. The little holiday carousel is going ’round to its charming little tune. Everyone is napping but me.
I have a cup of peppermint tea, my laptop, and you on my mind.
I hope your holiday is lovely. I hope it’s peaceful, joyful, restorative, jolly . . . whatever it is that fills you up and gives you that little, quiet, internal smile. Those are the most delicious smiles.
Sometimes families have a hard time at holidays. It seems to be a time folks are most vulnerable to hurts both intended and accidental. And it seems a time when many are stressed enough to wound someone.
I hope you can find a way to keep your bearings. To sail smoothly through without hitting an iceberg or harpooning a shipmate.
But if you hit rough waters, remember that forgiveness is a trustworthy sextant. It is the shortest distance between hell and heaven.
Someone asked me the other day about forgiveness. How was it that I could forgive something that had such a negative affect on my life? I answered that I wanted to and also I kept in mind that while I enjoyed the change in the person, I didn’t trust it. And that is my human struggle.
Sometimes you think of what you should have said later; what would have been more true, more accurate.
Had I thought more about it. I would have said something else. I would have said I forgave that person because I love them and because I wanted to. I wanted to be in relationship with that person, and I know that person only did the things they did because of their own human struggle. It wasn’t about me. It wasn’t even about them. It was about painful feelings they didn’t know what to do with.
I think it’s important to learn what to do with our painful feelings. That way they don’t spill onto people we love.
I hope you have good ways of dealing with your painful feelings. And I hope you can forgive yourself and others when feelings get overwhelming and aren’t handled well. It’s going to happen every now and then. Or a lot. But it’s not what really matters.
What matters most is relationship with those we love.
I’m writing because it’s Christmas; a time for families and friends to gather together. Because I want your holiday to be joyful and peaceful for you.
In the Christian tradition this is the celebration of Christ’s birth. The beginning of a life that ended with sacrifice and eternal forgiveness. Why? Because of love and the desire for relationship.
Forgiveness is a precious gift.