If you really want to get into the spirit of the holiday season, forget about the people you love.
Just for a minute.
You know – the people who know you care about them. Who’re probably the ones who love you back. Unconditionally. The ones who matter the most to you. The ones whom you will spend your holidays with. For whom you buy the most expensive gifts. And who, you won’t really ever forget about. No matter what.
But, let’s not think about them. For a minute.
Instead, here’s what I ask of you. For just one minute, think of the one person you dislike the most. The one who you think ruined your chances at work. Or whom you haven’t spoken to in years. The ex-best friend who betrayed your trust. The boss who didn’t give you the raise you deserved. The cousin who embarrassed you at a family gathering. Maybe even the ex-spouse who cheated on you.
We can’t deny it. Ask anyone, and there’s sure to be at least one person they detest, dislike or at the very least, will have nothing to do with for the rest of their lives. Whether it’s a relative, colleague or someone who used to be a friend – you never forget about them.
But, maybe the time has come to forgive?
Think about it. Life is short. Let’s say you live a hundred years. You’ve already lived 20, 30 or 40 of them. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life holding on to a grudge or carrying the burden of hatred in your heart? Is it really worth it? What have you gained by not forgiving? Does it really make you any happier?
I’m guessing not. Hatred never makes anyone feel better. On the contrary, studies show that holding on to negative thoughts affects your mental and physical health adversely. It is likely to cause you stress related diseases and shorten your life span. Your negativity may even spill over to your loved ones. Is that what you really want?
What if you were to decide to forgive that person this holiday season? Yes, the one who hurt you, betrayed your trust or damaged your reputation. It won’t be easy. And it won’t happen overnight. And it may not feel right, at first.
But, give it some time. Allow the thought to sink in.
You don’t have to take a huge step. Start simple. Send that person a holiday e-card. Just wish them well. Wish them happy holidays. And see what happens.
You may just experience something magical. Something beautiful. Something that will change your life and the way you look at life.
One free ecard won’t drastically change your relationship, of course. It may still take you years to actually accept that person with his flaws. But it will break the ice. It will set the ball of forgiveness and communication rolling. You have nothing to lose. Except a minute of your time. And maybe some burden off your chest.
I’d say that’s worth a shot. Don’t you?
Try it. And let us know.