Merry Christmas and, still, Blessed Advent! Yes, we have passed the Advent Season, that annual time of waiting, but I still carry some of the graces from those days with me. Perhaps you do, too. A sense of comfort at the extra quiet and prayer for insight. A gratitude at the many blessings God has […]
Sweep the floor clean and open the windows! It’s a brand and grand new year! And in order to make it the absolute best, one of the most important activities that we can practice (besides good mid-winter cleaning) is forgiveness. Here’s why:
The new year offers many opportunities for us to do better than we did previously. Relate to others. Take good care of our health. Reach out. Expand our horizons. Or, just be better right at home. But this is virtually impossible to do if our hearts are overburdened with resentful, angry feelings toward ourselves or others.
For example, a serious illness can stir up tremendous anger at the illness, life, God or our bodies This anger can take away precious energy, energy that we need to be able to do the things necessary for our health. It can sap us of the will to be positive toward others. It truly can make us and, seemingly, our lives miserable. Forgiveness applied to the wounds sustained by life with a serious illness can help turn all the negativity into healing. Not a cure of the illness, but a healing that can open channels of love, appreciation, and more of a personal relationship with God. Just saying, “I forgive,” can start the journey of a better outlook on life with illness, and there’s no better time than the start of a new year to do so!
Another area where forgiveness can bring bright, shining newness is in our relationships with others. If someone honks we’re waiting for a disabled parking space, rather than getting upset, just saying, “I forgive,” can let anger and the stress it creates dissolve away. If someone we love seems to not care “enough,” forgiving the person for the perceived failing while being grateful for the part they do play in our lives can help turn us from feeling lonely to feeling truly loved.
Finally, remembering that our bodies are fragile gifts from God and forgiving the frailty we experience in our lives with pain and illness is a big and wonderful step toward acceptance of who we are, where we are. This step can lead to true fulfillment, true joy, if we let it.
Yes, if we keep our hearts set on forgiveness and open up and out to all that this year has to offer, we will find many bright blessings throughout.
May it be a splendid 2017!
Joy and peace,