Adding to the Christmas list

Originally posted by Emjayandthem on December 15, 2010

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photo credit


It’s not something we do for others; we do it for ourselves so we can heal and move on.

I can’t count the number of conversations I’ve had with friends lately about how much they’re dreading the holiday get-together because their Dad is difficult or their Stepmom/sister/brother/cousin/aunt will be there  and you know what they’re like. Hurt feelings, disappointments, stand-offs, words that should never have been said.

Add some booze to the mix and stir — wheee!

Not. So. Much.

It’s uncomfortable; it’s the elephant in the room.

It’s why they don’t want to go home.   They’re considering staying put.

I know that not everything can be forgiven (abuse, violence) but, in my experience, more things can … than cannot. And when you let those past hurts go, something shifts:  Your burden is lightened.  Oh those others? They will remain as they are but something in you will change.


I know it’s not easily done but, trust me on this:  it gets easier with practice.  Like any skill, the more you do it the better you’ll be.

Forgiveness. It really can set you free.

I wish you peace.

* * *

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“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” Anne Lamott

Categories: Animals, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Home, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Adding to the Christmas list

  1. Great advice, MJ. Because you really never know if there will be a next time.

    • That’s it exactly; recent events reminded me of that important point. And, it is difficult to stay angry – it takes energy I’d rather not expend. MJ

  2. Forgiving someone opens up a space that can be filled anew. With understanding, perhaps love again.
    I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and warm Christmas, dear MJ, and all the best for 2013.

    • Exactly … I’ve had to let people go more than once. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, because it’s not, but it is freeing to no longer carry the weight of the relationship. It makes room for something good to come in — or nothing at all and that’s OK, too.

      Peace to you at Christmas and always 🙂 Take care, Marion

  3. Always good advice from you, MJ!

  4. I’ve often heard this piece of advice… that forgiveness is more healing for you than for the person you’re forgiving. So why are we so stubborn about taking the leap? 🙂

    Merry Christmas, MJ!

    • I always thought that was a bunch of balderdash, too, but I’ve come to learn that it really is for me — and that I can’t change anyone else, only me. They still might be miserable and ornery but it’s no longer my load to carry 🙂 MJ

  5. Merry Christmas, MJ 🙂

    • Thank you and same to you! It was a very nice day, but unfortunately our household got the flu so it was a quiet day!!

      • Ah… it’s been flying around here, too… I think, pray that I have avoided this round!

      • Hubbs had the sniffles last Friday which he attributed to weather changes … no dice. By Sunday morning he wasn’t doing so hot, and by Monday, neither was I. The good news is it doesn’t seem to be long-lasting .. yay! MJ

  6. Even forgiving someone who is dead or doesn’t know you are forgiving them is healing. It really is about letting go of poison. It’s in the Bible…don’t come before Me with unforgiveness in your heart. I’m always making up my own version of scripture but I’m sure it rings a bell…

  7. A beautiful post, MJ! I completely agree…I’ve learned that forgiving others is truly freeing for me…it’s almost magical…you feel like you are going to give a gift to someone else, but the biggest gift is to the one who forgives.
    I know this is after the Day, but I hope your Christmas was wonderful! ~ Sheila

    • It was a very nice few days; Hubbs and I both caught a bug and have been down for the count since Monday night … but we are on the mend now. Something about getting sick that makes me grateful for how good I normally feel 🙂

      Forgiveness really will set you free – Hugs!

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