Monday, November 25, 2013

There are Holiday Things to Do!

It's the holidays, and that means many different things for each of us.  In addition to the shopping, decorating, cleaning and cooking - oh, and I did I mention the formation and implementation of all the cinnamon-scented self-imposed expectations? - it also means that I have to reconcile my nostalgia for the old days with a ramped up energy for all that I have and all that is in front of me today.  I have to get ready.  It's time to celebrate.
It's a really great time to look to new ways of being, and that is an ambitious resolution - way less about shedding weight and more about shedding the things that really hold us down.
Here's a big one at holiday time:  What does it mean to forgive?  When someone does you wrong, do you hold a grudge or obsess about what happened?  Or do you just let it slide and ignore that you have feelings?
If you care at all about the relationship, there are better ways to deal, and it's called Acceptance.  It's a solid tool (free and available to all of us!) because it is so useful when the person who offended you is unwilling or unable to recognize what he or she did.
You can go ahead and work on forgiveness - or not!  That's your choice, your freedom, really, but one thing is for can work on acceptance without the consent or cooperation of the person who hurt you!  Woo hoo!  I love my independence!
Ten Steps of Acceptance
Step 1: You honor the full sweep of your emotions.
Step 2: You give up your need for revenge but continue to seek a just resolution.
Step 3: You stop obsession about the injury and reengage with life.
Step 4: You protect yourself from further abuse.
Step 5: You frame the offender’s behavior in terms of his own personal struggles.
Step 6: You look honestly at your own contribution to the injury (if any).
Step 7: You challenge your false assumptions about what happened.
Step 8: You look at the offender apart from his offense.
Step 9: You carefully decide what kind of relationship you want with the person who hurt you.
Step 10: You forgive yourself for your own failings.

Sometimes all you need to heal is time and a warm place to curl up with your favorite beverage.  Mostly, though, a huge dose of really reflecting on where the other person is drawing their meaning can help  you to understand them.  The possibilities are transformational because you actively remind yourself that the injury you endured will not define you or determine you.  You can survive.  You can transcend this.

Peace on earth and amen.

The ideas presented in this article are contained in the highly recommended book How Can I Forgive You? by Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph. D.

No comments:

Post a Comment