“While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.” -Tom Allen
(The following excerpt from What Everybody Ought To Know About Forgiveness” by Matthew B. James appeared on psychology today.com on December 13, 2013. To read it in its entirety click on the link below.)
It’s winter: the season of reflection, of letting go, and clearing away the old.
In nature winter is the season that prepares everything for spring with its growth and new possibilities. If we’re smart, we’ll use this “down time” in the way that nature does: to let go of the past and make way for the new.
But if we don’t take this opportunity, we’ll still carry around the resentments and unfinished business from the prior year (or prior years!), which means we won’t be prepared to embrace the fresh possibilities of the new year. We’ll still be shackled to the past and clogged by negative emotions we haven’t released – and we’ll create a new year that looks very much like the year we just lived. Holding on to past hurts, resentments and angers will sap our energy, monopolize our thoughts, and keep us from creating the future we desire.
Clinging to the negative of the past doesn’t just affect us emotionally and psychologically. Studies have shown that holding onto negative emotions such as anger, resentment or hurt are closely connected to a wide range of illnesses including heart disease, cancers, and gastrointestinal problems.
So to stay (or become) healthy and to move forward into a fresh future, we’ve got to let all of that past baggage go. But how?
The key is forgiveness.
#1 Both Give and Receive
#2 Say What Needs Saying
#3 Let Your Love Flow to the Other
#4 Release the Hurt, Retain the Learning
By the way, this isn’t just a process you do once a year. I’ve learned to use this process every day to release both small and large hurts. Why? To stay healthy, and remain fully present with all my energies flowing freely so I am prepared to embrace the possibilities life offers.