Thanksgiving should be the best of all holidays—a time to relax, share time with family, and give thanks for all that we have. But for many, holidays with family can resurrect feelings of anger and resentment toward those with whom we should be closest. For those who approach the holidays with a sense of ambivalence or a feeling of isolation, it’s a good time to begin the process of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a process—a process of intentionally changing our emotions and feelings toward the person we feel has wronged us, letting go of grudges, and re-establishing relationships. When we practice forgiveness, we are not “letting the other person off of the hook”; we are giving ourselves the gift of healing, decreasing stress and negative emotion, and looking forward rather than in the rearview mirror. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”
Mayo Clinic offers some wonderful tips about forgiveness in our own lives.