The Best Gift of All
It’s been said the greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of yourself; your time, your attention, your love. The problem is we get so wrapped up in our holiday season “to-do list” that we don’t take any time to fill up our own cup in order to be there for the ones we love. I’m not just talking about filling up our own cup by meditating, making sure we get that work-out in, or taking a trip with the kids to see The Nutcracker to enjoy some family time. I’m talking about deeper self-care, the kind you can use to kick-off a new year of prioritizing the things in your life that are the most meaningful to you. Sure meditation, exercising, and family-time are vital to living a physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy lifestyle. But the holidays can be used as an ample time to face a lot of situations we might otherwise be able to avoid, like seeing certain relatives we don’t particularly enjoy, or traveling back home and fielding questions about why we are still single or decided not to have children. These are the issues that rise to the surface after a bad day, or a lonely night…the questions that might peck away at you throughout the year while you’re too busy or defeated to solve them. They may be able to be quelled by Christmas shopping or throwing yourself into a new project at work. But they are always there unless you decide to deal with them, slowly unraveling the ties that bind your head and your heart and stand in between you and the freedom a lucky few might have already experienced in their lifetime. I have found the best way to experience this freedom is by focusing on forgiveness. Forgiveness of others and yourself can be a lengthy and complicated process. To forgive and forget feels nearly impossible at times. You might not be ready. You might have more important things going on in your life. You might feel too much time has passed and the situation is as resolved as it’s ever going to be. But I can assure you, taking small steps towards forgiveness, towards moving on from being wronged or distancing yourself from the disappointment of an unfulfilled expectation, will eventually lead to an inner peace that quite simply, money can’t buy. Do you want to be there for others, to give them the best gift of all this holiday season? Forgive them. And most importantly, forgive yourself.