Love In A Big World: New Year

December 30th, 2016

In just a few days we’ll be reminiscing with the “Best of 2016” shows and watching the ball drop at Time Square. It’s another New Year’s Eve. This is when we hear a lot of talk about New Year’s Resolutions. “I’m going to stop eating fast food!” says Uncle John. “I’m going to lose fifty pounds,” says Grandma. These resolutions for improving physical health are important. But what about making some resolutions that benefit our overall wellbeing — how we feel on the inside?

Are you stressed? Angry? Worried? Fearful? Our relationships with parents, brothers and sisters, and friends impact our emotional health, which in turn impacts our physical health. Maybe you’re at odds with your mom because of your different views about life. Perhaps, you just heard the rumor about you that’s been spread all over the workplace. Or maybe you’re mad at yourself for losing your temper with your child. What you need is a new start. Forgiveness is putting another’s wrongs behind; letting go of anger because of a wrong.

Here’s something that has helped me. From time to time, I write a list of all the people who have wronged me, every person with whom I can tell things are just not right. It may have been a strange look or a cutting remark that clued me in to the problem between us. Usually I’m at the top of my own list. Then I read over what I just wrote, breathe deeply (because I can feel anger rising inside me), and I choose to forgive. The person who has wronged me may never have even said, “I’m sorry”. I choose to put the wrongs behind, to let the anger go. Then I rip up the paper and throw it away. This, my friends, is an action prayer.

I know it might sound simple. It is, and it isn’t. When hard feelings resurface, I work through the many-layered process of forgiveness again…and again…and again…until I know that the chains of resentment are broken and the wounds of rejection are healed. I sit in the presence of the Almighty, inviting Holy Spirit to free my heart. Working through this method with intention helps me gain a fresh start. And that’s what we all need for a Happy New Year!

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