Today I share a gift that is life transforming if it’s embraced fully. I’ve seen it work for many, many different types of leaders over the years. It’s not the typical blog you find here on Market Leadership Journal. I believe it’s critical to share this message as we go into 2016.
We started Christmas early this year by giving you several gifts to help you have a better holiday season. You can find the first part of this message at Developing Serving Leaders. Read it first. It will give you several smaller gifts to share with family and friends over this holiday season. You’ll find it easy to read and share with others over the holiday week.
The final gift I give is meant to transform you and the world this Christmas season.
I find most of our readers find the first three gifts easy to give and receive. The last gift I share is not so easy to give or receive, depending where you might be in your life. As my grandmother, the nurse, would say, it might be tough medicine to swallow.
I give this gift in hopes of changing the course of your life. Not just your business life, I mean your whole life, and that of your family and community. Now let’s see if I can deliver it before Christmas.
The final Christmas gift I give is to learn to forgive. Most successful men and women I know are very good at forgiving others. They are very good at forgiving many other people no matter what they’ve done. They make it seem almost effortless, they do it so well. They seem to remember people are doing the best they can in the moment. This is a unique gift that I wish I had more of in challenging times.
As good as they are at forgiveness, there are those they can’t forgive. Who don’t they forgive? This is where it gets a bit tricky. They are just terrible at forgiving themselves. They set their standards so high, it would be hard for anyone to meet them and they don’t. This causes many problems for many serving leaders.
The stress of not forgiving just keeps on giving. People who don’t forgive are difficult to deal with, experience more illnesses, and, over time, lose much of the joy they find in their lives. They just can’t find anything to be happy about. Does this sound like anyone you know?
Working in hospice you learn to grant small gifts to the people who are passing on. That’s what I call them. To the people granted them, they are the gifts of a loving God.
You cannot believe the stories that I was told about how they did something wrong many, many years ago. This single event has haunted them for their whole lives. It was left to me to try to help them come to grips with these events so they might move on with their lives or, on to their deaths, more peacefully.
I believe, in many cases, they would not be there with me if they had learned to forgive themselves more quickly. Many times, it could seem like mission impossible. They just couldn’t find it in their hearts to forgive themselves. But if I’m anything, I’m persistent.
I had a simple answer to help them find peace and comfort in their remaining days. Simple doesn’t always mean easy. I don’t think you have to wait to the end of your life to forgive yourself!
Many asked, where have you been all of my life? With a wink and a smile I would remind them there have been people sharing this with them for their whole lives. They just couldn’t or wouldn’t forgive themselves. That’s why I’m here now. Now let’s help you find that forgiveness in your oversized heart. They would, laugh, smile, or sometimes cry. All provided an opportunity to begin the healing process of forgiveness.
Learn to forgive yourself. You did the best you could with who you were at the time. Don’t let a single event in your life decide how you spend your days. Self-forgiveness can help set your heart free.
Now why would I mentioned this during the holiday season? It’s a simple gift on how to return joy to your life. We are not meant to be joyless! Don’t worry about the past and look forward into the future. Enjoy the time you are given. We never know when our time here will end.
The more we can forgive ourselves and others, the more joy we find in our lives. After all, what are the holidays without joy? Actually,
What is life without joy? Forgiveness can help increase the joy in your life exponentially. May you find joy this holiday season! May this be the final gift that keeps on giving!So how did I do? Can you see how embracing and giving this final gift might change how you live your life going forward? Don’t worry we will get back to providing implementable ideas starting next week.
See you then.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.