As the year comes to an end, many of us focus on resolutions, goals and adopting new healthy habits. The month of December is often filled with travel, family time and holiday parties. With it can come stress and frustration. One of the most overlooked ways to de-stress is to go inward and release anger.
Many of us hold onto resentment without realizing it. Your boss didn’t promote you, your ex remarried, the big SUV took your parking spot. Money woes and holiday stress can add a lot of pressure to the mix.
If you want to start the New Year truly feeling balanced and empowered, look at all your relationships and see who you can forgive.
When you forgive others, it doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness is an act of kindness to your own heart. When you forgive, you prevent yourself from hurting. You move on. You take the high road. You’re free.
To feel free this holiday season, forgive these five people in your life:
1. Your ex-lover(s)
Forgiving your ex-lovers doesn’t mean saying what happened is OK. It just means you’ve accepted the situation and can now see the big picture. When you forgive, it isn’t about the other person. It is about opening up your future because you’ve finally forgiven your past.
Holding on to past relationships after they expire is part of healing a broken heart. When you love someone, you never truly get over them. Love is love and can never die. The form of the love changes and you may be in a position where you’re no longer with the person you once loved. When you hold onto emotions and replay negative aspects of the relationship, you put yourself in a holding pattern of anger. Releasing that anger and letting go of regret will help you welcome a new start.
2. Your parents
Your parents are doing the best they can with the information they have. They were raised a particular way and passed on only what they knew. As you grow up into your own beautiful being, parents may resist or be uncomfortable with certain aspects of your lifestyle. Forgive them. They mean well, but it’s up to you to align with your own truth. The best thing you can do is not take what they say, or don’t say, personally. Instead, recognize they want the same thing you want: to be happy, healthy and free of emotional burdens.
3. Your children
If you have children, they may do things that don’t make sense to you. Give them permission to explore and do things that resonate with their own heart. Forgive them for acting out or saying things that hurt you. When people hurt us, it is just them trying to make sense of a world that is hurting them. Do your best to forgive them and love them for who they are growing to be.
4. Your boss
Workplace relationships can affect us on a deep level, in many ways we aren’t even aware of. Are you harboring resentment because your co-worker got the raise before you did? Or maybe your boss keeps ignoring your brilliant ideas? Forgive them. Next time a co-worker or boss does something that causes you frustration, go inward and remind yourself they know not what they do. Align with your own heart and forgive them.
You are far too hard on yourself. This holiday season, you can forgive everyone else. But if you forget to look inward and forgive yourself, you will still feel a void.
You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you are holding on to the past. To make the New Year your best year yet, forgive yourself for not being where you think you should be and recognize you are exactly where you need to be to get to where you want to be.
Consider that everything in your life has led you up to this point right here, right now. You have made no wrong turns, there are no mistakes. Where you sit, in this very moment, imperfect. You are enough and perfect as you are. Forgive yourself.
This article was originally published in Mind Body Green.