Dear WHY Team member,
Thinking of you during this very special time of year, a great time for warm soup, hot cocoa and winter holiday movies. You may have noticed the overarching theme of those movies to be gratitude. Why?
We have so much in which to be thankful and plenty from which to give, but remember, the most important Give is to For-Give. In case you haven’t noticed, forgiving is literally for giving. While there will be the exchange of presents, food and good cheer - a truly powerful gift is to release others from their wrongs against you. It isn't just the giving to the ones you like, that's easy and is no sacrifice. How about giving to those who have hurt you? Don’t be a Scrooge towards some; take a good look at your glass, it’s full enough to serve everyone around you, yes even the ones that hurt you. And funny enough, despite you gladly serving others from your cup, you’ll notice your cup filling up.
Do you have a right to be angry, disappointed, frustrated at some around you? I am sure you do, I have no doubt; the holiday season can often be one of tremendous stress and help bring all those debts, that are owed you, to the surface. We humans are flawed and often hurt the people we love most, but nothing is more damaging to a person and everyone around them than a heart filled with bitterness; it destroys from within. Because debts pile up, forgiving even the smallest transgression is a formula for a wonderful life. The greatest expression of love is to forgive.
I’ve shared in years past our Christmas Season Tradition: watching the Holiday Classic
It's a Wonderful Life and every time I watch it, I am reminded once again how easy it is to devalue ourselves.
In the movie, George cannot pay a debt and gets to the point of feeling worthless. As most of you know, only when he sees how the world would have been without him does he realize that he is far more valuable than his unpaid debts. In fact, in the end, he couldn't pay his debt - love paid his debt. First it was a love for what he did have rather than focusing on what was missing and then it was the loving overflow of generosity from others. It's a story of the redeeming power of love and always brings me to tears.
It is first up to us to recognize that what we have already received is beyond what anyone could say they deserve. We need only see the abundance in our life to know this. But if we choose to keep our balance sheets listing all the hurts others have done to us - it is we who will suffer needlessly, not to mention everyone around us.
This season give the greatest gift of all - give the gift of forgiveness! And nothing will empower you more to do this than to receive it for yourself. When George found himself on that bridge, he saw only where he had failed, he wished he had never been born. Fortunately for him, he got a chance to see what that would have meant. Your life, despite your faults and shortcomings, is far more valuable than you can ever imagine. You are a gift to the world. When you truly know this, you will want others to know this about themselves as well.
Only through forgiveness for ourselves, and then for others, can we truly live A Wonderful Life! -
one that gives, one that serves, one that fulfills the WHY of our lives.
May forgiveness fill your heart and provide you, and the ones you love, a Very Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year!