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Friday
Dec212012

The Most Selfish Christmas Present of All

This is a story I told at the credit union's Board and staff at our recent holiday party:

 

I would like you to consider giving yourself the most selfish of all Christmas presents.  This gift is so wonderful that it will give you returns of happiness and pleasure long after its purchase.  The gift I am speaking of is forgiveness and reconciliation.  Think of someone who in the past you have loved but no longer love or now hold a grudge towards.  Now think about and consider reaching out to that person with forgiveness and reconciliation.  I want to share with you my own personal story of forgiveness and reconciliation to illustrate this point.  Many years ago when I was in college my Mom and Dad went through a bitter divorce.  As so often happens in these instances us kids sided with one of our parents, our Mom.  For over 20 years I did not speak with my Dad.  They were 20 good years filled with many things and happenings but I knew there was something missing.  After much thought I realized what that missing thing was.  I needed to reconcile with my Dad.  I decided to write my Dad a letter.  A couple weeks after I sent him my letter I got a letter back from him.  I was a little fearful of opening his letter.  But when I did I found that he was just like me, a regular guy pursuing many of the things in his life that I was pursuing in mine.  The next Fathers’ Day I called him.  Then, a couple years later on his 70th birthday I showed up on his doorstep.  He asked why I was there.  I said to help him celebrate his 70th birthday.  I had a great fun time that weekend sharing with my Dad and his wife.  We didn’t do anything all that special but we had loads of fun just being together.  At the end of the weekend when Dad dropped me at the airport there were tears in his eyes.  He told me it was the most wonderful birthday he’d ever had.  Since that time my Dad and I have developed a wonderful loving relationship.  What that forgiveness and reconciliation did for me has been truly amazing.  Forgiveness and reconciliation with my Dad has freed me of hatred and anger.  In their place I now have happiness and joy.  And the energy I was using up with that hatred and anger I have used to do many good and great things in my life.  None more great than marrying my wife, (I love you Luda.), and raising our wonderful daughter.  Some words of warning about forgiveness and reconciliation.  They take enormous courage.  They take the ability to look inside yourself and realize that you were probably a big part of the reason for the past problems.  Second thing, when you are even considering forgiveness and reconciliation don’t think about those past problems.  Forget them because all they are now are hindrances to your freeing up lots and lots of energy that will be given to you when you go through forgiveness and reconciliation.  Energy you can use on good and great things in your life.  Energy that can give you great happiness and joy.  And one final warning, all the little things that used to drive you crazy about the other person?  They’re still there and they will probably still drive you crazy.  But that probably says more about you than it does about the other person so just get over it.  In conclusion, Dad and I share so much in common that I am overjoyed that I took the time to reconcile with him.  Now I ask you to consider forgiveness and reconciliation with someone you love.  It will be the most selfish Christmas present you ever give yourself.

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    Evan Clark

Reader Comments (1)

Great post, Play Doh. My mom's expression was that "hate eats you from the inside out." This lesson from her taught me to forgive and forget more quickly - friends' errors, difficult encounters with strangers, or other loved ones. Keep writing!

December 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleanna

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