I believe that unique holiday presents are often better than any material gift you give or receive.
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Giving up hate you have for someone would be a great gift to the one you hate and for yourself, too.
• When you hate someone, he/she knows it and it bothers and upsets him/her. He/she may say, “I don’t care what this person thinks about me,” but, in reality, he/she does care. I don’t know anyone who is OK with being hated. If you give up your hatred of this person, you are practicing kindness in a very profound way.
• By dropping hatred of someone, you are benefiting yourself, too. When you hate someone, he/she owns an important part of your inner peace and happiness. Every time you see him/her or hear his/her name, it upsets you. Your jaw gets tight, and your stomach acts up.
When you talk to someone you hate, the relationship usually gets worse. Do not allow someone else to determine your inner peace and joy. Talk to him/her after you let go of your hatred.
• When you learn to control your inner experience and thoughts, you are well on the way to living a happy life. You, not outside resources, are the shot caller.
• Let your hate go. There is nothing about hate that is worth hanging onto. Let go of the hatred and move forward. It’s never a good idea to walk around with anger boiling inside you. The more anger you get rid of, the more happiness you create for yourself and others. When you dump your hatred of someone, you become a hero in the “Kindness Hall of Fame” and you feel more relaxed, less angry and willing to move forward.
• I am not sure if you can drop hatred in a “cold turkey” decision. Perhaps it’s better to drop it, a day at a time, for a few weeks, then months, and eventually forever. It’s not so important how you let go of hatred. It’s very important that you abandon it … beginning today.
• A very nice holiday gift would be to create more quiet time for yourself and for your family. Get away from noise as often as possible. Create quiet time at home by turning off the radio, TV, telephone, cell phone, etc., at least a couple of hours daily. Teach yourself and your family how to meditate or pray to start the day.
• Take occasional trips to quiet places, such as the woods, the beach or even the desert. Turn off the car radio and other electronic devices as you travel. It’s a lot easier to create inner happiness in a quiet environment. Outside noise interferes with trying to empty your mind and entertain thoughts of “who am I really, and what do I want from life?”
• To really find out who you are now, it’s a good idea to forget everything you believed about yourself in the past or recent past. Start all over with this moment. Eliminate old scripts that others taught you about yourself. Don’t allow those old scripts to determine your present thoughts. Once you dump the old, you are free to discover the present you.
• To discover or create your new, present self, you have to forgive yourself for past mistakes and let go of old guilt. Let go of the old mistakes. If life is to be fair, allow yourself justice by paying only once for each mistake. Get over the mistakes and move towards the new adventure of creating “right now” inner peace and comfort. Make happiness your holiday gift to yourself. You deserve it!
Bob Billingsley is a columnist at the Mountain Democrat. His column appears bi-weekly.