Prime Living/Empowering Women

‘Tis the season for forgiveness, reflection

By SharonAnn Hamilton | Jan 11, 2019

Dear SharonAnn,

I have a friend/client who said something hurtful to me earlier this year. Just recently I discovered what was said came from a place of fear. She apologized, and said it wasn’t personal. It felt personal, however, and I still think about it from time to time to try to find out where I went wrong. In fact, it bothered me and robbed me of sleep this year. I don’t want to use my time feeling sad about things out of my control. How can I keep this from happening again?

Signed Bothered & Losing Sleep

Dear Bothered,

The short answer is to learn the practice of forgiveness. What is forgiveness? It is not just for people of faith. It is the intentional and voluntary change of feelings and attitudes about a person. It’s also easy to say, but hard to do. I am reminded of the time my mother-in-law and sister-in-law did not speak to each other for four years because of un-forgiveness. Each bitterly expounded about the slight the other inflicted. Boring? Yes, it made for miserable family holidays, with one or the other missing.

There are times when un-forgiveness cannot be fixed. Someone dies. You did not forgive them, and it sticks with you for your life. Divorce. Some couples never speak again. Retirement. Your boss did you wrong, but you never said a word. These issues must be resolved in order to give you peace of mind.

The other side of the equation is when you wronged someone else. Can you think of such a time? Have you made amends? Have you talked it out? Have you asked to be forgiven?

Year-end is a great time of year to reflect on your interactions with others and repair any damage.

An interesting phenomenon can happen when you talk out differences with a friend, family member or client. You become closer than ever. You understand you are both human, fallible yet caring for each other.

You mentioned not wanting to waste your time feeling sad. I believe we need to allow all of our feelings permission. Perhaps the squelching of your feelings is what robs you of peaceful sleep.

Some of my clients are creating their personal vision and plan for the coming year. They are actually allotting time for processing feelings. Imagine what could happen if you set aside one hour, let’s say Wednesday afternoons, to just sit and dwell in your feelings, good or not so good.

On the phone this week, a client was explaining that he was stuck in his sadness about old issues and could not move himself forward to find a job. I suggested that he put the last week on the calendar for these intense feelings and get on with job-hunting the other three weeks. We laughed, and I hope he can do it.

You are allowed to feel. Everything.

This is the holiday, gift-giving and family celebration time of the year. The biggest gift you can offer is to apologize sincerely, forgive completely, and apply both to yourself. Do you need to apologize and forgive yourself? Yes, being intentional and setting your mind to clearing out emotional clutter. Then you can move forward with revived energy toward a beautiful year ahead. It is also the time of year to plan your 2019. What is your wish? Write to me.

SharonAnn Hamilton, MBA, CFP®, MSFS is founder of Freedom Quest Academy, fiduciary, consultant, coach, and author. She facilitates The Council for Women, a faith-based group of women professionals whose mission is education for empowering women who want to be in charge of their inheritance, estate, and retirement. Want more? Write to:


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