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Day 6 of Bloganuary, and the topic today is:

‘Who is someone that inspires you, and why?’

I have already written about the Dalai Lama, who would be my first choice. My second choice would be one of my cousins, Phil. He had the most horrendous childhood, mistreated by a mother and an older brother who both had undiagnosed mental illnesses. He suffered in silence for years, but as an adult realised that he now had control over how his life would pan out; he could either be bitter and twisted over what had happened to him, or he could move on and forgive.

First of all he distanced himself from his family by living and working in the Middle East, and he is still there after 25 years. He visited his parents once or twice a year until their deaths, but now comes back to visit myself and his brother (who to this day never left home) every Christmastime. He underwent therapy, and chose the path of forgiveness. In this way he has managed to live a happy life. He was at his mother’s side as she passed away. She allowed herself to be treated for her mental illness only in the last 3 years of her life. The difference in her personality was amazing, and Phil rejoiced in his ‘new’ mother’s love.

His brother would be alone at Christmas (I cannot even consider sending him a Christmas card for what he did to Phil as a child) if it was not for Phil taking the time and trouble to fly back from the Middle East to spend time with him.

I am inspired to be more forgiving by Phil, who tells me there is no other way to be if one wishes to live a happy life. I have tried inviting Phil’s brother to our house for Christmas Day in the past, but have been rejected on a couple of occasions so I will leave things be in that department.

Phil is an inspiration to us all. He has taught me to forget the past and move on. You cannot change the past, but the present and the future is yours to make of it what you will.