Greetings Friends & Supporters,

As we consider moving into a new year, it is a wonderful time for us to reflect on ourselves and our lives. Through the holidays we will interact with many people, some of whom we may find challenging to be with - our families, our former spouses and partners, and even some of our friends. Our article this month comes from the Marriage and Family Therapy Center and is about, "Starting the New Year with the Power of Forgiveness."   Kids First Center facilitators and staff spend a great deal of time discussing the concept of forgiveness with families in our classes. It is a concept that can release us, even when we don't feel like we are the ones creating the conflict. 

At Kids First Center we urge you to think about forgiveness this holiday season, and how a good dose of it might be able to help you and your children have a happier and healthier New Year. 

Happy holidays and best wishes from all of us at the Kids First Center!    

Nici Carbone
Executive Director

ARTICLE: Start the New Year with the Power of Forgiveness...



Start the New Year 
With the Power of Forgiveness

Chances are, you have been hurt in the past, and you have experienced the anger, pain, frustration and resentment that comes along with the pain of knowing you have been injured by the words and/or actions of another. All of these emotions, whether you know it or not, have somehow shaped your current perception of the world, along with the decisions you make, your health, your attitude - nearly every aspect of your life.

So, the critical question is - to what extent can you let these negative emotions go and forgive the person who hurt you?

Holding on to anger or resentment can sometimes trigger an addictive sense of strength and righteousness. It can feel good to blame someone else, but the downside is that it also leaves a negative imprint on us. Ultimately, who wants to have a life defined by anger, pain or suffering? There's an important distinction about the act of forgiving - you can still condemn the act while forgiving the person who committed it. Forgiveness can't be forced, but if you're open to the possibility, it will come at the right time and the right place. You might wake up one morning and think "Now is the time to move on since my divorce" or "I'm tired of focusing on how selfish my brother has been all his life".

Forgiveness is not easy. It's not a benevolent gesture to be bestowed on someone who has wronged you, to free them from guilt. Actually, it's not about the other person at all. Instead, it's an active, challenging internal process that is specifically meant to help you. It is a shedding of those negative emotions that hold you back, that prevent you from feeling peace, happiness, and even love.

Tim Laurence, founder of the Hoffman Institute in the UK, strongly believes that forgiveness is an essential part of healing. Over the past 15 years, he has been amazed by the courage he has witnessed as people let go of anger and pain.

"I have seen people whose lives have been determined by a grievance that has affected not only themselves, but also generations after them. To then see that person forgive and be able to move on in their lives is like watching them unlocking the door to their own prison and stepping out into freedom," Laurence said.

Not every person or every situation that has hurt us is meant to be a part of our lives and memories forever. Sometimes, they are there for a period of time to teach us something, and once their purpose is served they move on and the next chapter of our story begins.

As difficult as it may be to let people, or their hurtful actions, go, whether they are a long time friend, a family member, a spouse, or a lover, when we forgive them we create a space for them to move onto their next chapter, as well as ourselves.

The faster you can forgive those who have caused you pain and let go of the memory of the injury, the quicker you can focus on creating the most amazing life imaginable.
So, take the time to soak in what's happened, learn from it, laugh a little and when you're ready, set yourself free. You'll be amazed at how much lighter you feel when you no longer carry around the burden of the past.


Kids First Program:
Jan. 7 - Portland, Kids First Center  (207-761-2709) Saturday,  8:30am-12:30pm
Jan. 7 - Augusta, KVCAP (207-859-1500) 
Jan. 14 - Farmington, Kids First Center  (207-761-2709) Saturday, 8:30am-12:30pm
Jan. 14 - Topsham, Kids First Center  (207-761-2709) Saturday, 8:30am-12:30pm
Jan. 14 - Lewiston, Advocates for Children (207-783-3990)
Jan. 14 - Belfast, Broadreach Family Services (207-338-2200)
Jan. 19 - Portland, Kids First Center  (207-761-2709) Thursday, 5:00pm-9:00pm
Jan. 21 - Waterville,  KVCAP (207-859-1500)
Jan. 28 - Skowhegan, KVCAP (207-859-1500)

Similar Programs: 
Jan. 7 - Rockland, The ParentWorks, Home Counselors (207-596-0359)
Jan. 14 - Bangor, For Kids' Sake (207-942-9329)
Jan. 21 - Newcastle,  The ParentWorks, Home Counselors (207-596-0359)

Call for more information & to register. 207-761-2709

Tuesday, Jan. 3 - Portland, Kids First Center - 6:30pm-8:00pm

Portland, Kids First Center - Call for more information & to register. 207-761-2709




Order directly from our publisher


Order from AmazonSmile 


Pick one up at the Kids First Center

or purchase from your local book store!




ADDRESS:  Kids First Center, 222 St. John. Street, Suite 101, Portland, Maine 04102
PHONE:  207-761-2709     FAX:  207-780-0059                                      

 Like us on Facebook 


 Follow us on Twitter @kidsfirstmaine 




Do your Amazon shopping at and we get 0.5% of your purchase price at no cost to you!