Forgiving oneself is an excellent place to start. Many of us, including me, are too hard on ourselves. What does it accomplish aside from making ourselves feel bad? Once we forgive ourselves, and see our own shortcomings, and have sympathy and compassion for ourselves, I think it is easier to forgive others.
BTW, I agree it is awkward not to invite the sister's husband to dinner. I have a similar issue that I struggle with. In the end it is a difficult balancing act. To not invite the husband likely means not to invite the sister... But to invite the sister brings the baggage that ruins the dinner.
A dilemma indeed.
In the end, I believe you have to honor yourself, your values and your household above all. I don't think that is incompatible with forgiveness. I believe you can forgive - which to me means to release any hatred, resentment, regret, and other associated negative feelings towards an individual or a situation - and also stand firm on your principles that you will not invite negative energy (i.e people you do not want) into your home, be they related or not.
I hope that is helpful. It was indeed helpful for me to spell it out, as it helped me to clarify my own thinking. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.
And on that fine note, I wish you a good night, the best of wishes, and a peaceful and joyous holiday.
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
- Alan Watts
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