Episode 021 Forgiveness
Episode 021 Forgiveness
Welcome to the third and final installment of the F word series. First we talked about failure, then we dismantled fear, and today we are tackling forgiveness
Now to be real I am not good at forgiving or at least I wasn’t. I always believed that forgiving someone meant that I was excusing their behavior, that I was saying their wrong action was ok. I in no way shape or form wanted to allow the people who were shitty to me off the hook.
I wanted them to know for their whole life that I still didn’t forgive them, that every time they looked at me they knew I still knew. I wasn't forgiving anyone for any reason. No way, No how.
But you know what who that ended up hurting? ME!
How egotistical I was for thinking that they would continue to think about the shitty things they had done. Like I was forever and always going to be on their mind.
But here’s the thing… by not forgiving them they were always on MY mind. They were and their behaviors were eating away at my life. Eating away at my happiness. Eating away at my soul.
And that’s what I want to drive home today. Forgiveness isn’t about excusing their behavior; it’s about releasing yourself from the pain.
Forgiveness is your healing tool and gives you the capacity to break free and move on.
Forgiveness is not:
- Saying it’s ok
Let me give you a simple example:
Say you have an audition coming up and you ask a friend for help. The both of you pick out a song/monologue together. They help you rehearse it, give you feedback and everything.
It’s audition day and you see that same friend at the audition which is a little suspicious. Then they go into the room and do your material. They are singing your song or acting your monologue.
You confront them in a full rage and confusion about their dishonesty and betrayal. You vow to never speak to them again.
You refuse to forgive and overtime you see them your body goes into rage mode again. So you're in full rage more and you see them laughing and having a great time. Every time you run into them they are having a great time and yet you are still paralyzed with anger, and they are free as a bird.
Isn’t there something wrong with that picture? Why yes; yes there is!
Here is where forgiveness can really do it’s job. Forgive that person so that you too can feel free as a bird. It doesn’t mean you excuse what they have done. Clearly you have already expressed your disgust. So why not try something new?
Forgiveness allows yourself the opportunity to move forward and clear a space for joy by dissolving the long term anger, hatred, or negative feelings you have been holding on to.
Now that was a light hearted example, but it explains my point that forgiveness is 100% about you and not about the other person
Committing to the practice of forgiveness is similar to cleaning house. It’s like polishing silver. Sometimes silver gets those dark tarnish spots…well think of your resentments as tarnish. Being in the practice of forgiveness allows you to buff those tarnished spots off your soul. You soul is a sacred space, so why let draining emotions hold on for such a long time.
Now let’s shift our focus a bit and talk about forgiving yourself!!!
You also have to be in the practice of forgiving yourself, and from experience this one is harder.
As a general rule we are much harder on ourselves than we are on anybody else. We constantly criticize, belittle, and devalue ourselves. When we make a mistake we beat ourselves down. I mean raise your hand if you haven’t cussed yourself out after a bad audition. I know I certainly have.
Here’s my question? Have you every spoken to someone else the way you speak to yourself. There is no way! People would slap you.
Be kind to yourself, give yourself a break!
Now I am hoping you have been following along on this podcast and that you have been practicing your thoughts, but I know people have bad days.
Everyday practice forgiving yourself.
Forgiving yourself allows you the space to be human. It allows yourself to still be curious and make mistakes.
That’s why forgiveness is always about you. If you are forgiving someone else you are clearing space for joy. If you are forgiving yourself you are clearing space for joy. It’s a magical thing.
Let’s go with another example:
Let’s say you cheat on your person. You had a moment of weakness or whatever was the reason. It ended your relationship and this incident was the reason why. You apologized and did your best to make amends, but every night you play that final fight over in your mind. Maybe you look at yourself and think “what a fuck up I am.” It can even go as far as I don’t deserve love. These resentments when unchecked can multiply quickly.
Forgiving yourself doesn’t excuse your behavior or make it less wrong. But it does give you the space to heal. It gives your the opportunity to build a new thought process that leans you towards love.
Always lean towards love.
So with all of that being said I bet you are wondering how do I actually forgive someone. Here is my approach:
- Make a list of all the people (including yourself) that need to be forgiven. These are all of the people who still hold space in your soul.
- Meditate with the mantra: I forgive you and allow healing to begin
- You can visualize the person OR use their name in the sentence if that help you form a stronger connection
- Practice for 40 days at a time. One person for each forgiveness challenge
Let’s start the new year in a practice of forgiving yourself and others. 2016 is coming to a close and bring fresh bright energy into your 2017.
Let’s get started!