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Episode Summary of The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 06: Forgiveness
This episode covers everything you need to know about forgiveness. What truly is forgiveness, how to forgive using one powerful and free tool you already have, whether anything and everything is forgivable, how to forgive yourself and conundrums and quarrels that come up when forgiving.
What you'll learn from this episode
- What truly is forgiveness
- Misconceptions about forgiveness
- How to forgive through practical tools and strategies
- The magic question to ask yourself why it’s difficult for you to forgive
- Why forgiving is important
- Practical example on forgiving (cheating in relationships and dating)
- Is everything and anything forgivable?
- Conundrums and quarrels when forgiving
- Why forgiveness might not even be a thing!
Key Quotes from this Episode
Featured Resources on the episode
The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 06: Forgiveness, Show Transcript
You are listening to episode 6: Forgiveness
[Introduction to the Grow Through It Podcast With Phi Dang plays – Background Music: upbeat, confident, rising beat]:
Don’t just go through life, grow through it. Don’t just go through life, grow through it.
Hi and Welcome to the Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang.
My name is Phi and I am a Clarity and Confidence Life Coach known as the “The Positivity Queen.”
My passion is to help you go from stuck and self critical to courageous and empowered so you can conquer anything.
Join me, every Tuesday, as I discuss all things mindset, self love, energy and purpose.
This podcast won’t just inspire and motivate you, it will also provide practical tips and strategies you can implement in your daily life.
Ready to grow? Let’s grow!
[Grow Through It Podcast With Phi Dang End of Intro]
[Episode 06 – Forgiveness: Begins]
Hello hello beautiful soul, so happy you’re here! Another week, another new episode. How are you all feeling as it gets closer to Christmas? How fast has the year flown!? What a year it has been.
Today’s episode is all about forgiveness. Thank you to Bee who submitted his thoughts on what he wanted to see on the podcast on my instagram – if you too have something you’d love for me to speak about please get in touch via my DMs or on my website.
If you didn’t know I had an Instagram – yes I do, I share on my instagram daily inspiration and motivation to live your best life and a behind the scenes of my coaching – juicy insights from sessions with my clients and of course the amazing results my clients have.
I always get so excited to share this at it shows you what you can achieve when you work on yourself and when you invest in yourself.
What are the wins my clients have been having lately?
One of my clients absolutely aced her internship and was offered a job role after it! The real clincher? Her supervisors said what made her stand out was her mindset. Boom!
Another one of my clients has let go of a relationship despite her fears and past coming out. We really worked through past trauma from previous relationships that showed up.
Another client is a stunning model using her online platform after being bullied to help others and speak out against bullying – which is not okay at all.
Another beautiful soul is moving past her fears of being judged and imposter syndrome to showing up on her Instagram community of 80,000 and building her business empire.
So, so magical. I am so proud of them, there are many more wins but I could talk for a whole episode on that. If you’re interested in coaching, let’s chat as I would love to be here someday soon speaking about your wins!
Segway into forgiveness
So back to forgiveness, Bee said that he wanted to know more about forgiveness that allows for growth but is stunned by conundrums or quarrels with friends, family and strangers.
So let’s dive into forgiveness. It’s a big topic. I want to flag in no way is forgiveness easy but it’s an important mental muscle to work on for your emotional health and wellbeing – more on that later in the podcast.
What is forgiveness?
There are many definitions but out of reading and researching several definitions, the main common thread between definitions is that forgiveness is a voluntary and internal process of letting go of negative feelings such as anger, resentment and bitterness and in turn the potential desire for revenge.
Let’s break it down: voluntary – you have to decide, no one else can for you and the internal process of letting go – yes you have to use your thoughts to get to the destination: letting go.
It’s a process – again it won’t just suddenly happen, you have to work through your thoughts and in turn your feelings to get there. Forgiveness is a journey to which you commit to.
Forgiveness is actually quite stealthy. Forgiveness happens when you’re sleeping, when you’re brushing your teeth, when you’re journaling, when you’re making a cup of tea, when you’re making lunch, when you’re working… it’s happening not only on a conscious level but on a subconscious level too.
Forgiveness isn’t easy or instant, like taking a pill or pushing a button. In fact forgiveness is like pushing a boulder up a hill – it will take work and it’s going to be hard. As Robert Muller says “Only the brave know how to forgive. A coward never forgives. It’s not in his nature.”
Addressing the potential desire for revenge: your thoughts create your feelings so when you work on letting go of these negative feelings, the actions you wanted to take previously also change.
That’s it. Simple but our brains make forgiveness complicated.
Forgiveness is just as our earlier definition – a voluntary internals process of letting go of negative feelings. That’s all it is.
Misconceptions about forgiveness
Forgiveness doesn’t mean anything else but our brains create thought stories that say otherwise.
- Forgiveness does not mean you forget what they did.
- Forgiveness does not justify what they did.
- Forgiveness does not mean you accept or condone what they did.
- Forgiveness does not excuse the harm done.
- Forgiveness does not mean that they were right and you were wrong.
- Forgiveness does not mean that you trust them again.
- Forgiveness does not mean that they are good person.
- Forgiveness does not restore your full faith and trust in that person.
- Forgiveness does not mean reconciling.
- Forgiveness does not mean that person will still be in your life.
All this other stuff is thoughts you are creating, stories you are creating.
Summing it up forgiveness is for YOU, no one else by you, As Louis B Smedes say “to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
So how is forgiveness created?
It’s all through your thoughts because your thoughts create your reality. They impact how you feel and in turn what actions you take or do not take that lead to a result.
When you are in a position to be either thinking about forgiving someone, wanting to forgive someone or not forgiving someone you are in a state of negative thoughts and feelings right? Because if you weren’t feeling negative, you wouldn’t need to forgive someone.
When it comes to other humans things are bound to be emotional as we are emotional beings. For example if you trip over a rock, you wouldn’t even be asking the rock for forgiveness would you? But let’s change the scenario what if someone you knew accidentally tripped you over?
Given that your thoughts are linked to your feelings, I want to state the obvious.
Forgiveness isn’t created through holding onto your negative feelings.
When you feel angry and resentful towards someone, they don’t experience it as you do. In fact all they do is experience the result of your behaviour because you feel angry and resentful. Maybe you are giving them the silent treatment, ignoring them or maybe you are shouting at them and being short with them. Remember: resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
Further on this, particularly on the feeling of resentment, it keeps you stuck in the past as you are constantly reliving the scenario, the thoughts and the feelings. Remember the past is a construct in your head, your mind and body doesn’t know. So when you keep reliving the thoughts and feelings, you are making your brain go through the experience over and over again. Right now in this moment, the past has no power over you unless you choose to let it. The events that happened in the past, are in the past. They are only present now, if you make it present.
So how do you forgive someone?
It is important to have at the forefront of your mind the purpose of forgiveness. Ultimately forgiveness is for you. You not them. You. I mean, the person you are forgiving doesn’t even need to know you are forgiving them really, forgiveness is for YOU.
As established earlier the path to forgiveness starts with your thoughts.
Let’s go back to the definition of forgiveness, it is a voluntary process emphasis on that again voluntary process. Going back to episode 4 where I speak about mental fitness and taking your brain to the gym, think of forgiveness as an important muscle that is needed to keep your emotional self healthy and strong.
First question is to ask yourself why do you feel angry, why do you feel resentful. Remember everything in life is circumstances and its your thoughts the create reality. So whilst you can say they did this to me or didn’t do this… really it’s your thoughts about the situation which create your feelings and behaviour.
So what thoughts are you having about why you feel angry and resentful. In order to forgive someone, you have to change your thoughts. So figure out why you feel the way you do. The number one question I like to get my clients to ask themselves is “so what?”. That’s the magic question to delve deeper into your thoughts and feelings.
Your ex cheated on you. So what? Now you feel like you’re not good enough and perhaps you are not good looking enough for them. Your thoughts are creating a story about someone else’s actions even though you can’t mind read! Since you can’t mind read, you are creating a story that you are self perpetuating. You will never truly know why someone does something but you are creating meaning through your thoughts.
Your friend gaslit you. So what? You don’t know what’s real and what’s not. You are in a state of shock and you can’t believe it happened to me. How did you let this happen? As a result of your thoughts on their behaviour, you feel like you don’t trust yourself and you don’t feel confident about the decisions you are making. You question yourself a lot.
Your business partner took all of your money. So what? Now you feel unstable and insecure. You don’t have enough money to buy that car you want and you may be struggling to pay for rent and groceries. You feel anxious and worried about money. Again the story here is it’s because your thoughts are blaming that person for taking all your money and putting you into negative feelings through feeling stressed about money.
Your dad abandoned you when you were 8. So what? You feel unlovable and unworthy, you feel that it is your fault that he left. Now you are older and wiser, have you ever had the thought that the way your dad is has nothing to do with you. Maybe he left because of his own fears of being a terrible dad. Maybe he left because he had a horrible gambling addiction and didn’t want you in the mix.
It’s all about being aware of how your thoughts are creating your feelings about this person. Your thoughts are making you suffer and feel wronged. If you think different thoughts, you will have a different outcome.
Forgiveness scenario: Cheating in relationships and dating
Let’s take the cheating scenario as it is a common one and I have been cheated on through my own life experiences.
You can choose to have the thoughts oh this says something about me, I’m not loveable enough, I wasn’t a good partner, I am not good enough and blame your partner, they ruined your life and so forth. That makes you feel tired, angry, resentful, awful to be honest or you can choose to have the thoughts oh this says nothing about me and everything about them.
The relationship has unfolded the way it was meant to, nothing lasts forever, this chapter is closed and I’m ready to move forward and have a partner who values commitment and loyalty. You don’t feel angry anymore. You don’t feel resentful anymore. No more bitterness. Initially it will likely be working through sadness and betrayal but then feeling so hopeful and excited to move forward with your life.
It’s all in the thoughts.
It can also help to seperate the actions from the person who did what they did. For example good people do bad things – it’s not black and white. We have all made mistakes or done things we aren’t proud of but that doesn’t mean we are bad people overall. In fact there are more good people who make mistakes and do “bad things” vs bad people overall.
One thing to also keep in mind is hurt people, hurt people. There is often a reason as to why someone has done something.
The person that cheats on someone is because they feel lonely and insecure. It doesn’t make cheating right, but we can see why they did it and we are separating the action from the person.
The person that scams people out of money because they needed to feed their family and keep a roof over their head. Again, not right but we can see why they did it and have some empathy.
Empathy is a useful aid in forgiving someone. Can you put yourself in their shoes to understand why they did it? Can you image the other as an innocent child needing love and support? How would you like to be treated if you made a mistake?
One important thing to remember is that forgiveness is truly about your feelings and not your actions. You aren’t really forgiving someone if you are taking actions to say that you are for example saying “it’s okay now, I forgive you” and then you are still harbouring feelings of anger and resentment deep down inside. Telling someone you forgive them not akin to being forgiving unless its truly about the feeling.
Sometimes we don’t forgive someone because you want to hold onto anger and resentment, thinking that you are punishing them. Like I said earlier, no you holding onto the feelings of anger and resentment is like taking poison and waiting for them to die. The only person you are hurting is yourself. You are giving this person or people too much power over your life.
Not only that you can forgive and move on. Forgiving doesn’t automatically mean your feelings shift from anger and resentment to forgiveness and then it’s like nothing happened and you continue to see the person or interact with them. It’s your life and its your boundaries and what you feel comfortable with.
Questions on forgiveness.
Is anything and everything forgivable?
The answer is yes because going back to the definition of forgiveness at the beginning of this episode it’s a voluntary process. You choose. You decide. There are instances of people forgiving those who have wronged them such as murdering a loved one or killing their family. It’s up to you.
Another common theme that comes up with my coaching clients is what about if the person I am trying to forgive is myself?
It’s the same process as outlined earlier with they key being:
1) You are not your actions
2) Empathy for yourself – you are human. We all make mistakes. We have all done things we aren’t proud of. It’s a part of being human.
Self forgiveness is hard as the mistakes you make often become attached to underlying beliefs you have. Your brain uses it as evidence for a self fulfilling prophecy. If your brain thinks your bad with money guess what? It’ll interpret every action you do with money as bad.
You could invest $2,000 in coaching to transform your life, get unstuck and move forward with your life but since you think you’re bad with money, your brain will weave a story that you’re bad with money – it’s not an investment, you’re just frivolously spending when you’re not.
Also ask yourself what does hating yourself and punishing yourself do? Not much. It would be more productive to take actions to improve and learn from the experience right?
That’s why it’s great to work with someone to delve deep into these beliefs you may not be aware of – it’s something I do often with my clients. Most of the time my clients aren’t conscious of it but when I listen, I guide them to piece all their jigsaw pieces together so they become aware of it.
Conundrums and quarrels when it comes to forgiveness.
Diving into Bee’s question, who initially asked what about conundrums and quarrels when it comes to forgiveness. What I can tell you is that you learn a lot about yourself and others when you disagree on something. Are you being constructive, coming from a place of love and understanding or is it destructive? Resorting to actions like shouting and criticising someone?
I want everyone to remember, not every one thinks like you. We live lives from our prospective, we are the frame of reference in the same way everyone else does to them. Other people have their frame of reference. You are the way you are because of your values, your family, your beliefs, the way you were raised, your life experiences – no one person has the exact identical experiences therefore we all see the world differently.
Whenever I get frustrated that people can’t see my point of view I remember that. For example I get frustrated when people don’t make the most out of life and they just stay in a rut and that’s because I experienced my dad passing away at a young age which made me realise life is fragile there is no guarantee. So I don’t like to waste my time, especially being stuck.
Before that YOLO (you only live once) was just a phrase to me and a concept I understood theoretically but until I truly experienced it through a life event – that’s when my perspective shifted.
So when someone is stuck, I can help them and I can say and do all these things but ultimately its up to that person to decide to get unstuck and to get help. Very much like my clients, I can guide them, give them the tools but ultimately they are the ones who will get themselves unstuck.
When you quarrel or argue without someone, ask yourself, what is my true intention here. Are you trying to get a message across to help or are you trying to be right? Is your ego inflating itself being like “I have to be right, I have to have the last say?”.
I would also ask yourself is the quarrelling worth it? Quarrelling can be very draining and toxic to your energy and you can also lose a relationship over it. Is what you are fighting about worth it? Ask yourself what is worth more to you, inner peace or being right?
I love these quotes to further reinforce my point. Firstly by Amit Kalantri, “Ultimately all kinds of fights end at forgiveness.” Secondly by Byron Katie, ““Peace doesn’t require two people; it requires only one. It has to be you. The problem begins and ends there.”
Radical thought: Forgiveness does not need to exist
Speaking of Byron Katie, she is a is huge pioneer in the field of forgiveness.
In fact she says “Forgiveness is the discovery that what you thought happened, didn’t.”
This is a radical thought to drop in your mind.
In short what she is saying is that we create conditions for how life should be and unfold so when these conditions are broken by someone else we demand forgiveness.
Mind blowing but so true. Simple. There are no rules, there are no set ways to behave – we create this in our mind through our thoughts. Thoughts are truly so powerful.
The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 06: Forgivness close
What a way to end this episode, a true journey on all things forgiveness. Summing it up forgiveness starts in your thoughts, your mindset.
Are you are you struggling with forgiving in your life whether it’s with others or yourself? Want help learning step by step how to change your thoughts? Change your thoughts and change your life.
I have limited 1:1 coaching spots left. With 2021 on the horizon, get help and improve your life now. Not in 2021. Now! Links in the show notes on how to contact me and work together.
Thank you so much for listening beautiful soul. The next two episodes of the podcast I’ve decided will be about our feelings towards Christmas and coping with the holiday season and of course reviewing and reflecting about your year as we gear up for a brand new year, 2021!
Wishing you inner peace always. Chat to you next Tuesday. Love and Positivity.
[Episode 06 – Forgiveness: Ends]
Are you wanting to find out more about 1:1 Coaching or working with me? Maybe perhaps you want to know more about me. I’d love to connect with you. You can visit my website phidang.com or connect with me on Instagram @thephidang. Speak to you soon.