150: Spiritual Principle – Forgiveness (Sort Of)

What do you know about forgiveness as a spiritual principle? It is suggested we practice forgiveness, but how? Is forgiveness only accepting and letting it go, or does it involve ultimately wishing well the purpose you needed to forgive. Does forgiveness mean there must be reconciliation of the relationship? Why is forgiveness important? Are there health benefits from practicing forgiveness? Is forgiveness related to self-compassion somehow? Is there a strategy or steps to practice when desiring to forgive? Listen in as we talk about all these questions and more. Then reach out and share with us how forgiveness has helped you, or how you learned to practice forgiveness.

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Email: RecoverySortOf@gmail.com

Episodes mentioned:


Polyvagal Theory

Spiritual Bypassing

Articles use in this discussion:

Forgiveness article 1

Forgiveness article 2

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

welcome back it’s recovery sort of i am jason a guy who is super forgiving and i’m billy i’m a first in long-term recovery i don’t know that i’m actually super forgiving i’m just uh topics forgiveness right the spiritual principle of forgiveness that’s where we’re going today and before we get there this is our 150th episode wow which seems like a landmark of some sort feels like a lot it doesn’t it is a lot i mean when you think about it like just hours and hours and hours of yapping we like to talk yes and we also uh hit another milestone we have 40 thousand listens one podcast episodes all together as a whole so i don’t know what the numbers are don’t go dividing that’s probably not it’s probably not enough great right but it’s pretty awesome it feels good that’s amazing wow yeah so that’s pretty cool um we do have some more recap stuff we’ll get to that in the next episode i i feel like our tradition episodes right now are the most like they’re the way we get found when people find us through search maybe so necessarily people that don’t just stumble across us through looking for a recovery podcast or you know people who don’t find us through memes or on the web or whatever they find us through tradition searches which is fascinating so i’m wondering if maybe the principles do that at some point and if that’s the case maybe we need to be on top of just getting into the material interesting yeah people come on to listen to forgiveness and hear about you know people who’ve donated and all that they might be like what the hell well they probably listen to our traditions episodes and realize we’re as bad as [  ] world services or any of those other places where you’re never going to find a straight answer you’re going to find like huh yeah you’re really up for interpretation and somewhere in the middle right right make up whatever the [  ] you are perfect yeah

forgiveness man i went to look this up and of course uh with any word that has some suffix added to it such as forgiveness the definition is the act of forgiving which is useless it doesn’t tell you anything so if you look up forgive as a base word the definition is to cease to feel resentment against which is i mean i guess what i think of when i think of forgiveness i i to me it seems like more like almost forgiveness is like going beyond just letting it go like that’s kind of the forgetting part to me and forgiveness is more like the i actually wish good things for your life at this point so interesting when i was reading up on forgiveness that seems to be a major debate amongst people that consider themselves forgiveness expert when i saw that word i’m like how do you qualify as a forgiveness expert right but anyway yeah that seems to be a debate amongst them and different religions have a different interpretation some are just like becoming at peace with this past harm and others are like you said moving to a place of i forget how they worded it but it’s like well wishing or good feelings towards the person that harmed you like that’s a part of forgiveness yeah i’m not there i’m more the first schooler like making peace with the past you know i don’t i don’t know i feel like if there’s still a blockage for me that keeps me from having and i like the way you said it like kind of that keeps me from having this positive vibe towards someone i feel like to me that means there’s still something in there yeah that isn’t really past it and it i mean i’d only ever thought of it the the first way i had never really thought of it deeply enough to include that second piece of that you know good vibe piece and it has me thinking recently about some things that i felt like from my past you know my childhood abuses and you know the abuse that happened with my kids and the person that harmed them and that and i’m like huh have i really you know fully forgiven i mean i’ve made peace with that stuff where i can talk about it and right it doesn’t like haunt my dreams so to speak anymore it doesn’t bring me to like an overwhelming place of like sadness and depression but i don’t think i have well wishes towards any of those people you know right there’s still some anger and resentment there i guess but yeah so so that’s interesting so i guess from the start we don’t agree on what forgiveness is which is funny so and and again i i know we said this in one of our other spiritual principle episodes but just this idea and and i get that you and jenny kind of you kind of sold me on the you know maybe it’s a loose interpretation or not specifically designed in our literature for a purpose that makes sense but it does i don’t know it just feels so weird to me that i’ve spent so long studying like the literature and trying to learn the way of recovery through the 12-step program and looking at it now i’m like why the [  ] didn’t they ever teach me how to do any of this and i mean we just did a little search through some of our literature for the word forgive or forgiveness or forgiving and like the best case scenario of the information it gives is basically uh you know talk to sky daddy and he’ll help you and i think that is a challenge in any sort of 12-step fellowship or spiritual program that’s trying to teach you about these principles so much of it is going to be based on your religious beliefs or whatever your spiritual practices are and like say for me what prayer means to me because i am a person i would say that i pray but i don’t pray in the traditional sense that like a christian or someone who’s religious when they pray that’s very different you know what they’re the way that we do it and i think what our expectations are and what we think that process is so i think with some of these spiritual principles it’s similar like the way that i might practice forgiveness you know not to be religious hating but it has nothing to do with trying to get to heaven or trying to score a couple more good points on my sheet for god like it’s it’s really a very very personal process for me that has to do with healing my heart you know healing what’s in me and allowing me to move forward in my life not trying to score points with god right i read a book about forgiveness at one point not for any specific reason like i wasn’t searching for forgiveness i just happened to come across it uh it was written by one of the people who was a part of the like ending of apartheid in south of africa and so i i guess if you were going to say who qualifies for you know the the expert in forgiveness designation i would say the people who dealt with apartheid and then at the end of it decided they didn’t want retribution right they they really wanted a healing path to the community which was kind of amazing and if you read the book like the atrocities that the people had gone through during this this racist period uh if you don’t know much about apartheid it’s like slavery light i guess you know what i mean like it’s pretty rough and pretty bad sorta yeah it’s basically like this group of people that looks like this is never going to be equal and we’re just going to constantly treat them like they’re not and they’re going to be separate you know it’s kind of like the separate but eagle the whole plessy versus ferguson supreme court ruling and it was ugly in a lot of like graphically terrible ways but the idea that the people who went through this even the family members of people who atrocities were committed against still wanted this forgiveness and reconciliation of the community was mind-blowing and he lays out a four-step path to how to forgive right i don’t remember it step by step but it was basically like the process of writing down all the real harm and you know coming to terms with um you can’t change it like the acceptance piece of it and then there was a piece of like one of the steps was deciding whether this person would be in your life anymore or not and there was no designation of whether they had to be but whether they were not his version of forgiveness definitely came with the well-wishing vibe at the end and i i don’t know i guess that’s just what i’ve always thought of forgiveness but it’s interesting to hear that like your take is that there’s a level of forgiveness that it doesn’t matter anything about them it’s just more about i’m not gonna sit in the resentment yeah and i would say because of recovery for me though hearing that there’s that second piece is is really causing me to go back and revisit and relook at like huh is there you know maybe there’s a lot of value in that you know little second piece of finding that well wishing or whatever you call it you know like that good vibes like maybe there’s something to that and i need to do a little more work i guess maybe that’s why in 12 steps we keep going back over and over again well one of the only real quotes that i found in any of our literature that i felt could possibly have some meaning came from the it works hound why it said our ability to forgive comes from our ability to accept and be compassionate with ourselves and that was interesting in the sense that it made me wonder is that like where our level of forgiveness is tied into like is this less about working on being better and forgiving and more about working on acceptance and self-compassion and as those grow our ability to forgive grows in turn i think the second like as we build those other skills our ability to you know compa or i’m sorry forgiveness has a principle i think really formally comes up in the ninth step you know that’s where we first start talking about it but we’re working slowly towards all of that you know from the earlier steps we’re looking at our past we’re looking at you know our defects of character we’re learning to change our behaviors and i think by the time we get there we build up some self-love some self-worth some self-respect we can look at ourselves honestly and say hey you know i’m not all good or all bad i’m somewhere in between i’m a person that’s made some mistakes i’m trying to take some responsibility for my behavior and my mistakes and i hope that people won’t judge me based on these bad things that i’ve done but at least give me the opportunity you know to look at me as a whole or maybe even look at me as what i’m doing now and that is a foundation for forgiveness of ourselves and then once we start to love ourselves and when we forgive ourselves then we can apply that towards other people oh those people cause me harm they’re probably not all terrible people they might have just made a mistake or had a bad day or whatever it wasn’t you know my intentions behind my mistakes weren’t solely to be like [  ] jason i’m gonna do whatever i can to destroy his life and hurt him and do whatever else it was like i’m trying to get high and he’s got a [  ] vcr so sorry is it terrible that when you were saying like we weren’t out to hurt other people the first thing in my mind when you described that situation like it’s not like [  ] jason uh my version was like jason just had a hot wife and she came on to me what the [ __ ] like i wasn’t out to get him what was i supposed to do

god that says something about me i’m sure it does but my experience with most of the the spiritual principles has been you know in recovery like first we learn about them because and maybe it’s by design maybe it’s just because we’re self-centered you know by nature it’s like i learn how they apply to me and in my life and what it looks like for me and then once i learn about that principle and what it feels like to to practice it and how to apply it to myself then i see how to apply that to other people right right and this this might be just recapping in an extent or saying a different way what you had just explained a minute ago um but i i think it’s so relevant like yeah i do pick apart or or have my beefs with the 12-step community but one of the things that i truly do think works exceptionally well is the layout of the order of the steps right i think they they have this kind of rolling uh cumulative effect and like you were describing it’s almost in six in writing those character defects of mine out if i have that ability to find some kind of self-compassion right that that whole uh and and it’s not the greatest cliche but by the grace of god there go i right or but for the grace of god like that’s what i kind of find in six and seven is this oh [  ] i hurt people and i’m a dick sometimes and like finding that ability to have compassion for me in those faults and flaws really sets me up for the perfect position to work on allowing others to have their faults and flaws in eight and nine you know and not feel so not worry so much about what they did to me just worry about trying to repair my harms and it’s like through that process it becomes easier to forgive others too because i see all the times i’ve done it and haven’t meant to like it hasn’t been to out to get people or out to do this but i’ve still hurt people along the way anyway right and for most of us you know at least for me and my active addiction i was sort of baffled and confused a lot of times by why i did what i did i didn’t know i mean i didn’t feel like this evil a horrible person that like hated my family but yet i kept hurting my family over and over again and being like [  ] man why do i keep doing this like you know and i was like to talk about baffled and confused by my own [  ] actions and decisions in the moment you know once i realize it’s like oh because you have you know these defects and you have this you know compulsion and and whatever you know i can see that in myself i can see how that plays out myself i can give other people that space as well yeah so there’s a there’s a few good uh articles on websites that i came across i guess we’ll just start with one and see what we can learn about this um what is forgiveness forgiveness means different things to different people generally however it involves a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge so that’s kind of along the lines of what you’re talking about i think like that doesn’t specifically go into oh we have to feel well wishes towards these people it’s like we need to stop living the resentment and having those thoughts that are plaguing us about revenge like more about the the taking care of me portion of forgiveness because i do maybe this is something that needs to be said i think a lot of times and i think they mentioned it in the book that i read about forgiveness it was talking about we hold on to these things because we somehow feel like if i let go of what that person did to me they’re now off the hook and free to live happily almost but we’re not actually making them miserable by not forgiving them we’re making us miserable right that old idea of uh i’m sitting here swallowing poison waiting for you to die yeah and you know one of my biggest forgiveness situations was you know being molested as a kid and in holding on to that stuff there was also a lot of like guilt and shame and embarrassment that was all sort of tied in there you know that i didn’t know how to let go of and it wasn’t until i practiced forgiveness which was totally contrary to what my brain would tell me like you know i need to hang on to this wrong i need to feel you know angry and the world’s out to get me and all that stuff um but it wasn’t until i was able to let go of some of that that i was able to sort of give myself a little space to heal you know it was like in forgiving and letting go of that resentment i also gave myself some space right uh it says the act that hurt or offended you might always be with you but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help free you from the control of the person who harmed you and that’s something i don’t think we realize either like when we’re in this mode of holding on to this resentment against someone or you know i’m never gonna let them live it down they’re always gonna be a terrible person for this one thing they did one time we forget that like we’re the ones kind of imprisoned by that right we might it might be like oh there’s a n a kickball today oh bruce is going oh [  ] that i ain’t going there right like who’s missing out on the kickball right and it reminds me of one of those readings we had in uh n a just for today reading was about our resentments and carrying them like a sack of rocks you know and it’s like you know every resentment we throw this rock in the bag and before we know it you know we’re carrying this whole bag of boulders and we’re the only one you know none of those people are carrying any of that [  ] they probably don’t even remember it but here i am carrying this big sack of boulders around you know right feeling justified in all my hard work oh yeah so what are the benefits of forgiveness uh you know science has tried to study this um so far what they believe they have found through a variety of studies that if you are able to forgive and not hold on to these things you have healthier relationships improved mental health less anxiety stress and hostility that sounds like improved mental health lower blood pressure fewer symptoms of depression that again sounds like improved mental health a stronger immune system improved heart health and improved self-esteem so that’s some pretty big things i mean i feel like we all suffer from a lot of those yeah that was one of the interesting things i had came across as well was that there are actual like physical health benefits to forgiveness so and it’s a lot easier to find all the uh research they’ve done on how like negative attitude and resentment and anger like how those things affect our health so it should be easy to figure out that the opposite of those things would have improved mental health out or you know improved health outcomes right right we don’t sometimes we don’t take into account the opposite but one thing i did want to touch on so yeah you know we talk about resentments and like what is a resentment and i think this for me has always helped more than just remembering a thing because i can think about like when i was abused or when my kids were abused and it could make me sad and that’s okay like it was a [  ] traumatic thing you know and and there is some sadness there but for me the resentment part was like the the reliving of that the being so caught up and consumed in it that i feel like it just happened even though it was a long time ago and then feeling like decisions in the way that i’m living now you know is based off this old information you know like oh my god i was in this situation as a kid and i was you know hurt and abused and i’m never going to put myself in any situation that i’m going to be vulnerable again and then having an immense amount of fear whenever i’m in a situation that i feel like i could be like physically overpowered or physically outnumbered to the point that it gives me anxiety and like all that [  ] and that’s you know it’s like reliving that past trauma over and over again [  ] 30 years later as in a grown man um forgiveness has has helped to counter some of that and not be caught up in that so you remind me of a of a story an actual good analogy for this uh i was i don’t know maybe 16 i think dating my my first love uh in high school and you know i don’t know if you guys as people who struggle with uh substance use had really toxic chaotic [  ] crazy relationships but like me but uh you know we were on one of our many breaks where we weren’t getting along and things weren’t working but we couldn’t figure out how to separate and she had had another guy over her house and apparently her younger brother had like an n64 and so her and this other dude were playing n64 yeah they were playing n64 in the basement maybe um but from then on when we got back together i would never play that with her like for some reason there was some anger or hurt about her doing it with someone else first and i was like i will just never participate in this somehow that felt like being allegiant to myself right like i’ll never will never i have never played a [  ] n64 billy never not once and like i probably would have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of that like we probably could have played some mario together and really you know had fun but i was stuck in that inability to forgive what had happened right that hurt and i felt like somehow it was like you know betraying myself if i would have played it somehow and that was i just couldn’t get out of that yeah it’s like we yeah that idea that we are willing to harm ourselves you know cause cause more harm to ourselves than to just let it go and move forward it’s weird i see it in my eight-year-old too like he’s a he’s a self i don’t self harmer to an extent like he does the thing i would always do right if he’s upset and something just happened and he’s not allowed to do the thing he wanted to do well now i’m not going to eat dinner well we’re going to mcdonald’s buddy you’re going to have your favorite chicken nuggets i don’t want any and it’s like that whole like i’ll starve all night just to prove my point to show you yeah and i’m like it’s so easy to see in him but i’ve done that my whole life and i’m like does that come from jesus did that yesterday is that genetics or like did he get that from me i don’t know i don’t know it’s weird well i i mean i always go back to i think it’s the opposite i think is addicts like we never outgrow that self-centeredness of the child like hopefully in a normal upbringing somewhere along the way you realize oh [  ] i’m hurting myself more than i’m hurting anyone else like this is kind of stupid right right you know but as addicts we never outgrow that self-centeredness it’s like i’ll show you you know it’s crazy but yeah those stories i think clearly illustrate like the downfalls of not being able to forgive man i i was the one and my son in that situation we’re the ones hurting like we’re the ones missing out on a good time it’s not the other people that we’re not forgiving that are really hurt by it they’re eating or playing n64 or whatever the hell they’re doing yeah and even when you think about like those those opposites of forgiveness you know revengeance or vengeance you know any of that stuff like when i think of those all i think about are negative feelings and negative emotions attached to any of that you know it’s there’s not like i mean maybe there’s a sense of standing up for myself that might be in there a little bit but even when i think of like revenge or any of that there’s nothing that feels very good or warm about those types of actions whereas forgiveness even though it’s difficult it it feels better like it when i think of what’s associated with that like it’s all more positive things i i bet people don’t sit around thinking that they want revenge though because that does feel kind of evil i bet they’re like hung up on this avenge kind of idea like that sounds like glorified right we even have heroes the avengers right right that sounds like a positive i’m going to avenge somebody’s wrongdoing you know not i’m gonna revenge like that’s evil and dark but oven sounds like you know that’s what you do and maybe it’s just this is a little bit of a parsing of words and so i will say that most people that say they want you know to avenge really want revenge and the difference of the two words is to revenge is to have like more i forget i’m not more than this terribly but it’s like the response is greater than the harm that was caused so like if you you know hurt me and stole something from me well now i want to cut off your hand right right and i want to break all your fingers so that you can’t steal again and vengeance has more to do with like an equaling of like i’m gonna you know try to make right or not make right because that’s something different but i’m going to get back an equal amount and i think most of the time we want revenge it just sounds better to say that we’re avenging oh absolutely absolutely yeah no i’m totally with you i don’t i don’t think the people out there that want to avenge a situation or at least it just sounds i want revenge at a time yeah i want them to die severe harm so that they know the next time they think about that [  ] they’re gonna know right right you know so what are the effects of holding a grudge which i guess is what they’re laying out as the opposite of forgiveness holding a grudge maybe resentment it says you will probably bring anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience uh you will become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can’t enjoy the present you can get become depressed or anxious you can feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose so that you’re at odds with your spiritual beliefs and lose value valuable and enriching connectedness with others which yeah i could see that like say i’m holding on to this n64 thing still which i’m not by the way i will totally play it if it ever comes across my radar but i could be on a vacation with my family just enjoying life we run into airbnb and the next thing i know i walk in and my kids got a n64 that happened to be in their living room and now i’m [  ] miserable all night because i’m not gonna play it and enjoy that with them right like that could still be impact in my life i could be losing out on things and i know that’s a kind of a silly one to say but i i would think we’ve all got that thing right maybe not maybe i’m just weird but maybe we all have that thing that you know if we run into it or encounter that situation again that looks familiar enough in whatever way and you know we talked about this in like polyvagal theory on that episode we don’t always consciously know that this [  ] has happened you could be smelling the cologne of the person that assaulted you 30 years ago and have no mental recollection of that but it could just set you off into this place of you know feeling resentful or hurt or not being able to be present enjoy yourself yeah or if you’ve been harmed in either a current or a past relationship with a significant other maybe you you know expressed a lot of vulnerability or you know really committed to that relationship and then that person hurt you or cheated on you well then in future relationships you got you know these walls up and these defenses up and you don’t even really know why they’re just there like that’s your defense now because i was in this relationship 20 years ago and this familiar space of vulnerability and all that and i was hurt really bad so i’m not going to let that happen again you know so now every relationship i’m like guarded and independent and you know want to keep a piece of me that i’m not willing to share yeah yeah i could picture that especially in some of my you know more jealous moments in relationships like i’m hurt by somebody from the past or just from the past in general so here i am now i got cameras on our house to protect my family but really like maybe i’m just trying to keep an eye on who’s coming and going from the house and when so i don’t get hurt yeah and like i said it feels natural like it’s there we’re not like i’m not consciously making those decisions they’re so deep in there that i don’t even recognize it unless i want to dig a little bit right right it’s you know there’s a statement somewhere in our literature it says this is not a quote because i suck at that but it’s hard to re recognize when we’re wrong because we usually intend to be right and i just find that quote to be so profound to me because it’s like if i’m not looking for where i’m possibly going wrong i am just assuming that everything i’m doing is fine and that everyone else is the problem and i i just i don’t think many of us actually go through our days like that like looking for huh could it be me i i didn’t for a long time in my life so i’m just imagining most people don’t yeah and and i guess i try to do that more now when i’m in you know whatever situations like what is my part in this what what is my part and if i can identify that i can see am i the problem right am i the problem here because i’m the common denominator in most of the issues in my life and i’m not always the problem but sometimes i am well and i will say more often what i find it’s less like am i the problem or is it this other person it’s more like where is my stuff contributing to this way that me and this other person are having this problem because it’s usually some of my past that’s interacting with some of their past and now we’re butting heads over it right usually not like one person’s shining brightly and you know descending from heaven with their great information and the other one’s an [ __ ] like right it’s usually somewhere in the middle

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but yeah i think as as addicts we don’t at least for whatever our upbringing most of us don’t learn good coping skills to cope with past harms and and past things that were done wrong to us and like for me my default always was like well either i suck or god hates me and that was you know a major part of my hang up with religion has to do with most of my life looking at this you know god that i was raised with and thinking that that was to blame for all this bad stuff that was happening to me and some of it was just bad things that happened in life and some of it was my own behavior that i wasn’t even taking responsibility for right and uh you know keeping that resentment you know with god has i i guess to some people’s you know point of view would put me where i’m at now where i don’t really have a strong belief in god right but i still work on it you know is that because you can’t forgive him yeah i don’t think it’s possible but huh you don’t think it’s possible to forgive god because you don’t believe in god yeah is that what you mean it’s like forgiving santa claus how do you ever give santa claus for not giving you something at christmas hmm how do you forgive santa claus for not giving you something at christmas but even that there you go that could be another good resentment that people you know that people carry about you know holidays or things like that [  ] santa claus yeah um well here’s how you do it how do i reach a state of forgiveness it’s the next thing i’m going to read to you yeah we’ll figure it out uh forgiveness is a commitment to a personalized process of change actually before i even say this i wanted to touch on something you just said that was i i don’t remember forgiveness being a thing that was talked about in my family like when i was growing up i can’t picture instances of like my parents you know having a conflict with somebody in the neighborhood or one of their friends hurt them and then i was you know one they probably wouldn’t have talked about that [  ] around me because i was a kid and if their friends had hurt them i’m sure that was an adult topic um but two like it was just never i was never aware of any conflict that they had to forgive except between the two of them and that was like sketchy as hell like that kind of forgiveness was like we’ll be miserable and not talk for a few days and then you know maybe somebody apologizes right and then it kind of fades away until the next time it comes up the same [  ] so yeah and i was raised you know at the catholic school and they talked about forgiveness and it was this great quality that jesus exhibited yeah and but i didn’t see a lot of that going on you know if there was a wrong there was always a you know it needed to be righted and that if you did something wrong in school like the nuns were correcting you there wasn’t you know forgiving it didn’t feel very forgiving you know it was a lot of teaching lessons on how to not do that anymore right you know those are things that i grew up doing like oh you wronged me well i’m gonna show you why you should never do that again you know i i guess for me as much as i love the stories of jesus i mean i that one bothers me like i don’t think if somebody hits me that forgiveness involves me turning the other cheek to let them hit me again at all like i i get maybe the context underneath of that of like this idea of even if someone hurts me i still want to remain open-hearted to the world like i kind of think that’s the message they’re sort of trying to give like to still stay vulnerable and open to people yeah and i think that lesson is more about forgiveness it’s the idea that you know and i can’t remember the exact parables in the bible that talk about it but it’s like if someone takes something from you you know it’s because they needed it more than you did that sort of idea i don’t think that means you just allow people to steal from you i think with the lessons there that are trying to be taught is that hey look you know if someone hurts you you don’t need to hurt them back you don’t need to go after them you know keep yourself vulnerable keep yourself in a position of and when i say vulnerable i mean emotionally and spiritually not physically but you know don’t allow these harms to harden you or change you into something else you know that there’s value and being open-hearted and serving of others and compassionate and caring and loving like there’s a lot of value in those things i think there’s some good stuff in the bible we’ve just [  ] it all up with our human interventions right right so i like it better as an idea of like instead of just oh i’ll turn them the other cheek to punch me again more of this idea of like instead of closing off to the world and like dropping to the ground and just going into a protection mode staying open to the to you know whatever’s coming next i like it more as as that yeah but one of the things you reminded me of uh when i was reading up on forgiveness was that uh they say in in men actually in our society now that this idea of forgiveness is almost frowned upon or almost looked at as a weakness due to our cultural upbringing you know that we don’t honor it in as a masculine value probably as much as we should and that you know that makes it a little more difficult for men to practice forgiveness than it does for women yeah like it’s a weakness yeah it’s definitely viewed as a weakness for for men unfortunately so back to how do we reach it first recognize the value of forgiveness and how it can improve your life which i guess is what we’re doing today we’re recognizing that it has some health benefits identify what needs healing and who needs to be forgiven for what and i think that was also a part of that book i read that was the first step in writing down the harm it was like clarifying what harm was done specifically and by whom and i think that’s in our step process that’s what we’re doing you know what i mean we’re doing that eighth step we’re writing out these harms right it’s i guess that’s a little bit of like the backwards process to what we’re talking about though like because that’s about us attempting the process of fixing the wrongs we’ve done so it’s kind of like acknowledging the exact harms that we’ve done and then going to try to approach them and and you know the restitution and the reparation for that i don’t know it’s interesting so i guess uh this forgiveness topic i’ve just come at it from thinking about us forgiving other people i wasn’t even thinking about the process of how we go about being on the side of asking for forgiveness or at least owning our wrongs yeah and i for me the way the steps have always been it’s like tools for teaching me skills you know what i mean like so now through this process of writing out harms i’ve caused and looking at what the harm actually was and you know not just being like well that hurt my feelings so [  ] you you know like really putting some thought behind it you know really putting some meaning behind you know what happened here and should i feel the way that i feel and is that okay like is it you know or is my reaction totally ridiculous and and whatever and then making appropriate decisions going forward based off that but by having it like formally laid out like okay let’s look at the harms that you caused let’s look at you know what you did and what you thought and why you did it and then how do we fix it you know all that stuff that becomes a skill that i have now that i can hopefully apply both ways to myself and to others that’s interesting because i guess in my mind there’s really no step that i guess maybe the process of four and five is kind of addressing some of the wrongs that were done to me a little bit like we’re sort of looking at the different pieces even if it’s just at that point is that step 14 therapy yeah yeah go to therapy step 14 that’s what everybody needs no i’m just i mean so i think in four we do address the harms that others have done to us but it’s not necessarily from a standpoint of healing them it’s more from like let’s sort them out like let’s sort out what harm was done to me from what i’ve been contributing to the harm done to myself right it’s more about learning about us so maybe we do need like uh some kind of step process to get better at forgiving other people because i have never naturally thought hmm eight and nine yep that makes that means i can forgive other people too like i just never occurred to me huh i mean i think it kind of sorta happened over the process of six through nine and seeing how flawed i am it became easier to have that compassion for other people as i needed it for myself but there was never like a step that was like hey yeah you should maybe you should write down all these people you hold resentments against and think about them except for i’ve found in the step process most of the principles like they grow into these tools that i apply in my life not just to myself but to other people so yeah i don’t know i’ve just found that it’s worked that way interesting i’m trying to think specific yeah i can’t specifically say what changed that or how that worked well and i’m thinking right now like and this is just a first take on it because i’ve never really thought about it but just this idea that if there isn’t a step that specifically gives us the ability to kind of address where we’ve been wronged and and people that have hurt us and have someone hear us and validate that for us and you know what i mean provide compassion to us around i feel like that’s kind of a glaring hole in our [  ] step process i’ve heard people say a lot of that happens in four and five um it’s not i guess specifically outlined i guess in the step working guide it has some stuff in n a they have the step working guide that outlines harms and what your beliefs were and that sort of thing there’s the resentments list section i i guess i’ve never looked at that as like i’ve looked at that as oh i have these resentments and i need to get rid of them so that i can get over them but it’s never felt like a process of like i need to actually deal with the pain from them or the hurt that those people caused me it was more just i need to find a way to let it go so i can move on and that’s interesting like maybe that was my first part of the forgiveness process like you’re talking about right like it was more about just kind of letting it go accepting it and getting it out of my mind so that i could move forward but it was not about really healing which i feel like is what needs to be there and maybe for some people it is and i just missed that portion of it yeah well we all carry some [  ] i guess from our childhood or from harms that we’ve caused that i think everyone gets stuck with you know like in some way or another right you know no i could totally see that that’s interesting uh back to the the reach in the state of forgiveness so recognizing the value identifying what needs healing uh consider joining a support group or seeking a counselor there you go step 14. acknowledge your emotions about the harm done to you and how they affect your behavior and work to release them that’s the part i feel like we were just talking about that i don’t think i did in the step process it i didn’t feel like it was about acknowledging my emotions about the harm and that’s interesting that i never really thought about that or i wasn’t really thinking about how it affected my behavior in the present a ton either a little bit maybe yeah i don’t know that i’ve thought much about that we need step 4.5 yeah we need to rewrite the step working guide we’ll just include some stuff in there but i do believe as going through the steps after the first time that some of that stuff is in there a little more right yeah yeah and i’m thinking back to it now and i’m like i don’t know that i remember it perfectly from when i went through it maybe i did feel some of this [  ] and it was just i don’t remember i don’t know you’ll love the next one though it says choose to forgive the person who’s offended you there you go it’s just a decision it’s making up your mind yeah i mean for myself that’s kind of been it at times you know there’s been times where especially with the guy that you know molested our kids it’s like i have to remind myself like that was a decision that i made that i am not gonna sit here and dwell in this and let it get me [  ] angry and resentful and bitter and we’re just not i’m not allowing myself to go here i’m gonna do something else almost like an obsessive thought that i would have around using you know i have some tools now what can i do i can call somebody i can talk about it i can you know some some choices that i have that i don’t have to just sit here stuck in my [  ] thoughts because that’s what my brain’s telling me to do and and that’s interesting so i agree with you on that part like i feel like that’s what meditation and a lot of the meditation practices that have been given to me are about they’re about you know hey there’s a thought oh that’s an interesting one okay i’m not going to follow it though right i don’t have to do anything with it it was just an interesting one to watch and now it’s floating away now here’s the next one um so i do agree with that and yet at the same time i’m noticing that every time you present the way to do something as just making a decision i’m always like that is not how that’s definitely not how it [  ] works for me like it is definitely never just i just make up my mind and i feel like it’s almost like when people come to see get therapy and like we always had this running joke of like you know somebody will present this problem and then the the solution is always just oh we’ll just stop being anxious about that just decide you’re done with that right like that’s never been the thing that i felt like worked just just deciding to stop like if it still [  ] hurts me inside i don’t feel like i have that choice to decide to stop the so i can get a little bit into my process i don’t know how it works for other people for me doing some real work on the issue and coming to the point of forgiveness and letting go wasn’t just making a decision there was some active work that went into that like looking at all these things that we’ve talked about here well how is hanging on and in the case with you know the the molestation of my kids like that was a long process of like two roughly two years of my life that i was [  ] angry and bitter and i hated god and i didn’t want to participate in recovery because i had all these ideas that you know me and my wife you know we’re living clean we’re doing all the right things we’re raising a healthy family we’re contributing to society like we’re these valuable members of our community and we’re helping people in recovery like all these good [  ] things were going on in our lives and then this tragedy happens of no fault of our own you know and it just it rocked my whole foundation of what i thought you know what i believed in god and all that stuff and so there was two years of like anger and resentment that cost me a lot it costs me some relationships you know it caused me almost cost me my marriage you know just because i was angry and resentful and all self-consuming and then i decided to really dig into it and [  ] sit down and do some work on it and realize in like one hanging on to that resentment that’s what was happening you know what i mean that [  ] guy was off doing whatever he was doing living his life telling everybody what a victim he was and that it was all lies and that we were making it up to destroy his life and all this other [  ] which just to me made it worse you know for me right but or i can say it made it worse it allowed me to justify my anger and resentment you know which kept me stuck in that whole process but until i sit down one allowed myself to feel sad and hurt and all the feelings that i needed to feel around it and then you know luckily we had done some things through that time i mean we had gotten my kid into therapy we had went to some therapy with her at the time she was really young so you know it’s hard to say how that was going to play out we had press legal charges so we got involved in the legal system but then that didn’t go at all how we had hoped or what you would [  ] expect that it should so there was more resentment and anger there um which got heaped in on him which really was a different resentment at the legal system not at him but you know it took some work to like parse all that out and look at the different pieces and then to realize the value in letting it go and moving on with my life and not being stuck there anymore you know so now when those thoughts pop up i’ve worked through that process so it’s not just like one day i [  ] woke up and went okay i’m done with this and moved on it was like i really did some work there right and now i have to remind myself sometimes like oh we’ve we’ve done some work on this we’ve decided we’re going to forgive and let this go so we’re not going to stay here anymore that’s so interesting because what i heard in that story and maybe this is a joke maybe not uh it was like you couldn’t figure out how to forgive god so now you just decided he doesn’t exist like that was the solution right i wonder if we could just do that with other people expectations on god he didn’t live up to so now he’s just not my life anymore i i do and i’m not saying that’s too totally what you did maybe you just reevaluated life and decided it doesn’t make sense to you which is fine but on picture and that’s almost kind of what some of us do right we have this person they hurt us we can’t necessarily figure out how to forgive them so we just kind of forget they exist and then we’ll run into them and all those old feelings come right back up and it’s like maybe that’s the reminder for those people that they haven’t actually forgiven them that they’ve taken this other path of like i’ve just stuffed you away and put you out of my mind to where you don’t exist in my world but how would god show up so to get too into the god stuff but for myself i don’t necessarily that i don’t think because i go through this with jen all with my wife all the time i wouldn’t say that i don’t think that god exists i’ve just had some really skewed versions of what i thought god was or how god worked and every time i turn around that version falls short or doesn’t work or is i see the flaws in that you know that way of thinking and that god doesn’t work for me anymore you know so i have to reevaluate that process and figure out what it is and so like now i actually say i’m probably more in the process of figuring out what god means and what that whole idea and concept means to me and i’ve just found a way to incorporate recovery in my life independent of that so that if my belief in god changes at any time the foundation of my recovery is still the same that piece stays solid because that’s a piece i need is that recovery piece the god piece can come and go and change and have some fluidity and it’s not going to rock my whole [  ] recovery like it did before i gotcha so the last piece is move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life so i wonder if part of the 12-step process that can help us move into forgiveness is that i think the 12 steps are about moving away from being a victim i kind of think that’s what the the four and five process starts like this idea of hey we can blame everybody else forever but that has yet to get us any better like let’s start looking at how our actions contribute to this cycle that we feel stuck in um so maybe that’s one of the ways like we were talking about how does this idea present itself in the steps of forgiving other people yeah and i mean i think it is important to say like forgiveness and and most of the spiritual principles what i’ve learned is that they’re action steps they’re not feelings you know what i mean i don’t like feel forgiveness and then it makes everything better you know like that’s not what forgiveness is you know with the person that molested me when i was a kid this was a family member that i still would occasionally see not anymore for different reasons but there was a point in my recovery and my healing process from all that as an adult that i actually made a conscious choice to like go to his wedding and just be there and be present as a release of that power thing that you’re talking about like i am not going to let this [  ] person hold this power over me anymore like i’m just we’re going to be done with this now but it was that physical action of of just doing that you know had nothing to do with him it had nothing to do with whatever and if i would have said i couldn’t make it no one would have really probably cared you know wouldn’t have been a big deal i could have easily blown it off but it was more something it was like symbolic for me to take that power back and do that and it’s the same with you know the other some of the other resentments that i had like there was some action involved to come to a healing place so that forgiveness could happen and i’m picturing sitting across from somebody doing therapy and and them presenting this idea that there’s this wedding and they could go and it i don’t think it’s as clear-cut as like yes that’s the right thing to do or no that’s not the right thing to do it’s very much like do you feel like you can go and like you said symbolically like find a way to enjoy yourself and sort of let go of that in the moment like actively practice it because if you do that could be a super freeing event if you feel like you’re going to go there and not be able to let go of all that that’s probably not the thing to do and before all that so i went with my wife and we had talked about all like i had talked a lot with her about this i mean that was kind of specifically the reasons for going so we i did have someone that i was talking with about it wasn’t just some decision i made on my own or you know and i took someone with me that was a good support and that would emotionally be there for me so yeah that was important says what happens if i can’t forgive someone it says try practicing empathy try seeing the situation from the other person’s point of view ask yourself why he or she would behave in such a way perhaps you would have reacted similarly if you face the same situation reflect on times you’ve hurt others and those who’ve forgiven you write in a journal pray or use guided meditation or talk with a person you’ve found to be wise and compassionate such as a spiritual leader mental health provider or an impartial loved one or friend and be aware that forgiveness is a process and even small hurts may need to be revisited and forgiven over and over again i think you’ve talked about this process of forgiveness a lot today right it’s not an event it’s more of like a decision and a process following that decision yeah and it it’s i mean i don’t know this probably has been from recovery but for me a lot of the the wrongs that people do that i could easily have done like those are pretty easy for me to deal with it’s the [  ] that i wouldn’t the unfairness of the universe kind of ideas that get me like i would never abuse someone or i can say i wouldn’t ever i haven’t ever and can’t imagine myself doing that i realize in different situations we are all capable of doing almost anything so in the right situation but you know as far as like you know using and neglecting kids or any of those things like it’s so hard for me to see myself doing those things and so when i see people do it those are issues that are a little more difficult for me to forgive right you know the little stuff seems easier for myself i’m sure it’s different for other people but yeah it can get tricky it can get tricky it’s really hard sometimes to put yourself in somebody else’s position when they’ve had slightly different programming you know what i mean throughout their childhood like depending on how we feel and our reaction to different events and our our fight or flight or freeze responses going off in our body like it to me it’s tricky because i have to imagine something similar but not the same because like you said like i can’t imagine some of these things that people do and yet there are definitely things people that i do that i’m like i know other people cannot imagine this [  ] it’s more like trying to make these and and not putting it in levels right because i can be like well there’s just so much worse than the kind of [  ] i do and i’m like like we’re all doing [  ] like we’re all capable and i think for myself sometimes i really just have to kind of chalk it up to like life is life and bad [  ] happens and yeah i don’t do that yeah i i mean i just have to put some things into that category you know what i mean like this because if not i stay stuck on trying to figure out the whys and what ifs and all the reasons behind and i’m not really looking at the healing and the moving forward and getting better you know i’m stuck in the y and i know in addiction that’s where i was stuck for a long time you know what i mean why do i keep doing these things why do i feel this way why why why and then when i came to recovery this last time i finally just went it doesn’t [  ] matter you’re an addict that’s all you need to know is that start there and then you can move forward on the work and now i’m able to go back and look at different things my childhood traumas and stuff like that and see how they affect different reasons and our science behind addiction is a little better now so we know you know a little more about the whys but when i was stuck so much in the y i was had less energy to focus on the what i should be doing to get better that makes a lot of sense and i think forgiveness can fall into that if i’m too hung up on why or what or how it’s like am i focused on the right things of healing and moving forward right right i was actually going to argue with you but that makes sense so i’m not going to now it’s going to be like no that’s terrible it’s bypassing we did an episode on that billy but but no i think if you’re doing it with the intent of just trying to get into the the you know moving forward and then with the understanding that like i might have to revisit this from time to time to kind of work on some more pieces of it as i’m able and that’s something maybe that’s also in like going back to that polyvagal theory episode like i don’t think we’re gonna find forgiveness from a nervous system state of you know sympathetic energy or that bottom of the ladder feeling of like that depressed nervous system i don’t think forgiveness comes in those states so we do have to work our way to like this calm connected feeling with the world before we can even get to an idea of wanting to forgive and so maybe that’s part of what you’re describing there it’s like when i’m stuck in that nervous system reaction of like still angry and irritable and [  ] like i need to find a way to get past that before i can be in this better place to look back at it a little differently yeah so this goes on to say you know forgiveness does not guarantee reconciliation and it does not the point of forgiveness is not to get the other person to change uh because the point of forgiveness is to change your life by bringing peace happiness and emotional and spiritual healing so that doesn’t matter if the other person changes and there are some some different steps one method is this reach method recall is the r in reach the first step is to recall the wrong doing in an objective way so trying to again i think this is part of where we talk about step four in a resentment list or if you’re just gonna journal about this this is where you’re writing it down because we can get that more objective view of the actual facts of the situation instead of all the feelings we’re feeling i would caution and say maybe you need to write first to get rid of the feelings like write all the feelings out and then try to attempt to write the objective fact view because sometimes like all those feelings are just so strong and getting them out in like a a letter you’re never going to send to the person or whatever can be a good practice but recall it’s not about thinking of the person in a negative light nor wallowing in self-pity but get a clear understanding of what wrong was actually done empathize is the e in reach try to understand the other person’s point of view regarding why he or she hurt you without minimizing or downplaying the wrong that was done but trying to see was this actually personal like a personal attack against me or was this just i was like a innocent bystander or someone you know unintended consequence of the action a is altruistic gift this step is about addressing your own shortcomings recall a time when you treated someone harshly and were forgiven how did it make you feel recognizing this helps you realize that forgiveness is an altruistic gift that you can give to others the c in reach is commit commit yourself to forgive for instance write about your forgiveness in a journal or a letter that you don’t send or tell a friend this helps with the decisional side of forgiveness and then the h in reach is hold finally hold on to your forgiveness this step is tough because memories of the event will often recur forgiveness is not an erasure rather it’s about changing your reaction to these memories that’s pretty interesting because what it immediately made me realize is that i guess i’m more at the hold phase of some of that stuff now than the actual forgiveness fate like i’ve worked to do the forgiveness and now more at the hold because those things come up you know different situations come up in your life that might remind you of that past harm or something to come up with you know my daughter that can remind me oh is this have something to do with you know her being abused and you know things come up in your life in that whole phase i have to remind myself like yeah we we worked on this we forgave this so interesting all right let’s do a quiz billy okay all right you ready i’m gonna i’m gonna grade it based on your answers would you be able to forgive your best friend for accidentally running over your pet jesus yes she was brutal you think so oh yeah i feel like there’s definitely people that would not oh yeah no that would be easy i mean as long as you didn’t be like yeah [  ] your dog then maybe not but if it was like leaving the house and accidentally yeah peels wheels leaving away with his middle finger out like he [  ] that dog he licked me your dog bit me so i ran him over uh your brother begs to be the one to record your wedding but forgive forgets to press the record button the entire time would you keep bringing it up years later um i feel like i would jokingly yeah at least that’s hard because i feel like i would bring it up jokingly or sarcastically and i don’t mean we haven’t forgiven yeah a little so i have almost the opposite story so we and we weren’t hired to be the wedding people some friends of ours got married and we had a video camera and they’re like oh can you bring your video camera you know we’ll video and and we did we videoed the wedding and the whole thing and not as official videographers or anything but i thought we gave them the they were on little mini cds and they said we never did and they never got the mini cds of their wedding so damn did they forgive you i don’t think that guy died so now i feel really sorry yeah see i feel like after he dies you’re off the you’re like [ __ ] it’s over now i’m gonna put no yeah i’ll just say um yeah now your partner buys your regular lottery ticket but gets the numbers wrong you win 10 instead of 10 million can you forgive him or her

that’s [ __ ] brutal i mean could i forgive yeah i think i could forgive but there would always be that oh what if like i would be stuck there i don’t know that i would be angry about it but i would totally be angry i’d be bitter i’m about angry

that is tough your spouse tells you about a brief affair he or she had many years ago and asked for forgiveness you also had an indiscretion that you never disclosed what do you do so you got accept the apology and maybe even admit to my own affair make him or her suffer for a while and then let it go get revenge or end the relationship oh probably the first one was the first one again except the apology and maybe even admit my own affair yeah i’d probably do that like maybe even at midnight maybe i’m probably just gonna make him feel shitty about it for a while but i’m gonna ride that wave for a little while i i would bet honestly i don’t know about today but most of my life i’m probably the make her suffer for a while and then let it go i’d never tell about my own oh yeah just keep that i feel like i got the upper hand a little bit your parents tell you you’re adopted something that they have hidden your entire life what do you do tell them it’s okay arrange for counseling to repair the damage cut ties with them forever probably the second one you know i don’t know why like i i feel like this adoption thing comes up randomly from time to time with me yeah i don’t ever feel like it would matter but it seems like everyone who goes through it it matters but it’s hard to yeah i think it wouldn’t matter but you know they showed up and loved me why would i care i don’t know but i think some of that comes from dealing with a lot of people in addiction and seeing the bad parenting situations and neglect and abuse and just the fact that you have two people that love you is [ __ ] that’s something to be grateful for right how about the person you consider your best friend wins two separate free trips to hawaii but doesn’t invite you do you end the friendship no i don’t know i’ll mark no for you but it really depends they went two separate free trips and don’t take me on either i might be that might be it for us definitely never taken them to hawaii as a joke one of your close friends emails your parents a video of you drunk do you forgive your friend oh yeah i wouldn’t care i mean seeing me drunk probably one of the better things my parents have seen in my life yeah i don’t think that would matter either i wonder if that’s an age one yeah you find out that your father wants to use your apartment to cheat on your mother he swears it’ll never happen again do you take away his keys what like i guess he’s got keys to your apartment sure this whole scenario right that wasn’t a lot

while a monkey sits on the roof of the apartment and then a bird flies by due west at 100 miles per hour so my dad had an affair in my apartment why is it gonna be in my opinion i guess he had a key in that provided location yeah that’s awful specific um i’d totally do it so it doesn’t seem that specific i feel like this makes sense yeah free apartment so what’s your choices what’s yes or no do you take away his keys do i take away his key probably not take away his keys i don’t know you set a boundary depends on why he’s got the keys in the first place i mean oh he might be coming over to feed your dog you might need other stuff look you keep feeding the dog quit [  ] people and are you upset by it yeah i think i would be upset by it huh okay i’m just curious i mean i don’t know that i would like hate him forever or whatever but i mean i think i would be able to move past it i just think i would be upset by it have you ever told your partner you’ve forgiven him or her for something but then secretly took revenge anyway that’s interesting i don’t know secretly took revenge i know there’s stuff that i say i’ve forgiven that comes up and i choose not to practice forgiveness at the time like i’ll be re-mad about it i’ll say it so yeah that sounds like a just to make it interesting yeah you overhear your significant other tell his or her friends that he or she loves you more than anyone but that you’re really not good in bed can you forgive your partner yeah but that’s because i’m self-deprecating and i would just beat myself up for it all the time that’s interesting i feel like i don’t know that would be hard to forgive them that they told other people and couldn’t tell me like you couldn’t come tell me that i sucked and have us work towards getting better like especially if everything else in the relationship is good why can’t you come [  ] tell me why are you telling everybody else first yeah and i wonder how long into the relationship that would matter hm i feel like the longer it was the worse it would be right that’s what i was talking about we’ve been here 20 years bad sex

so your score is 85. forgiveness comes easily to you you’re a turn the other cheek kind of person there you go billy you seem to have an open accepting heart and won’t judge others harshly even when they royally mess up doesn’t necessarily mean that you let everyone get away with thoughtlessly hurting you you’re simply willing to put the pain behind you and offer people a chance at redemption recognize that we’re all flawed everyone needs compassion and blah blah blah blah whatever yeah and i think that’s close to the person that i want to be i mean that’s it definitely sounds like how you described yourself before we started yeah i was like yeah that’s vital i wasn’t i mean most of my life i wasn’t like that at all you know i was very resentful and angry and bitter at the world and i just living that way got me to the point i want to kill myself thinking that was the best i could do with my life and thinking life was this cold hard place where nobody cared and all that other [  ] and if that’s what i’m looking for that’s what i’ll find you know that’s i think that’s how some of this works it’s like if i am trying to be forgiving and practicing forgiveness in my life i’ll see the areas that people are doing that for me you know or or we can talk about you know harms that i’ve caused with people and and find forgiveness but the truth is if people aren’t forgiving me most of the time i don’t [  ] know it anyway they just don’t talk to me or they stay angry at me in their own head and i don’t suffer for that at all yeah you know no i get it i get it i think uh just in light of some this is something i’ve been doing in my practice lately and and the fact that it seems to somewhat apply here this idea of self-compassion being so linked to forgiveness right the more space i have to allow myself to be human and flawed and fail the more i’m gonna have that space for everyone else as well kind of and we’ve mentioned this idea like we treat others the way we talk to ourselves in our heads and and what i’ve been doing lately with people is really trying to have them recognize and raise awareness around how often the the concept of should comes up in their thinking right i should have been doing that i should have done this yesterday i should be doing this thing right now instead of sitting on my couch i have to do this i really need to get that done these are all kind of the same concept right for me they all come from a mysterious they right because that’s who’s saying we should be working on our kitchen instead of sitting on our couch on any given sunday or that’s who’s saying we should be doing this chore instead of relaxing on our leisure time the goal is every time you realize that that thought is going on in your head this should have to or need evaluating like okay that’s what they think what do i really want and making a statement of preference about what’s really best for you right then and look maybe that agrees with what they say right maybe maybe your statement of preference is i really do want to get the kitchen done instead of sitting on the couch today i’d like to have it done i want to feel better tomorrow about it being finished maybe your statement is ah you know i kind of had a tough weekend i really just want to lay around today i can get to that next weekend but it’s moving away from what they think i should be doing and moving towards what i would prefer what do i want in this situation and i feel like that’s a place that’s going to cultivate self-compassion and so maybe along those lines in allowing ourselves to not be perfect we can cultivate more forgiveness for other people i don’t know i just thought maybe it’s a useful practice yeah that’s and it perfectly reminded me of this saying i came across i don’t know why because i’m not a big saiyans guy but it was from dr martin luther king i’m going to read it it says he who is devoid of power to forgive is devoid of the power of love there is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us when we discover this we are less prone to hate our enemies well there it is and and you know that reminds me of one of the there was a meditation i was doing at one point and it was talking about this situation where there happened to be a uh one of the the masked shootings and it was talking about a teacher a professor really who had like tried to hold the door closed while this gunman was trying to get in from the other side and it said in the meditation to try to recognize that as a human we are all three of the people involved in this scenario we’re the scared student sitting in the classroom where the professor that’s the hero trying to keep them students safe and we’re the gunman trying to get in to like lose our minds i don’t know something about that practice and i don’t know that i think it was just the right timing for my life i truly felt like yeah i really could be any one of those three people depending on the moment you catch me in right i have like lost my mind in anger and done things that i never thought i would do so why wouldn’t i be capable of also this further extreme version of that and why wouldn’t i be capable of also trying to protect people i cared about and of course i’m the scared person in the seat right like i don’t know i just really like that concept like anything that anyone is capable of and you said something that kind of alluded to that earlier like i too am also capable of that given the right circumstances and i just i like thinking like that it makes me feel more connected to everybody more understanding yeah and i first came across that concept with they did some you know studies and stuff on a lot of the guards or whatever that worked in the concentration camps in nazi germany and you know probably a year before if you’d interviewed any of those people and said hey would you be able to like mass slaughter a bunch of people just based on their religion you’d be like [  ] no like what are you talking about that’s crazy yeah like we would never do that but then just the way that situation played out and then they find themselves amongst their peers and their peers are doing it or their superiors are doing it or they’re telling them that’s what they got to do maybe they’re fearing for their own life if they don’t do it they’re going to get killed whatever you know goes into that and all of a sudden you’re [  ] mass murder and people and that’s your daily job and like most of us wouldn’t conceive that that oh no i would do something different but i’m like would you know right if i was in that situation right i don’t know what i would do so i don’t i don’t think i have anything uh left i think that’s forgiveness man it’s a process we practice it uh there’s a lot of benefits for us we’re definitely the ones that are stuck when we’re not forgiven and feeling the pain of it you got anything left to add uh no the only other minorly interesting thing that i found was that you know forgiveness is a little harder to do than actually thinking of like revenge or vengeance like those things come as a more immediate response like i get revenge i immediately feel better right um and so as addicts like we’re kind of prone to that instant gratification instant relief of you know oh i did this and now i feel better so that’s what i’m gonna do whereas the forgiveness piece takes a little more work and it takes a little more uncomfortable feelings and takes a little more like maybe not getting what we want out of the situation and just coming to peace with it that’s harder for us addicts to do sometimes so if you want to do the harder thing or the the better thing if you’re one of those self-righteous people like me you might buy into this well you know i’m just so much better than everyone doing my forgiveness over here even though it’s the harder option uh somebody’s better than you right right you know if you want to lowkey think you’re better than everyone else forgive people no so go out there practice forgiveness i hope you have a great week everybody and we’ll see you next week

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