THE LIFE COACH SCHOOL PODCAST – Episode 144

I want to follow up on yesterday’s blogpost. It was a review from an old blogpost that I have looked back on several times now, about the stories that we make up to protect ourselves – those SFDs. Remember? And reviewing that post lead me to reviewing today’s post review on forgiveness. Because it was only when I was looking for an answer to How do I forgive that I understood Brene Brown’s teachings on “the stories we tell ourselves”. Look over that again. It’s vital to forgiveness. Let’s look at Brooke Castillo and forgiveness today.

GOALS: 100% of the relationships in my life are positive. Did you know that’s possible? Did you know that it’s an option to have 100% healthy positive relationships in your life?

I guess that option had never been offered to me in a way that I understood it until DAY #28, on forgiveness. I want that, my friends. I want it more than almost anything I have ever wanted.

“Question number one: When do you need to forgive someone? My answer to that question is, ‘you only need to forgive someone when you need to stop feeling angry or resentful.’”

And then this. And this is super familiar:

“The only thing required of you to forgive someone is to change how you feel, to stop feeling angry and resentful. That’s all that’s required for forgiveness. Most of us don’t forgive other people because we think that somehow our emotion, being angry and resentful, is somehow punishing them. That is never the case. The only thing anger and resentment does is punish ourselves. We are the only ones that feel it. The other person does not experience our emotion.”

Got it. No problem. I understand that concept. We have been drilling that concept for months now. If I love someone, I am the one who feels that love – it is a gift to me. If I resent someone, I am the one who feels that resentment or that anger – it is a punishment to me. That “someone” doesn’t feel my emotion, they feel their own emotions caused by their own thoughts. Got it.

Then, how about this? If we are punishing ourselves with our own emotions, and we don’t want to feel resentful or anger anymore, how do we change those emotions?

Do you feel like you’re being quizzed? Because there IS a right answer. And that answer is found on the model. We know this model. We’ve memorized this model. My children have memorized this model.

We change our feelings by changing our thoughts. Our thoughts create our feelings. Period.

  • C CIRCUMSTANCE
  • T THOUGHT
  • F FEELINGS
  • A ACTIONS
  • R RESULTS

“Notice that in between that C line and that F line is that T line. Do you know what’s great about the T line? It protects your F’s from your C’s! The biggest protection between me and what other people do, are my thoughts.”

Here is another thought Brooke offers us today. I can choose to not forgive someone and be really nice to them. Being really nice to them is not the same as forgiving them. It is pretending to forgive them. I have done that. I have tried to find peace doing that.

Also, I can forgive someone and not reach out to them or not have any contact with them ever again. That is possible. Forgiveness is a feeling – a change of feelings. It is not an action.

Three “forgiveness options”. These are my options:

  1. Pretend to forgive them even though you really haven’t.
  2. Forgive them and either see them again or never see them again.
  3. Forgive them, and then keep forgiving them every time you see them. Those are your “forgiveness” options.

“What (number 3) means is you work on your emotions every time you see them. You work on your own thinking every time you see them. That’s how you get really good at it. That’s how you own your own power.”

I hadn’t considered that option, though I have been living it. I have been living it and practicing it from a place of discouragement and shame. I can’t believe I haven’t forgiven them yet. I thought I had this. I thought I was okay. I guess I need to do it again – I guess because I am not good at this, I need to forgive them again.

But that does not represent the truth. It is an option – and a healthy and inspiring and a loving option – to forgive someone, and then forgive them again, every time you see them, from a place of patience with myself and love for myself. Until my thoughts are different. And that may take many many times. That is okay. I am (still) good. I am (still) inspired. I am (still) a peacemaker. I am (still) a child of God. Isn’t that a beautiful thought to consider?

Here’s another thought that Brooke offers us today:

“There’s never anything to forgive because nobody ever does anything wrong.”

This one Brooke got from Byron Katie. And this one has taken me some time to wrap my mind around. I’m still wrapping my mind around this thought.

“(Byron Katie) stays in non-judgment. She doesn’t make things good or bad or right or wrong. She doesn’t judge anything in a way that would make her feel bad… And the more I’m like her, the happier I am. The less I judge, the better I feel. The less I qualify things as right or wrong, the more magic I have. The more I make other people wrong, the more anger and resentment I feel…

That’s who I want to be. I want to be in a state of mind where I never have to forgive anybody. Wouldn’t that just be cool? Nobody ever does anything to me that needs my forgiveness.”

I am not there yet. But I see the beauty, and I want to practice living in that way.

My friend called me this morning. My daughter has stopped going to church on Sundays. Is that bad? Is that good? Is it possible that I am not the judge? Is it possible that my friend – the mother – is not the judge either? Sitting in my car, talking to my friend, with all my children safely buckled into their car seats, it’s easy for me to say to my friend, That might just be your daughter’s path. And that is okay.

But then when I apply it to my life, it gets a whole lot more difficult, right? My mom was so overwhelmed by motherhood and by marriage and by finances and by church or whatever, that I didn’t feel like I got positive attention from her as a child/teenager. Is that bad? Is that good? Is it possible, my friends, that I am not the judge? Is it possible that this is a neutral circumstance? Making it a neutral circumstance would sound something more like this: My mom had a lot of her plate, and I was one of the items on her plate. Is it possible that nothing has gone wrong here – there is nothing to forgive? Whoa. And how would my life progress if I never held anyone accountable to me, and I never had to forgive them because nothing went “wrong” at all?

Can I practice that thought, in order to create the feeling that I want to feel? Love.