Today, I’m going to talk about forgiveness. Forgiveness of a narcissist is probably one of the hardest things that any of us will ever have to do. We all struggle with forgiveness and it has different meanings for all of us, and very many misconceptions, because I think a lot of people think that when you forgive someone, that you are condoning their actions. You’re saying, “Okay, I forgive you.” That’s not true. We don’t have to condone what they’ve done. What they’ve done is horrific, and we will never ever forget what they have done. But forgiveness is all — I’ve heard this my whole life. Forgiveness isn’t about you, it’s about them. Oh, wait, take that back. I’ve heard this my whole life. Forgiveness isn’t about them, it’s about you. It’s how you move on and I always misunderstood that, and i’d like to clarify that a little bit for you. Because forgiveness is about us. And it is not about forgiving or forgetting what they’ve done. There’s no part of forgiveness that says you forget what they’ve done, because that is absolutely wrong. We should never forget, but what we should forget is the anger, and the hurt, and all of that stays inside of our body because we didn’t forget. We didn’t forgive. And I don’t know about you, I did a little worksheet with my meet up group this week when I talk about forgiveness, and I gave everybody a little sheet for them to fill out. I asked them to write down one, the sheet that they get to their home with them has many different fields for them. But take five minutes and write down one person and one thing that you struggle to forgive someone for. Everyone sat around the room and did it, and then I asked them to see how they felt and I encourage you to do the same exercise. How do you feel when you’ve written that down or for everyone in the group including myself, it just brought up things like the feeling in your stomach, the tightness in your throat, the shaking, whatever it is, it brings that back-up. And that is what forgiveness can do, is release the emotional triggers that are attached to that event.
What I have learned in studying forgiveness for this last month in order to create this class for my students or my members, was that we can forgive to release this attachment because that’s what we do. It’s attached. Every single time is a trigger. You get that same feeling inside your stomach and you’re like, “Oh!” I’m doing it, so you’d see it. “Oww!” You get it, and it hurts and it brings up confusion and anger and hurt and just like “Argh.” You get so pissed off. Wouldn’t it be nice if they didn’t have that control over you, to do that to you any longer? In my meeting, I had everybody read little quotes, I passed around randomly, and what they were purposefully done, is to show that there’s so many different ways of forgiveness and looking at it. There’s a spiritual forgiveness, there’s the Buddha forgiveness, there’s you know, “Do it for you, not for them.” There’s all kinds of things but I’m going to read a couple that I had written on here that I thought were really meaningful.
So, I’ve got the glasses. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart. Does that makes sense? “Forgiveness liberates the soul, It removes fear and that’s why it’s such a powerful weapon.” And that was written by Nelson Mandela. “The weak can never forgive. It’s an attribute of the strong.” And that’s from Gandhi. These are really, really meaningful quotes because it’s not letting them off the hook. It’s showing us to stop thinking of it that way. This is again, it is for us. For us to cut that tie, cut that away from them. Here is one. Forgiveness is the meaning of grace. The grace to love yourself enough to be willing, to put trust in releasing the pain attached to whatever stuff happens to you. And this is for you, not for them. When you forgive, you heal. When you let go, you grow. Unexpressed emotions limit your life and it is time to heal.
According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, “Forgiveness is to give up resentment of claim to requital.” It has a second part to it. “To cease to feel resentment against an offender.” Let me read that again. “To cease to feel resentment against an offender.” So you’re just releasing the resentment and that, “Ohh!” That’s going to come and choke you and hurt you every time you think about that. If you’re releasing the resentment, that is a better word. Can we come up with the word for that? Forgiveness is kind of overrated, or were talked about, and confusing, right? Especially when we have dealt with things that are unforgivable. I played videos and I suggest that you do this. I played videos for my group to open up the class. And I showed them excerpts of TEDx talks on forgiveness. I have on my YouTube channel since you’re here now, you probably can find it. I have a playlist on forgiveness, and all of these TEDx talks, I think I flagged four or five of them. They were pretty horrific things that people had to forgive, a man who’s grandson was murdered, became friends with the father of the boy that murdered his son. That’s ultimate forgiveness. That is the unforgivable. You killed my child, but as he said in his TEDx talk, there were — I’m sorry, someone else talked about the situation in the TEDx talk, they were victims on both sides of the gun, and so, in finding forgiveness, they were able to go together and helped so many people. Another one of the examples was a woman who was hit by a car, and lost her leg. And it took her 15 years of all that built up anger inside to reach out and talk to this person, and she found out that all of this anger was only hurting herself. This person had been living a life of hell ever since he hit her, and she lost her leg. He’d lost his wife, he dealt with anger issues, and his life was never the same. These are extenuating its circumstances of forgiveness.
The last one that I loved is a woman named Doris Roberts, whose son went in and killed all of the children in an Amish School. This was many years ago, but this woman came to my church a few years ago, and talked about how the night of the shooting the Amish people came and they’re trying to forgive her and she has spent the last 10, 15 years being a part of that community, being a family, being a mother to the one girl that didn’t die but was handicapped for the rest of her life. That’s ultimate forgiveness. Her son killed all those people, and no it’s not her that did it, but she held that burden and when the Amish people forgave her, it opened her life up to heal others. So, what I’m encouraging you to do is to think about this thought.
The next question is how do you forgive? Because that mother fucker did all this stuff. This is what happened to my life, financially ruined me. You know, you get really angry when you think about, well, this is what happened to me and yes, it is, but why would we hold on to that for the 15 years that are going to come and steal tomorrow, forgiveness is one of the TEDx talkers talked about, it’s about giving up the hope for a better past. You can’t change the past. She also said in that TEDx talk that it’s a way to deal with all the stuff in your life. I wanted a better family. I got no. I wanted a better husband. I got no. All of these things are things that we’ve had to deal with and we can forgive this situation. Here is my bit of advice, do not go forgiving them to their face. Trust me, I got arrested for that. Don’t think that this has to be something that is communicated to them at all. This is a bond between you and the spirit world. This is a bond between whoever your God is, whoever you believe in, and if you believe in yourself, it’s a bond to yourself to be free of that aches that comes into your stomach when you think about it. The trigger as you walk by that restaurant that you used to go to where that’s where he proposed, It all comes back to us. And how do we help the world? Our own world, is just try this. I mean, it’s like a pill. If I gave you a pill and said, “Here you go, you’ll be better now.” Would you take it? Probably. This is a pill. It’s worth trying. How do we do it? I have that written down to you. Here we go. Alright. This is written from a book, by a man name Cliff Edward. It is an amazing book.
How to forgive? He writes, “You simply make a choice and acknowledge the emotions and feelings and let them go. You consciously decide to shift your perspective and to release the judgments, the negative feelings, and victimizing interpretations when something happens. Tell yourself I don’t need to get upset about this, and turn this big thing that ruins your day, wipe it off your shoulder like it’s a bug. I think I made this up. I don’t think it’s in Cliff’s book but I added it. But choose not to let it destroy you. Because it’s just a flip of a switch for us. Acknowledge that this has happened, and I know that for those of you that still have to deal with your narcissist, I’m asking a lot here, but I’m doing it for you. I’m doing it so that you can have a better day life from this day forward. It’s not easy, and it’s not a one-time thing. You’re going to do it over and over and over. Every time you get triggered, every single thing that you see, every– whatever it was, it’s a trigger. You’re going to just get that feeling. Acknowledge it, and tell it to go away. Tell it, “Thank you, but you know, I’m not going to hold on to that.” Yeah. It was yesterday. I can’t do anything about it, but I’m not going to let it ruin today. Today, I’m going to be happy and today, I am going to live in this place of forgiveness and I know I’m working on it and I’m sure I’ll have many days that shoots back into my stomach and I go crazy. But for now, I choose to forgive my offenders and not for them, and unless they watch this video, stuck as they are, they probably are. But unless they watched this video, they’re never going to know, but the important part is, that I am never going to let another moment of my day be spoiled. It might hook me, I might be triggered, but I’m going to say no. I’m going to purposefully turn away and say, “Get off my shoulder bug. You’re annoying me.”