That book Jason sent me in 2015 is called, “You’ll See It When You Believe It” by Wayne W. Dyer. There are a lot of very deep concepts in this book that have helped me look beyond myself and become a better person, inside and out. I’ll go over these concepts and how they’ve helped me, a little at a time.
The most impactful concept for me when I started this journey was forgiveness and it will always play a major role. Think about this concept: the universe does not forgive because it does not blame. Feeling the need to forgive someone, whether it’s yourself or someone else is usually prompted by a desire to no longer blame them.
Being able to truly forgive is key to making changes in life. True forgiveness is letting go of negative thoughts and feelings that hold us back. As we know, our perspective of is a big part of our thoughts. So, let’s dive deeper into our perspective and bring forgiveness along for the ride. You might need it to make a true change.
Before we get into this, I want to talk to those of you who may suffer from depression. The journey you are hopefully about to join me on is a challenging one. We’re going to reveal some deep shit.
There are 2 things to keep in mind that are equally important.
1: Truly forgiving the situations and people in your past will greatly reduce the depression associated with it/them. It’s worth it!
2: Understand that your brain is another muscle and burns a lot of calories. Working out a new muscle is difficult at first, but it gets easier with time. You’re probably going to be fatigued at first or “emotionally drained.” This is a natural, physical side effect and it is directly related to how much effort you put into your thoughts. If you get physically drained the day or 2 after “deep thinking” do not slip into depression! Take pride in that exhaustion, knowing you have made a significant impact on your mental health for the better! Eat something healthy and do something that doesn’t require a lot of mental energy. You’ll be back to normal shortly. Probably better than normal.
Sometimes to truly change our perspective, of situations or people, we have to think back to when that perspective originated. There will be times when forgiveness is the only way to change the perspective.
Ready? Let’s start thinking.
Early 2016, I just read a section in “You’ll See It When You Believe It” about forgiveness. I was intrigued by this. I started thinking about who I need to forgive and who I’d like forgiveness from and the situation involved. At first, it was easy. There was a ton of things that needed forgiving.
I went down my list of names and the situation involved with those people. I forgave and asked for forgiveness right then. The other people didn’t need to be around to let go of the pain. It’s my pain and mine to let go of.
I finished with my mom and went on to my sis. I couldn’t place my finger on it but there seemed to be more to deal with involving my mom. As I finished with sis and went on to my brother Joe, I got the same feeling that there is more to be forgiven with sis, even though I couldn’t think of anything else. When I got to the end of the list with Joe, I got the same feeling again, that it goes deeper, and decided to figure it out before I moved on to the next person on my list.
It didn’t take long to figure out this deeper issue with Joe. I had always had an issue trusting him. Whether it was his sincerity in wanting to help me or the things he tried to teach me. His actions always backed up his sincerity. His words were always helpful when I applied them. But for some reason, I did not trust him.
I started thinking back. I wanted to discover this trust issue. I relived moments with Joe, not just the actions but my thoughts and feelings as well. I hit upon a moment when I was about 5 or 6 years old.
A few days before the incident with my brother, we were in the car and I said “fart.” My mom told me I’d get my mouth washed out with soap if I ever said it again. (My mom had a real hard time believing she would do this, when I talked to her awhile back because her mentality had changed.) But that’s exactly what happened.
Joe and I were walking home from school a few days later and I started laughing. Joe asked me what I was laughing about, and I told him “I farted.” I would never have thought he would go straight to my mom and tell on me. I got my mouth washed out with soap and never let Joe close to me again.
When I realize this is where it all started with Joe, I mentally went back in time and forgave Joe for telling on me and myself forget and pissed at him for this. The little bit of a relationship I have with him isn’t good, at the moment. But, I have no resentment or bad feelings towards him. I’m able to look back at our interactions and see that he truly did care and wanted the best for me.
After dealing with this issue I had with Joe for 20 plus years, I was able to dig deep into other relationships and forgive even the slightest issues.
Not all issues will be easy to recognize. With Joe, I know the issue directly involved him and my trusting him. A major issue I’ve had is that I used to fall for any girl who gave me attention. Way too fast, and I’d fall hard. But, I would never let any get close to me and would usually lose interest within 2 weeks. Up until recently, when I’ve let my sister and mom get close, these were the only 2 girls in my life who held attention and I allowed to get somewhat close. Even being with my kid’s mom faithfully for about 7 years, I was never very vulnerable with her.
When I was little all my close relationships were with females and they all disappeared in less than a year. In first grade, I was in love with a girl named Charlene. We were inseparable in school and we’d sometimes hang out outside of school at the YMCA or at her house etc. She never showed up for the second grade.
There were 2 older girls that lived next door to us in Gilbert. I’d hang out with them a lot and of course, a 6-year-old boy spending time with 2 cute teenagers…I was hooked. Their parents separated, and they were gone.
I lost my mom and my best friend Brooke at the same time. Brooke is a girl my mom babysat. I had spent every day with her for as long as I could remember. My mom got a job and Brooke vanished.
I’m pretty sure my mom was a stay-at-home mom up until this point. I can’t remember her not being around. She started working 2nd shift right off the bat. Gone before she got home from school. Didn’t get off work until well after I was asleep. She was still asleep when I left for school. Her weekends were usually spent resting or taking care of the house. My mom was gone.
And then there was Melissa. My relationship with sis was and thankfully is again the deepest most meaningful to date. When I was 6, sis left home. I balled my eyes out and emotionally shut down when she got married. I thought I’d never see her again. She was one of the last to leave me and probably the only one I really needed to stay. Don’t get me wrong it sucked when the others disappeared. But life without my sister felt impossible.
I developed this idea/perspective that females I get close to will vanish and carried it through all of my relationships. When this old perspective of women leaving, when a relationship started to go south, I protected myself by completely destroying any chance at any type of relationship with them again. I wouldn’t just “burn the bridge.” I’d strap 100 tons of C4 to it and blow it sky high. Then send these scraps through a shredder and nuke the shredder with an A-bomb. I didn’t like physical warfare. I chose psychological, destructive words were my Atomic Bomber. What the fuck would I do if I took this same mentality into my relationship with my daughter?
But because I recognize a bad pattern, dug deep and forgave, I have amazing relationships with my mom and sister. A chance to be a good father not just to my daughter but to my son as well and any other kids I might have in the future. A desire to allow some women a chance to really see me for me.
With my brother, forgiveness obviously needed to happen. With the women that left me when I was young, I understood the situation that caused them to not be around, even then. What I didn’t understand was that I had held onto resentment towards them for 22 years. Going back and forgiving myself for being upset with them and them for leaving me, whether they had a choice in leaving me or not, was the only way to break the perspective of women vanishing. Believe me, 7 years I tried to change it. Sometimes forgiveness is the only way.
What needs forgiveness in your life?
What in your life can only change with forgiveness?