Forgiveness is a necessary part of the healing process. When we are able to truly forgive others, we liberate ourselves from the pain of the experience so we can find peace and move on. But forgiveness isn’t always easy

In this episode, we’re here to help you out by answering questions such as:

  • Do you find it harder to forgive or to apologize?
  • Can you truly ‘forgive and forget’?
  • How can you tell if an apology is sincere?
  • What advice do you have for people who have a hard time with forgiveness?

Whether you’re asking forgiveness or forgiving others, join us to learn how you can heal these emotional wounds and find peace within.

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Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode of gay men going deeper. This is a podcast series where we talk about personal development, mental health, and sexuality. Your host today are Matt, Calan and myself, Michael collectively. We have over 40 years of experiments experience in personal development. And if this is your very first time listening to us, we want to welcome you to the show.

We each have our own coaching practice, but in this podcast, we’re giving away all of our best stuff for free. So thank you too, but thank you for all of you guys for joining us here today. On this episode, we are talking about forgiveness. So this is a very fitting conversation to have. After our last episode about victimhood today,

we’ll be answering questions such as do you find it harder to forgive or to apologize? Can you truly forgive and forget? How can you tell an apology if an apology is sincere and then at the very end, we’ll be giving us some advice. If you find it, if you have a hard time with forgiveness, we’ve got some tips for you. All right,

for the audience out there. We want to hear from you as well. We do continue these conversations on the last Thursday of the month. So that will be Thursday, February 24th. We’ll be hosting a zoom hangout. This is where we give you guys a chance to share your own thoughts on the topics we discussed here on the podcast. So if you’re interested in joining us,

please go to the gay men’s brotherhood Facebook group, and check out the events tab and make sure you RSVP. There are two different time zones. You can check out, come to one or comfortable. I also want to take a moment here to thank all of our Patreon supporters. This podcast and YouTube channel are supported by listeners and viewers like you. So if you guys are enjoying these episodes and want to help us to continue making them and building this beautiful community,

please head to our Patreon page and you can support the show there. The link is in the show notes. Finally, the gay men going deeper membership is open. So if you want more groups rooms, if you want more time with us and other like-minded men, and you want to take your personal development to the next level, please join us in the membership.

We have a library of over 30 coaching videos. We’re currently doing a six week course called healing, your shame, and we have opportunities to connect with us and other members all the time. So please head over to gay men, going to register. And as we do before we jump in, I want to read your review from one of our YouTube viewers.

His name is Gabe, and he actually left us this comment on our very last episode on victimhood. So Gabe says such a deep topic presented in such a meaningful way. Thank you so much guys, for your work for taking the time to help people who need it with all of these issues. So thank you Gabe, for your kind words. We hope that you enjoy this one just as much.

Okay. Without further ado, let’s jump into today’s topic. So we’re talking about forgiveness today. I want to give a little recap from what we talked about last episode on a victim hood. So last week we talked about being victimized as the community. We also talked about being victimized at the individual level, the impact of that on our lives, the impact of that on our relationships.

And then we gave some awesome tips on how to move through it. So there’s a connection between victimhood and forgiveness. Because if we think about that interaction, a victim needs a villain and or an offender. If you prefer to use the word offender, and sometimes it might be the victim. Sometimes you may be the villain and that’s perfectly fine, but either way,

there’s this relationship. There’s this relationship between both of them that is based on some kind of offense or some kind of wrongdoing. Forgiveness is about healing. The pain that comes with that experience. And I want to make it clear. Forgiveness is something that the victim does not the villain or the offender they could ask for forgiveness, but oftentimes they don’t. Oftentimes you might not even hear from them again.

So forgiveness is something that the victim can do, and that’s why it’s such an important part of healing. So I want you guys to think of forgiveness as a necessary part of healing of the healing process and in the game, his brother, Facebook group, we’ve been talking about healing all month. So this fits into there as well. When you truly forgive someone,

you’re really taking your power back from being victimized. So when you’re in a victim state, you’ve been disempowered, forgiveness takes your power back. It helps release that anger, any pain, resentment, and whatever negative feelings you might be holding on to helps you find peace. And ultimately that’s what liberates you from the experience. There’s a little twist. I want to add to this for,

for you guys listening to this episode today, I want you to also think about how this can apply to yourself. So as you listened today, most people are likely going to think of other people in their lives, maybe past, maybe present. But I want you to think about how you might be the person who you need. Like you need to forgive yourself for something you’ve done to someone else or even something you’ve done to yourself.

Sometimes in our own stories, we are both the victim and the villain. And so think of it that way as well. Okay. Let’s get to our first question. So when it comes to forgiveness, there are two sides. Someone might ask for forgiveness, but again, they don’t always do that. And then there’s forgiving someone and both are hard for different reasons.

And I want to quickly add that apologizing. It doesn’t always come with a request for forgiveness. It’s about owning your mistake, but not always do people ask for forgiveness. It’s it’s they can be, they can be the same, but not always. So just keep that in mind, asking for forgiveness. It’s really asking someone to absolve you of what you’ve done.

I know I have my own challenges with both of these, but we’ll get to that later, but I actually want to hear from you guys first and today. I think the order I want to do is we’ll start with Matt now for this one. Guys, if you, if you have a hard time with both of them, feel free to share what you find hard about each of them.

So, first question, do you find It harder to forgive or to Apologize? Why? Hm, let me see. I’m going to say, okay. I think it depends. It totally depends on my mood. If I’m in a good mood, I can forgive. And then I noticed what I, what my pattern has been in the past is when I’m in a good mood,

I forgive and I kind of move into the relationship. And then when I’m in a bad mood, I’m like not over it. Right? And I think that’s what I said. Last time. That’s different between thinking forgiveness and feeling forgiveness. The felt sense of forgiveness is like, okay, I’ve moved on, right? The thinking forgiveness is what I’m in a good mood.

I’ll forgive you. But what I’m not, I’m going to hold you. I’m going to punish you still. So I think I kind of dance between those two, but I think this is really a play on empathy and humility, really like forgiveness to forgive somebody for me, it’s to connect into my empathy and to look at them through the lens of they were doing the best that they could,

they were they’re hurting. They hurt me. I I’m able to use my deep amount of empathy to forgive. And then when it comes to apologizing for me, that’s an act of humility. So I would say again, they they’re, they can both be challenging for their different reasons, but I’m going to say for this one, I’ll probably say humility right now is a bit more challenging for me to apologize,

because for me, it’s like, I I’ve always had this ability to be able to kind of see, see people’s pain for one and see their inner child. So someone could be like so angry and yelling at me and I can literally stop in the moment and enter consciousness and see that they’re hurting. I can see their, their inner child. So for me,

forgiveness is a little bit easier. And almost to the point where I think I’ve let people off the hook for things that maybe I should have held them accountable for, especially in my earlier years. I think now I’m more boundaried and I, I will hold people accountable, but, and then to apologize for me. Yeah, just it’s it’s, it’s the ego,

my ego perceives that as defeat, right? Like that. I have to admit that I’m wrong. And I think for my ego, it doesn’t like that. He doesn’t like that. It’s so yeah, definitely apologizing is probably more challenging for me. Yeah. Yeah. What about you callin? This is an interesting one. Cause I got some stuff to say about both of them.

I do have to say for me apologizing, when I know I can see that I’m clearly wrong or I said something clearly wrong, or I said something that’s out of alignment for myself. I know I’m in the wrong. And for me to apologize about that is actually quite easy because I can recognize that within myself and I can own up to that. And I also do my best to apologize without asking for forgiveness,

because to me that’s not a true apology for me. A true apology is me offering my apology without expectation. This is just me apologizing. Here it is. I’m presenting it to you, take it however you need or want it. And like, let that be that quite often they will reciprocate and be like, I accept your apology or we’ll dive into deeper conversation.

And like, it’ll be that door opener, but I never go into it being like, okay, I’m going to apologize. Just so I can get your forgiveness because that’s like a manipulation of an apology. That’s not a true apology. And I can usually recognize that when I’m like, shit, I need to, like, I need to own up to this.

And I’m pretty good at it. Sometimes not so good when it comes to like family members or those people who really know how to push your buttons, like just right. Like, it can be really hard, but I am, I’ve gotten maybe I don’t know, it developed as I was younger. And I just like realized that if I apologize to people,

things just like went away easier. And like, I didn’t like, it didn’t keep like festering away. So I was just like, it was easy for me to apologize. Cause it was like, I guess in a way to make it go away back then. But now I recognize it for something different, but it kind of built that in me of like,

just apologize. It’s so easy to do. And then when you genuinely mean it, it shifts things. So that’s on apologizing forgiveness for me is a very different thing. I don’t say, I wouldn’t say I hold grudges because I don’t like there’s people who like maybe I’ve had falling outs with or whatever. And then I see them like on Facebook or I see them around and they still are holding onto something.

I’m like, I don’t even remember what we were fighting about. Like I’m like, I can really let things go. But depending on how deep the wounding was or what actually happened, I can forgive for my own sake, for my own sake of letting go of the stuff I need to let go of and to, to move through the energy and process it.

But just because I forgive you does not mean I grant you access. So it’s like forgiveness given access denied. So my forgiveness doesn’t come along with continued friendship and it doesn’t come along with continued engagement and it doesn’t necessarily come along with all of these things. I can forgive you for the acts that you did. And I can say, Hey look, stuff happens.

But that doesn’t mean I want to continue having you in my circle or having you in my space or having, you know, continued engagement with you. Not always, of course there’s like stupid things that happen that you’re like, yeah, no problem. Or like, yeah, I forgive you. Or like, whatever, but like on those kinds of deeper things and this kind of goes towards family and I’m navigating this right now,

like just with my family stuff. Cause it’s my grandma’s 90th birthday coming up and I don’t speak with my dad or his partner. And like my brother’s trying to organize everybody, getting together on like some sort of like a zoom or a Facebook. And so like everybody can talk and like say, cause we can’t all go to the U S to go see my grandma and it’s her 90th.

And so I was like, yeah, that’d be great. Like I’m in. And then it’s like, but just as a reminder, like I don’t talk to dad. I’m not going to, like, I’m not willing to speak to dad or Karen. And he’s like, well, can’t you just kind of like, like get over for like a minute or can’t you just like,

and I was like, you telling me to get over. It is like you telling me that like, I don’t deserve to be upset for the trauma that this person caused me for like a decade of my life. Like you’re basically like taking what happened to me and just being like, oh, but it’s not that big of a deal. And I get it.

You, it’s not because you had a different experience, but to me it’s like, here’s your perpetrator? Just, you know, act nice to them for like five minutes. It’s not a big deal. It really is because that’s going to bring up that trigger again. And so like I forgiven my father for a lot of the shit that he’s done and I’ve forgiven a lot of my past,

but that doesn’t mean I’m going to access, like give you access and grant you access to me and who I am as a person because I forgave so I could move on. I didn’t forgive so that you could still continue being part of my life. So I know that it kind of gets messy and it’s not so cut and dry, but I definitely say I probably have an easier time apologizing and recognizing that than I do with like forgiveness in the sense of still letting people come back round.

Cause I also give you a ton of times if they’re frivolous things, but if you really do something, that’s like unacceptable. Non-negotiable in my world. Doors cut off. Sorry. I can forgive you. But access is no longer granted. So what about you, Michael? Yeah, that’s a solid distinction. There’s it’s a good point that there’s lots of different measures or are on the scale of offenses.

There’s lots of different things that we can forgive each other or forgive people for or choose not to. Okay. For me, I had to think about this, but so I’ll, I’ll answer both. It’s hard to ask for forgiveness because ego pride gets in the way. I don’t want to admit that I was wrong. Triggers my shame response for, you know,

a lot of the times I don’t feel I need to. I don’t, I sincerely don’t feel like there’s anything to apologize for. I spent a lot of what I was more of that people pleaser energy back when I was a kid, even I twenties, I felt I over apologized. So now I I’ve almost swung in the opposite direction. And I feel like there’s so many things that I don’t need to apologize for.

I, I feel I have a very strong identity and I know who I am. And then I know I have an understanding of what’s mine and what’s yours. And so often I think people get triggered or offended in my opinion, a little bit too easily. And I don’t want to own that. So I’m like, I’m not gonna apologize for them.

Now when I have done something wrong. Yes, I will apologize. It does take a lot out of me. So it’s still harder because it forces me to face the part of myself that did not show up a hundred percent the way that I would want to. So that’s on the asking for forgiveness. It is still hard to forgive, although it’s,

it’s, it is easier for me to forgive again because I have that strong sense of boundaries and identities. I don’t get offended very easily. There’s not many things that need to happen where people have asked my forgiveness. And if so, I mean, I can’t think of a time where it’s been very difficult. Like it takes time. Of course it takes time,

but I can get there. The reason why it would be hard is I don’t want to be seen as a doormat again. Like I don’t want to get back into that energy of like people just walking all over me and doing what they want to make. Cause I lived that way for a very long time. And I think one of you guys had said that,

that term letting them off the hook and I want to make it very clear that like, I, I could Apollo or I could forgive you, but like you guys said, it’s not the same as letting you off the hook for what you’ve done. And so making that very clear as part of the process and then on some level, I think, you know,

retribution feels good being, being in that victim role sometimes feels good. Let’s just say it. A lot of people will like being in that victim role. It gives them sympathy. It gives them attention. It’s a lot easier to hell about it. A lot easier to blame other people in the world around you than it is to, you know, forgive.

So again, there’s a balance there. I think we can, we can be in that role, but then eventually we started indulging in it. And I think there’s a lot of people out there who do indulge in that victim role, but too much. So I don’t apologize for that at the end of the day. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s harder for me to ask for forgiveness and what I did cause I had a hard time answering this question.

I actually asked my partner to start and I asked him and I wrote down what he said. He said, you do a great job. I asked him, you know, how do I do it with apologizing and asking forgiveness? I said, you do a great job when you know, you’ve made a mistake dot, dot dot, but it’s the knowing you made a mistake that maybe needs a bit of work.

So that’s from his point of view. And I w I would agree with him. Like I agree when I, when I, when I can see my wrong, I’m very sincere about it. I own it for sure. I think the question for me is when do I, do I, am I always sing my wrong? Or am I always agreeing that I’m in the wrong?

So yeah, that’s, that’s where I’m at on that one. When it comes to forgiving someone, there’s the forgiving and forgetting, which I want to talk about next. So Kellen, you talked a little bit about that already. You know, there’s that saying that I was brought up with, which is, you know, you have to forgive and forget.

That’s sort of like what we do, but I personally have a very hard time with that. I don’t think it’s that easy. And it’s, it’s easier said than done to forgive and forget, but I wanna hear from you guys as well. So although the same order of start with max, can you truly forgive and forget why or why not? I think you’re a fool.

If you’re forgetting, you got to keep that you’ve got to keep awareness of, of the way that people have shown up. Right. I think it’s just releasing the energy around it, but still keeping, you can still keep the, the awareness that some, that somebody did something. So, yeah, I almost, I don’t even know if that’s possible.

Do you really think it’s possible to forget, you know, like it’s, it’s in your memory bank and it’s like, when you’re interacting with that person, I think there’s always going to be something in the background being like, okay, this person violated my trust or they betrayed me at some point and the forgiveness is I’m gonna, I’m gonna stop being punitive towards them because of it.

And I’m going to release the resentment. So I would say that for me, there’s a big distinction between forgiving and forgetting. And I think forgiving I’m doing it for me, right? Like Callen said, like this forgiveness is a play for me. And apologizing is a play for them, active humility and an active dignity for myself that, yeah, I’m going to let this go so I can stop stewing in it and I can move on with my life.

And yeah, I, I think it’s so interesting this, this whole notion, because I think forgiveness and ego are just so interconnected. Like everything, everything that’s coming through right now is around ego and how the ego perceives it one way. And then our higher self perceives it completely different. Right. And I think for me, that’s the me, that’s like,

I would never forget. That’s probably more my ego to being like, no, no, no, we gotta keep ourselves safe. Right. Whereas my higher self knows if I forgive, I set myself free and it’s no longer about the other person really like, they’ll benefit from that. But it’s more so me doing that, like, it’s an act of dignity for myself.

Like letting, seeing if there’s anything else coming through. No, I feel complete. Yeah. What about you count this? One’s an interesting one for me, because like I said, there’s like, I can forgive You, but there’s not always going to be that access granted again. And I think I can forgive and forget, but I think it,

I think there’s a scale on which things happen. Like if it’s something that’s not a deep wounding or something that’s not triggering to you or something that it was just like, you know, something happens off the cuff and it’s, person’s like, oh, I’m so sorry. And it’s like, okay. Yeah, no problem. When somebody spills a drink on you or stupid things like that,

like, yes, you’re going to forget all those little things. But if it’s deep wounding things or somebody who means something to you, like somebody who’s closer to you in your life and who means something to you, the closer they are and your radius, the deeper that those wounds might hit. And so the more you’re going to remember those kinds of things.

And I think that there’s another part of this as well, is that if something happens and it’s triggering and wounding and then your close people, and then you decide to split and like, that’s it, like they was, it was too big. It was, you know, and you move on, that’s the last point of reference. And so that wound,

that forgetting is not going to happen because you’re going to remember it. That’s the last thing that your last memory of that person. And so that kind of like holds that memory of it. Whereas if you were to continue the friendship and go, okay, I’m going to forgive you, give you another chance. We’re going to continue building and you develop another 5, 10, 15 years of friendship.

Yeah. That might be a memory that you have, but you could also build so many more good memories together that that kind of does wash away and eventually becomes something so small because you’ve built up so many good things in between it that you, maybe you remember it, but maybe you do forget it like my best friend and maybe we’ve done things, but there’s never been something I think I ever needed to really forgive her for.

And if there was, it’s like we’ve built so many amazing memories together that it’s like, it’s not even something that’s in my head, you know? But I, I have had other friends where we were deep friends and then, you know, we, you know, something happened and it was like, this is unforgivable. Like this is a personally unforgivable thing that you’re doing to me.

And I, I can’t continue the friendship anymore. And so it’s split and it’s like, kind of kept in contact, but it’s like, that’s the last point of reference in my mind. And it’s just like, I forgiven you for it, but I can no longer continue being a friend with you because I know that you have that capability of doing that in you.

And for me, I can’t put myself in that position to get hurt like that again and again and again, because I’ve seen your behavior and it’s not changed. So I think that those kinds of things play into it as like the distance that you can get from it, whether it’s continued to be with that person or whether you’re separating from that person, that point of reference.

I think that that’s really important in regards to like, can you truly forgive and forget? And why not? Like, I think it really depends on the situation if you’ve continued a friendship or if you continued being together or if you’ve decided to split ways. So for me, there’s lots of things that I forget because people have given me a dirty look and I’m like,

aren’t we friends? And then like deepen the recesses. And I’m like, oh yeah, they got really bitchy about that one thing. And I just didn’t care. And then I remember I’m like, okay, well they must be somebody who holds on to that. Whereas I don’t. So I’ve forgotten, but there’s other big things, of course that have happened that I’m like,

Hmm. Yeah, no, I’m never going to forget that. Although I, I have a friend who had a friend who I was best friends with high school for like over a decade. And then I like out of nowhere was like, oh, we’re not friends. And like, it was just like, cause I had lived in her parent’s basement and like I was paying rent.

I was doing everything. Like everything was fine. And just one day it was just like, I don’t even remember what the trigger point was. All I remember is that I needed to move out. We were no longer friends. And I was just like, and maybe that’s because there was no reference point for me. Like I wasn’t given a reason.

It was just like, this is the way it is. And it was kind of like the rug was pulled out from underneath me, but like I’ve forgotten that. Cause I’m like, well, I honestly don’t even remember what it is. All I know is that we’re no longer friends and they’re not a great person, but that obviously happened for a reason for me.

So that’s kinda my like navigating the, the why and why not. But I’m wondering what you’re thinking there, Michael. Yeah. I agree with, I agree with both of you guys there’s there’s no, not that there’s no, it can’t. Can we really forget? I it’s not about holding a grudge. I think like I will remember something, but I won’t necessarily hold onto the pain from that,

but I don’t, I don’t think I want to forget because like there’s, there’s value in remembering, oh, Hey, you know, there’s this event, even though it was painful, that happened to me. I want to remember what I learned from it. I wanna remember perhaps that was perhaps I needed to set a clear boundary, perhaps I was overtrusting who knows,

but I don’t know if I really want to forget anyway, so that that’s saying forgive and forget. Never really sat well with me. So I’m happy to hear you guys. You guys feel the same way, the, the pain of a gross misconduct, like some, someone who, who was in your circle, who like, let’s say a partner,

a parent that can take a very long time, I think, to, to even forgive. And I would even offer, sometimes you don’t want to forgive. There are for some people offenses for which are unforgivable and you know, that might be years and a lot of therapy before you even get to the point, if you get to that point. So I think it really does depend on,

on that level of closeness. Like there’s a lot of nuance to this conversation. I think you brought up a good point there, but yeah, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t want to forget anyone even for myself when it comes to a partner like a relationship, it important to remember that forgiveness. This is something that I had such a hard time with until I kind of wrapped my mind around it.

Forgiveness is not letting them off the hook. So I said before that I didn’t want to forgive someone because in my mind it was equivalent to letting them off the hook so that they could walk alone to me. But that is not the same thing. So what I’ve learned is that you could forgive someone as part of the goodbye process, like as in like saying goodbye to the relationship or saying goodbye to the friendship,

like I forgive you and I let you go. And I also let go of the pain that you’ve caused me. And that, that is, that is very hard to do sometimes, but it is a beautiful act of healing. So yeah, my take is that you can forgive. Of course, I think it’s very important to relationships that we, that we know how to forgive,

but the forgetting is not about like eliminating it from your memory. It’s about letting go of the pain of, of the, of the offense. If that makes any sense. The analogy that we use is, is the pain of like an actual physical pain. So if you slice your hand open, right, with like a knife or something that is going to be painful,

you’re going to want to heal that wound. So you bandage it up, you tend to it, you do all the things, but depending on how deep that wound is on your hand, you might not be able to use your hand for a while. You might just not want anything to touch it for a while. So think of the same thing as like an emotional,

like let’s say your, your heart broke, your heart is broken and that’s, that’s the equivalency I’m looking at here. You know, you might find it hard to trust or to love again. And it might take a long time for that to heal. The, for giving part is letting it take that time. But I don’t think you want to forget that you slice your hand open with a knife.

I think you want to, the forgetting is like, you don’t necessarily need to open the bandage and like poke your finger in the scar or like pick up the scab. That to me is what the forgetting is. So when I say forget, it’s like, don’t keep going back and reliving the pain, unless it’s as a means of healing. Like you don’t want to relive it just for the sake of indulging in it or reliving it.

You want to tend to it like a wound, but not constantly be going in and making it worse. So that’s, you know, I like to draw the analogy between emotional physical, because they are very much the same. I really liked that. I just want to say, I really liked that analogy because it was like, I was imagining this like slice.

And then the more you pick at it, the more it’s going to turn into a scar, that’s going to be, you know, nastier to look at it and it’s going to be more of a reminder, but the more that you just kind of let it do its thing and like, let it breathe and let it heal. It’s still going to be there.

It’s still going to be a scar, but it’s not going to be as deeper as like, remember, like you’re not going to remind it. Yeah. That’s a good, I think we did that with our hearts, right. People who get heartbroken, like I think you need to give your time for the heartbreak to, to heal. Like people just want to jump back out there and be like,

no, it doesn’t matter. I’m over it. And I’m going to get out of that and, you know, go be with somebody else then, you know, and that energy I’m like, no, no, no, let it hurt. Like, let it feel it. It’s going to take time. So yeah. All right. Let’s pivot it to now and look at the other side of it.

So let’s say you’re the one who’s wrong, someone, and we’ve all done it. And I would say in my experience, I usually do this to the people that I love the most. Unfortunately that’s, that’s, that’s my experience is I heard the people I love the most and it sucks. So it’s very important for those relationships that you know how to ask for forgiveness and that you,

you can apologize as well. It heals your own guilt, at least for me. And it helps hopefully, you know, take ownership of what you’ve done and, and repair the relationship if that’s what both people want to do. But apologizing does not come naturally for a lot of people. I’m going to say, especially men. And for the longest time,

I don’t know if my best friends listened to this, but my apology, we would always make fun of me because my apologies sounded like this. I’m sorry you feel that way. And that was the only time you’d hear the words. I’m sorry. Come out of my mouth. I’m sorry. You feel that way, But a slap in the face.

Yeah, but I I’ve since grown. Okay. That’s why I’m able to laugh about it now. I’ve since grown and luckily we’re still friends. He has patients. So let’s now talk about forgiveness from the, within the container of an apology. So the question is, how can you tell if an apology is sincere and FYI, everyone that is not a sincere apology by any means?

So yeah, the question is, how can you tell if an apology is sincere and we’ll do the same order, so we’ll start with you, Matt. So we’re talking about an apology coming at us, somebody apologizing to us. Yeah. Or either way actually, like if you’re apologizing to someone, how do you make sure it’s sincere? Not just,

I’m sorry. You feel that way. Yeah. Okay. Well, I know for me, when I’m in ego, I’ll always have a butt. I’ll always be a butt. Like I’m sorry. And whatever that, but I want it to, I want to let you know that you did this and it’s like, you’re you’re, you know, and apologies has to have a period.

There was no buts. That would be the first thing. As far as sincerity. Like I’m an empath. I can feel sincerity like, like very easily. So if somebody’s sincere, I’ll just feel, it I’ll feel it in my body. It’ll just be a resonance with what they’re feeling, but not everybody is an empath. So I would say one of the,

one of the things I would be mindful of is like eye contact, like the sincerity in somebody’s eyes, you know, and like how they’re looking at you and how the, how they’re choosing to engage body language is a big thing. Like an open body language is probably going to be more like humility, sincerity, authenticity. Whereas if you’re closed off,

it might be like, you’re holding something back. What was the other thing? Oh, and then the, the, the biggest one obviously is that their actions have, right? Like you have to be able to look and see that. Okay, they’ve apologized and now they’re showing up differently. Now they’re speaking to me differently. Right? If there’s no actions following up an apology,

it’s meaningless. So the sincerity comes from the, the change in behavior or attitudes or whatever. Yeah. Yeah. What about your counting? Oh, I fully agree for me. A change in behavior is my true apology because I, I believe words and I’ll accept them and I’ll take them in and I’ll thank them. But my true sense is I’m going to be watching for your actions now,

because if you say words with followed with no actions, to me, you were just saying them to, to stop whatever is going on and to not actually follow through with, with what was being said. And so for me, a true policy, like you said, Matt, there is no buts. There is no, because there was no explanations.

There is just an apology with period. And that’s what it is. And it’s for an apology is not for yourself. If you’re, if you’re doing the apologizing and apology is not for you to ease you and apology is to ease the other person or to give grace to that other person and say, I did wrong. This is me apologizing. And you give that to them and they get to do whatever the fuck they want with it.

And you have no control and you don’t deserve anything from it. They don’t need to say anything to you. They don’t need to accept your apology. None of that in a true apology is just saying here, I’m giving this to you. Like you said, Matt, without ego, this is it. I’m owning up to that. And when I apologize,

I know that there needs to be eye contact and it needs to be true, just what I did or what the situation was. And I apologize for that truthfully. And honestly, and that’s it. And there’s no, run-on, there’s no whatever. And then I let them talk about whatever they want and it doesn’t divulge into explaining later on. It’s just,

this is what it is. There’s actually a really amazing podcast that I looked up when you guys were talking is cause Bernay brown, did a podcast all about like how to apologize and why it matters with Dr. Harriet Lerner. There’s a part one and a part two. So if the listeners are out there and they’re really curious about this, like how to truly apologize.

It’s it’s, it’s so great. Go look that up. Renee brown and Dr. Harriet Lerner, I’m sorry, how to apologize and why it matters. And there’s two parts to that, but like that really opened my eyes in that world of like how to do it, how to do it correctly. What is it and how you can tell it’s sincere.

And for me, that’s how I usually can tell if somebody’s sincere is, you know, eye contact looking me, they’re not falling it up with a, but there’s no on the edge of their seat to explain. They’re just like, Hey, I fucked up. I’m sorry, this is all I can offer you. And then also when I do apologize and I’m honest,

and I am sincere, if that person still is chasing me or still brings it up or still tries to drive that nail in, that’s when I start to get pissed off and I go, look, I honestly apologize to you. I was truthful actions changed. I said everything that needed to be said, and if you’re still holding onto that and you’re still alert,

like twisting that into me, then that’s your shit. And that’s when I found friendships have gone apart is because it’s like, you’re now holding this thing above me, or you’re now making me fit. Try to feel guilty about this thing when I’ve done my part that I needed to you now need to go and do your part with it because you clearly didn’t hear what I had to say or you didn’t accept what I had to say truthfully.

And honestly, and fully, and I can’t do anything about that because there’s two parts to this. It takes that other person to also recognize that and see it and to process it and to they do their own work with accepting the apology is not just, oh, they apologize. Cause this happens a lot, especially in like marriages or like deep friendships and things where it’s just like,

it’s all apologies until that one thing comes up and then they drive that nail. And again, it’s like, are you ever going to let that go? And it’s like, if you want to continue your relationship, yeah. You’re going to have to learn how to do the fucking work around it and to not let it go, but to truly and deeply recognize that there was a true apology or talk about the fact that there wasn’t a true apology and,

and do the work around it. And I think that takes both people in, in the situation, whatever side you’re on. So yeah, that’s, that’s my 2 cents about this sincere apologies. What about it? Yeah, I think it does take time and I like, I like how we’re in this podcast talking about like who who’s responsible for what piece?

I think that’s really important. They, a lot of people don’t really understand, you know, who the apologies for who the forgiveness is for forgiveness is again for yourself, if you’re the one forgiving, because it ultimately helps you heal your own emotional wounds, apologies are a little bit different, but I think these are all really solid examples for me. This is,

I could tell if someone has apologizing to me, I would say similar to Matt. I, I just kinda feel it. I just kinda trust my intuition on whether it’s true. Of course. I think the most important thing is, is actions do need to change. Like if it’s, if I’m, if someone’s apologizing for the same thing over and over and over again,

then we’ve got a bigger problem at hand. And I think those kinds of apologies are just meant to like gloss over like, Hey, yeah, sorry about that. Like that kind of energy, which not cool. Like, especially if it’s from a friend, a loved one relationship, that kind of thing. I would say a good apology to me when I’ve,

when someone has apologized to me, it just feels good. Like, it just feels if it feels like healing, I don’t know how to describe that. It just feels, it feels like, okay, we’re getting somewhere, we’re moving. We’re repairing. Like I don’t, I don’t know how to describe it in words right now, but it just,

I can tell that it just feels like I feel closer to them almost, even though we might be on opposite sides, I feel slightly ever, ever closer during that apology, when it comes to apologizing, as I said, my apologies were very poor in the past now, same thing when I apologize, let’s say to have my partner, it feels good.

And that’s how I know that it’s coming from a place of true, genuine remorse or regret on my part, because I feel like I want to be closer. And part of that repair is the owning, what I said or what I did to him. So these days when I apologize, I know, I know I’m being sincere when it feels good to me,

it’s almost like a relief to me to, to own it and kind of helps me with my absolved, me of my own guilt. If I did something truly wrong, it’s not, it’s not always quick and dry. It’s not always easy. It does take time. And that’s, that’s something I do want to like reiterate over and over again, as these things take time,

they take time. So a serious offense from someone you trust, cause that we’re talking about trust one more time, but we’re cutting trust and not is not. You don’t just take a pill to suck the trust. Some begin, you know, parents, lovers, friends that these things are time. So that’s where I’m at with sincere apologies. I do trust my instinct quite a bit or my intuition rather.

And I know when it feels good to me. Yeah. Okay guys, before we wrap up today, let’s leave our audience with some helpful tips. So what advice do you have for anyone out there who has a hard time with anything that we talked about today? Forgiveness apologizing, all of it. So go ahead, Matt. I got a lot to say on this one.

I’ve learned a lot on my journey and I just want to say for people who are listening to this, for sure, go back and listen to the last episode on, on victim hood, because that’s going to give you a lot of stuff on how to move through this. And I would say that’s the first tip for me is you gotta go through the victim hood.

And the victim hood is a, is essentially a grief period, right? So you need to grieve and heal. So then you, you have the, the space inside you to offer forgiveness and to let go of the thing you’re holding onto. And I think, you know, oftentimes we hold on to the hurt as a currency, we’re getting something from it.

And what that is is we’re getting a need met, right? And we need to find a new way to get the need met. And I think the best way in my experience is through communication is the best way to get our needs met, to just practice authentic, relating, move into the relationship and say, this is what I’m feeling. This is what hurt me.

Be vulnerable, right? Lead with empathy. These are things that I think they just they’re natural instruments. We can use to move towards forgiveness and softening. And I think that’s why I keep my relationships in my life like good fit. And I like open lines of communication. I practice authentic relating because if there’s ever a betrayal, I want to have a solid foundation to be able to move into the relationship and work on it.

But if you don’t have a foundation with somebody it’s like, good luck moving towards forgiveness. Cause you need to be in connection. Another thing would probably be like offering people, grace, okay. We all have shadow. Even though some of ours are buried so deeply inside our psyches, we all have shadow and it takes certain things that can just trigger somebody into their shadow energy and they could betray you.

They could hurt you. They could say mean things. We all have this as part of our makeup. And I think when we’re denying our own shadow and somebody, you know, brings their shadow on to us, that’s when it becomes even more hurtful because we’re denying ourselves the very, the very energy that they’re acting towards us in. So again, like doing shadow work,

making peace with the part of you that can betray people. And that’s going to also give you empathy and understanding that, you know, people hurt people, not just hurt people, hurt people. People hurt people because I can’t really control. What’s going to hurt somebody. Right? I think so I could do something. I could just be living my life normally.

And I could have forgot to say, maybe respond to a text message to somebody and they could be super hurt by that. But I didn’t know. Right. So I just think that we can’t really control people’s hurt. I think we, that’s why we need to communicate to each other, that, that we are hurt in the first place. Sometimes people don’t even know that they’re,

that they’ve heard us. And then I would say again, the dualism of this experience being a gentlemen, right. Ego and higher self. That’s how I experienced this world. I have both. And we need to honor both because the ego is going to be fussy. It’s not going to want to practice this. It’s not going to want to let go of its currency.

It’s going to want to hold onto it because it can maybe get something, it can manipulate the situation down the road. So we gotta be mindful of that. And we got to honor it and we have to say, okay, what does the ego want right now? Why is the ego ego so angry when we need to connect with that energy? And then we also have to have the consciousness to enter higher self and be mindful that our higher self wants love.

It just wants connection. It wants to be seen. It wants to be heard. And we’ve got to honor that part of ourselves too. And I just think both of those are they need to be equally equally met. And the last thing I’ll say is you don’t need the other person’s consent for forgiveness because it’s, it’s a play for you, right?

This is an act of, of, you know, letting letting go of the things inside of you emptying your, your closet, so to speak. So, you know, like you can do, I’ve forgiven people and I’ve done a lot of work in my, especially past relationships where I didn’t need them. I didn’t need them. I maybe wrote them a letter and didn’t send it.

So again, like you don’t need to move into the relationship to have forgiveness. It can happen on its own. And that proof of that is when people pass away, it’s great. Like you and I actually, something really interesting, you know, doing the work and I, I do work with grief. So I do work with, with people that are moving through victim hood and forgiveness and an interesting phenomenon that I’ve kind of noticed.

It’s not for everybody, but for a majority of the people I work with when somebody passes, it’s almost like an energetic, instantaneous forgiveness that occurs for people. And it’s just amazing. So some people have told me that they were, you know, molested by their father or something or like, you know, like really traumatic things. And then when he was on his death bed and he passed away,

it was like something just washed over them. And it was like all the, all the stuff just got lifted out energetically. And I just think, you know, there’s, it’s a really cool phenomenon. I’m not saying that’s going to happen to everybody, but I’ve heard it pretty consistently over the years. So yeah, those are my tips. What about you Kellen?

Those are good ones. Thanks for, thanks for that, Matt, for me, I think one of the first things I go to is if I’m having a hard time forgiving, I think, what am I gaining from holding onto this? If I’m buying in that anger, if I’m stewing, if I’m doing that a, I know I need to process,

like I know I need to feel it to heal it. So I know that that is a part of it, but when it keeps lingering and it continues, then it’s something that just can’t like, it just can’t go on. Like, okay, well, what is holding onto this actually achieving for me? What is this doing for me? What is this positively doing for me?

What does this negatively doing for me? So then that really helps me kind of look at it a little bit more objectively and go, this is really hurting me more than it’s helping me. I think it’s time to move into like an, a forgiveness space for me. And then I can’t remember. I think it’s like some old Buddhist monk thing or something like that,

but like holding onto anger, the quote is like holding onto anger is like holding onto like a burning Ember with the intention of throwing it at the person that hurts you. You’re the only one really getting hurt by it. You’re the only one you’re you’re burning. And so it’s like when you’re really in that deep anger state, or you’re really like, can’t forgive somebody.

It’s like, you’re holding onto the anger. The only person that’s truly hurting is you because that kind of anger and that stuff manifests in physical ways and psychological ways and you know, disease type in your body type ways. And they’ve done studies about it, like anxiety and stress and all that. It does physiological things to your body. So if you’re holding onto deep angers,

then you know, what is it really doing for you? It’s like stuff with my dad and his partner. Like I forgiven them. So it’s not sitting in my body anymore, but for a long time, the anger and aggression was just sitting in there and it was so tight and it was so angry. And like, if I were to face them,

yeah, it might flare up. But if I don’t have to face them or look at them, like I’ve done the work to kind of stay away. And that’s why I said at the beginning too, you know, when I was talking about my brother being like, yes, like I can live my life happy. Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to grant them access to bring that all back into my face again,

because I’ve done all this work and I don’t really want to relive that trauma again. I don’t want that to like all come back to the surface. Cause that’s just, you know, I know I’m going to have to do work around it again to be like, well, they were there and it was awful. Like, you know, so just don’t try not to hold on to anything without looking at it and analyzing,

why is this here? What is it doing for me? Because if you’re just letting it sit there for the sake of holding a grudge, like who is that really serving in the long run, the other person doesn’t give a flying, fuck. They’re not even in your life anymore. They’re out living their best life, doing whatever you need. You’re letting that hold like,

hold you. That’s blocking you from living your best life. You know, do what you need to do, do the work so that you can throw that shit out into the universe and go, okay, it’s not mine anymore. Thanks, bye. So that’s what I would say about if you’re having a hard time around forgiveness, see why it’s there and like what it’s doing for you.

And then also if you are having a hard time, seek out somebody who can help you therapy, man. That’s why it’s there. I just did an episode before this was called therapy, had lots of good stuff in there. It had lots of links for affordable places or that go on sliding scales because sometimes there’s things you can’t see for yourself that a third party outsider can look it up objectively and kind of present to you in a different way that you can go,

huh. And didn’t really realize that that was there and it’s okay to need that help on the journey that we all need help on the journey, connecting and community. We heal so much faster through connection and through community. And you guys have been a big teaching part of that for me. So yeah. That’s what I’ll say about that. And what about you,

Michael? Final stuff? You guys covered everything, that’s it? I mean, yeah, those are very, it’s very well said. I agree with everything you guys said. Not yeah. All of it. I don’t know if I have anything else to really add. I think for me, you know, I thought at the beginning I said it was about liberation,

liberating yourself from the experience. And that’s how I really see forgiveness. So, you know, if I could put one sentence together for this episode, it’s forgive, forgiving. Others is really something for you. That’s, that’s the most important piece that for me transform the way I looked at this entire topic, cause I used to be like, oh,

I don’t want to admit I’m wrong now. I’m like, oh wait a minute. No, no, this is like the boundaries in the way that we at it can really affect how you approach it. Now, like I said, I love to both the aspect of apologizing and asking for forgiveness. And now so much more easy for me to forgive.

But yeah, you know, you get to decide what you do with the pain, with the, her we’re we’re we all get victimized at some point. And at the end of the day, someone takes that power away. But then you get to decide what to do with the experience. And I think that forgiveness doesn’t have to happen the day after or the week after or the month after or the year after it takes as long as it takes.

And yes, get help with that as well. But it’s taking maybe more time than you want it to. But at the end of the day, we all get to decide what to do with that pain, what to do with that experience for, for the rest of our lives. You know, we can make it not mean anything at all we can say,

okay, that was a turning point. I’m no longer going to let that happen to me, like we can do so many empowering, beautiful things with that pain, with a situation that might be very traumatic or, or challenging for us. So that’s, that’s sort of, I guess what I would add. And, and again, I want to reiterate what counts that it’s very important was that mint does not serve you.

It does not do anything negative to the other person. I have come across a lot of people who have resentment or disrespect to ex partners, and it prevents them from enjoying a romantic partnership in the present moment because they’re reliving so much of this pain that their ex has caused them. And I think I see that happen too often and it makes me, it makes me sad because there,

here is this beautiful, warm hearted person who’s just hurt. And, you know, I help them let go of that. But that’s how I see it the most in my own coaching is people holding onto like heartbreak. And so I think forgiveness is a huge part of starting a new relationship and, and letting someone in that forgiveness is part of the equation.

Okay. Guys, any last words before we wrap up, I just want to say, I, you know, cause the point you made about heartbreak, I think it’s so important. I think unhealed grief, which I think that this is what we’re talking about. Unhealed grief leads to heart closure, and this is I have personal experience with this. And I also see this a lot in my work and heart closure.

It’s basically the, the defense mechanisms that we’ve built around ourselves, which has resentment, anger, blaming all the things we prevent ourselves from opening our hearts. Right. And I do think that the point you make about like this whole rebound, like guys, like not healing, and then there’s hopping into a relationship right away while you got unprocessed grief, it doesn’t matter how good or bad the breakup was.

They’re still going to be grief of loss. And when we don’t move through that, it’s an element of forgiveness. But what I think it leads to, I think it leads to an inability to trust going forward, because if we’re not, if we’re leading with this unhealed grief, it’s going to be constantly, hyper-vigilance looking around how other people are going to hurt us in the future.

And I think when we do forgive and heal our grief, we, we turn that, that hypervigilance into trust and then we can enter another relationship and we can not be kind of vibrating in the energy of what was, and we can be more in what is in the present moment. And I think that’s been a huge lesson for me. And I think giving myself the appropriate time,

you know, like I’ve had to take some time a couple of years, I was with a guy for eight years and it took me like a good two years to be feeling like, okay, again, you know what I mean? Like the first six months was horrible, so much grief. And, but I allowed myself to go through it. And I just,

you know, I feel for those people that just hop into relationship after relationship after relationship, and they’re literally just this storage bank for all this, this unprocessed grief and hurt. So yeah, we need to do this work guys. It’s really important. Hmm. I think we might need a whole podcast on heartbreak is what I’m is what I’m getting at.

Yeah. Yeah. Get into That. Yeah. I can tell that we all got, we all have some experience with heartbreak. Yeah. Cause we, we don’t, we don’t, you know what happens then if, if, if we don’t forgive or we don’t kind of move through it as we bring that into the next relationship, and guess what people,

your ex boyfriend is not going to heal you, that’s not their job. And that’s going to be really shitty from their point of view. If you know, energetically, you’re looking for them for healing, you can heal yourself. That’s how that works. You and your therapist or whoever you ask to help you on that journey. But don’t make it your partner’s job.

Amen says, yeah, they can be an aspect, but not the whole job. And then what happens of course is if we do bring that in, then we’re just going to have reliving that same work or elements of that same relationship through the new partner and then gets fun. But like I always end up attracting the same people. Wonder why. Okay.

We have to do an episode on this for sure. Okay. Sounds good. Okay guys. So we’ll wrap up here on the episode of forgiveness. So thank you, viewers and listeners for tuning in today. If you liked what you heard, please give us a five star review on the podcast, whatever podcast provider you’re listening to. If you’re watching us on YouTube,

please go ahead and subscribe. If you haven’t already and click on the little bell to get notified each time we release a new episode, if you wanted to become a patron of the show, please go to our show notes and you can support us that way. And of course on February the 24th, please join us in the gay men’s brotherhood, private Facebook community.

And we’ll be talking about healing on our next zoom hangout. So thank you again to the lovely Matt and the lovely Calan for sharing with us, your wisdom. And we’ll see you guys next time.

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