Ep. 189: Greatest Hits Vol. 18 – Forgiveness

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS

Here we are – at the end of the year, maybe looking back and wondering how it all happened the way it did. Maybe holding some grudges or deep resentments…or shame about how we showed up. The good news is, if we want to, we have a chance to do things differently. 

Ultimately, we all get to choose how we want to show up every day, but there’s something significant about how we move into the next year and how it can set the tone for what is to come.  

Now, you know we’re all about Freedom here at the Rebel Buddhist – inside and out. One of the things I’ve found that we can do to give us the most emotional freedom in the next year is to partake in the courageous act of letting go of things that no longer serve us by forgiving. 

Forgiveness has been a huge practice for me – and I say practice because I’m still learning how to do it with things that have really cut me deep. It’s like each year I can get to a deeper layer of forgiveness – and I want to keep going, however hard it may be a lot of the time… like when I was finally able to forgive my mom for the way she treated me in my childhood.

I had a lot of anger about my childhood for many years. I was uber-pissed, and for objectively good reasons.

I was so angry that she hurt me physically and emotionally.  I was resentful that I didn’t have a mom I felt safe with, and that I was this angry person walking around, blowing up at my boyfriends, feeling defensive, and easily losing my shit. 

It was weighing me down. 

It was also impacting my relationship with her as an older, gentler, less angry woman who wanted to be close to me.

While I was angry and bitter, for a long time, in the end I knew that deep down, despite her mistakes, she was doing the best she could in the moment with what she had available to her. 

So, as an adult, I had a choice to make: I could keep reminding myself and my mom that things really sucked growing up and about how much she hurt me, and that I was all sensitive and defensive because of her, and that she really screwed up royally with some things. 

Then she’d apologize and feel shitty about herself and I’d feel guilty and all upset after re-hashing all that crap. And we’d do this over and over, as I strived to get back at her for hurting me the way she did through guilt-trips and passive aggressive behavior and not-so-passive aggressive behavior… 

OR – I could say, “Well, that sucked. Royally. But now it’s time to create my new life.” 

Needless to say, after years of the first, victim-mindset option and hanging out in therapy wondering why I was still having panic attacks, I decided to try #2. 

And it changed everything. 

I realized that insight and understanding don’t fix everything. They feel good, sure. They’re useful, sure. 

But what created a real shift for me was changing what I DID. How I thought, how I responded, the situations I created. How I FELT. 

It was ACTION that allowed me to grow and change…and ultimately, heal. 

It was me taking ACTION that allowed me to see myself as whole, and perfectly resourceful and creative. That I was indeed perfect as I was. Not broken. Not wounded to the core. Not in need of more therapy or days of crying to feel seen. 

And the most courageous action I took was to forgive.

Now, I want to emphasize here that we can still forgive without the other person saying they are sorry… as much as we want them to. Because ultimately the only person who suffers from holding onto resentment and anger is ourselves, and it is our wish that the past was different than what it was that keeps us from forgiving – not waiting for the other person’s remorse. 

Many years would pass before I learned to forgive without my mom’s apology, without her acknowledgement that she had hurt me so.

In fact, I wasn’t able to do it until after she had died.

And this is the case with all things we don’t feel ready to forgive – it’s because we wish the past was different than it was, and aren’t ready to let go of that…. 

You see, I think a lot of people have had a big misunderstanding of what forgiveness is, myself included.

I think when most of us think about forgiveness, we think what it means is accepting someone’s apology or having a conversation with someone that tells them that what they did or didn’t do was OK. 

But that’s not what forgiveness is. 

If you look up the definition of the word “forgive,” it’s a verb that means “to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or a mistake.” 

It has nothing to do with the other person doing, saying, or feeling anything. 

The only thing forgiveness requires is that you stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone.  

And at this point in the game, if you’ve been listening to my podcast for awhile now, you’ll know that the secret sauce to changing a feeling in a lasting way is to change your thoughts.


In this Episode you will learn: 

// Why forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person being sorry or feeling any remorse  

// Some of the biggest misconceptions people have about forgiveness  

// How to decide when you should forgive someone 

// How our “enemies” can be our greatest teachers 


// Episode 16: How to Improve Any Relationship


// Episode 53 How to Forgive Yourself


// Download the gorgeous REVIEW, REFLECT + ALIGN workbook by clicking here


// OK my friends, we are coming to a close in 2023. If you want a safe and supportive place to do this deeper work, to open to truth and most importantly to the truth of your own soul, come join me in the Adventure Mastermind.


It’s a small group of self-identified women (you’ll probably never see a group this small in the coaching world and certainly not in altered states work these days), and we have an absolutely magical curated experience for you to go deep. Head on over to AdventureMastermind.com and apply now – we’ve got some great bonuses too!


// Want something more self-paced with access to weekly group support and getting coached by yours truly? Check out Freedom School – the community for ALL things related to freedom, inside and out. Plus, we have entire months devoted to wisdom and compassion. Learn more at JoinFreedomSchool.com. I can’t wait to see you there!   

// If you’re new to the squad, grab the Rebel Buddhist Toolkit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll also get access to the Rebel Buddhist private group, and tune in every Wednesday as I go live with new inspiration and topics.