"Hello much again. So it is twenty twenty now and probably a lot of podcasts are still talking about the new year and the future. That's coming but you know I like to be contrary so today. I WanNa talk about the past and specifically I want to talk about how you think about the past ast and what other people have done in the past or what you've done in the past because one of the questions I get asked a lot is how to forgive someone who has wronged to you which is such an interesting question because really the question is how do I change my thought about something that happened in the past. Let's break it down because it's a thought that people tend to see as a whole other category of things somehow like forgiveness. We think of forgiveness as being not just thoughts which it is but like a whole different area right so i WanNa really kind of break down so you can see how it's made up of thoughts so if you're thinking about forgiving someone that means that you're currently having a negative feeling. That's why you're worried about it that you believe they caused right. If you didn't have a negative feeling thing you wouldn't think there was anything to forgive them for. You're basically trying to forgive them for causing your negative feeling. That's the bottom line. You're angry or you're sad or you feel rejected right and you want to think about forgiving them for causing that feeling you have. That's what you think. Of course they didn't cause your feelings right which are in get into more but we just want to start with establishing what it even means people will tend to say like Oh. I'm trying to forgive someone for how they hurt me. But I don't think that hurt me is really specific enough to help you get into your thoughts because what does that mean right. So let's get really specific. Don't just call it hurt. What is the emotion? You're feeling when you think about the past is it. Sadness is it. Inger is it rejection is a guilt. Is it fear you WanNa get really specific even more talking about physical harm in the past. It's still are actual emotional hurt that we become resentful about or have a hard time forgiving. You think about it if you trip over a tree branch and you break your leg. You don't have a hard time forgiving. The tree branch rate because your thoughts about the tree branch is very different than your thought about a person who tripped you so you broke your leg right. So it's always about the emotional suffering. Bring the story that we're telling ourselves even if we're talking about physical pain because we don't have the same question of forgiveness and resentment and blame. Shame I'm around a physical accident that might be caused by an object that we don't usually have trouble trying to forgive. Our specific feelings are always the window into what we are thinking. When you dial into a specific emotion you are having that gives us access to what your thoughts are because if you wanna forgive someone or even if you don't Wanna forgive them with that means that you have thought about something they did in the past and you are continuing to believe and think think that thought now so the first step is always to figure out what those thoughts are? Sometimes we have thought about a particular action person took. Maybe they slept with your sister. Maybe they ran off to Hawaii with your retirement fund. Maybe they told you that you are too ugly to love and it had all been ally right whatever it is the question to ask yourself is so what so what they did or said this thing. That question will tell you you what you're making. It mean that this person took this action. What your thought is now about for instance if you say while my wife slept to my sister and I say so what and you say well that means? She betrayed me and she caused all the pain. I felt in my divorce. Now we know what it is that you are blaming this person for what negative emotions you had or continue to have that you think they're action caused or if you tell me that your business business partner ran off to Hawaii with your retirement fund and I say so what and you say well now. I'm stressed about money. I can't afford to retire. That's his fault right now. We see that you are blaming him or her for their actions and believing that those caused your stress about money or or if I say so what told you that you were to ugly to live and it had all been ally right and you would say well because now I'm not confident and I can't date great so now we would see what it is that you're telling yourself you are currently suffering that you are blaming on their actions so sometimes it is something really concrete and specific that they did. Sometimes I think we more just have a story about a way. A person was with US right. It's really like a story about our emotional relationship in the past. It's really a story about our own thoughts but we tell it to ourselves as if it's a true story about what the other person was like like rate so we think like my parents didn't support me so now I don't believe in myself right again. You have to ask so what. Let's pretend it's true. They didn't support you right. That's this is an optional thought but but let's say it was true so what so now. I don't believe in myself right now. I'm making my current lack of confidence which is just my thoughts. That's right. I'm making that their fault or my best friend was always jealous of being. She hurt my feelings by not celebrating my successes and wanting me to fail. See that's a story story about how she just sort of generally was I say. So what can you say. Well now I feel guilty about being about succeeding Ryan. I don't believe that my friends really care for me right now. We can see what is your current thought your current pain your current suffering that. You're blaming on how this person was in the past. She said well my ex gas. Let me and I say so what you say. Well so now I don't believe in myself right now. We can see what thought pattern you currently have. That's causing emotional suffering for you. The you're blaming on what they did they were like. It's always a question of what you are making the other person's behavior or your story about their behavior me when you are suffering suffering now because of something you think someone did in the past. You have to remember that you're wrong about why you're suffering. You're not suffering because of what they did or who they were or what they were like. You are suffering because of your current thought about it. That's it. The past is not exist exist except in our minds. I say that a lot and it's kind of thing that's easy to just sort of nod at but really sit with that. Unlike let it hurt your brain and blow your mind if you truly try to imagine who you are without your thoughts of the past the past and not exist if you woke up with them Nisha tomorrow your pass would not exist you think about the most consuming stories you have about yourself based on your past right which really just means your own thoughts about the past your own story about the past. What would it be like if you woke up tomorrow? And you didn't have any of those thoughts your pass would effectively cease to exist this for you so imagine that person who you believe caused you so much pain you'd have none of your thoughts are story about them. Seeing them would not cause do any pain thinking about them. Wouldn't cause you any pain. You wouldn't even know who they were and if you really think about it and you kind of dial in even now without uh-huh Nesia the past comes in and out of existence for you as you think about it because you think about other things sometimes too right. No matter how focused you are in the past you occasionally go to sleep right or get distracted eating something or watching a video on youtube right or something in that that moment that you are no longer thinking about it. The past doesn't exist and then it flickers back into existence. When you think about it again right it's like a Hologram that's operated with a light switch? The pass is only there when you flick the switch right and the electricity starts running and it starts the Hologram going and then if you you turn away in the switch turns off. It's not there so if the past is not exist except in the moment we are thinking about it than the way we can change how we feel bill when we think about something someone did to us or the way someone was is just a change our thought about it now. That's it really. Is that at simple. I'm not saying it's easy but it is simple asking yourself how can I forgive. Them is not a useful question. Because it's like you're asking your brain to come come up with some complicated solution. That doesn't even know how to do when the solution is really just. I have to change the thought I have about what they did or how they were. And why it's a problem. Double and one thing that's important to pay attention to is that you may have thoughts not just about the thing. You're having a hard time forgiving but about what you make forgiveness itself mean if you tell yourself that forgiving someone else means that you know quote what they did is okay unquote that that metaphor is going to go get in the way calls a Meta thought these. It's like your thought about the thought you have to resolve. That thought I or you'll never make traction on on the underlying thought if you have a thought about why it's not a good idea or it's not okay to forgive someone or for giving them means you're doormat right or what. It means to forgive them that you haven't resolved resolved. Then you can try rewriting your story about them or what happened as much as you want and thinking new thoughts but you have unconscious drag on the process right like if the anchor of a boat gets caught in something that's pulling on it and slowing it down below the surface rate if you have not looked at your thoughts about forgiveness and and what it means and whether you really want to do it and why or why not. You haven't dealt with all of that then even change your thoughts to forgive. Someone probably won't work because you haven't resolved this unconscious drag about the whole concept and we have a lot of less than useful thoughts about forgiveness is what I find for instance. We think that it makes what the other person did. Okay right. That's a thought we have if I forgive them means what they did was okay. But here's the good and bad news. What they they did was okay or it was not okay it was both and neither? It had no objective essential. Oh Kanus or not oh Kanus orrock is not okay or not okay. It just exists. Whatever actions were taken in the past is only our own thoughts that make them okay or not okay your resistance to them? Your own thought that they were not okay is only causing you pain. It's not being registered with some universal entity in a big alleger of what was and was not. Okay it's not changing the past sought making the other person involved feel anything. Sometimes the other person's not even alive anymore. It's only causing use suffering right. It's like that saying that hatred is like taking a poison and expecting the other person to die. Resentment is like that holding NIA graduates like that blame and shame right are like that holding onto your belief that changing your thoughts about what happened would."