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Dr. Jamie Fettig

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Forgiveness part 3 - Q & A


Hi Dr.

This is the problem; you say give up the right to hold anything against them but I do this but then still feel bad. Its like I'm forgiving them but some part of me isn't allowing me to forgive and forget.

Sometimes I feel I have forgiven but obviously I haven't. If we always Forgive people for wronging us without getting angry isn't that like Suppressing the pain and keeping it inside? Shouldn't we feel the pain? (Shout/ cry whatever) then accept and then forgive?


You have years of habit of not forgiving.
You have created all sorts of reinforcement around not letting go.

It may take more than 1 day to completely and totally forgive.

Let me give you a distinction between feelings and emotions. Feelings are what you feel. You feel something and it goes. Emotions are when you make up a story about what those feelings are.

Let's say someone "wrongs" you and you have a feeling. Calling it "anger" is a story. You made up that feeling was anger based on the circumstances around you.

And the funny part is, it is the very story you made up, that it was anger you were feeling, that keeps the feeling around. That stores it in your body. That makes it harder to let the feelings go. As they naturally wood if your mind didn't get in the way and make something up about the feelings.

Absolutely you want to experience the feelings. When you do that without judgment or without making up stories about what those feelings are, the feelings will automatically be let go. You don't have to "do" anything. You just have to "not do" something. Like make up stories and judge the feelings as "good or bad".

So if you have already made up a story about what some feeling "means", then you must let it go. And there are many ways you can release stored emotions. Everyone and their grandma has a technique for doing this.

One of the most common ways, and in my opinion the least effective way, most people know about is re-experiencing them. So yes, you can do it this way. But you don't have to.

As long as the emotion gets released, it doesn't matter how it happens.

It is like cooking.
When you are cooking in your kitchen, you produce garbage. What do you do with that garbage? Do you get in your car, drive to the dump, and throw each piece of garbage away? Nope. You throw it in the trash can. Then when the trash can gets full you bring it out back and the garbage man takes it to the dump. Do you have to know what is in the garbage? Do you have to know why the garbage is there? NOPE. You know its garbage and that is all you need to know to bring it out back and get rid of it.

But what most people do is they take the garbage can, dump it on the kitchen floor and go through it. They really re-live the garbage. Saying, ohh, I remember this banana peal, I cam home from working out and I was so hungry and that banana really hit the spot. They smell the garbage. Really fully experience what it smells like again. Fully "enjoying the odor". They look at the cork from the bottle of wine and say, oh, I remember that dinner. That was a great evening, great company, and we really had fun, until we got in the fight. They fully go through the garbage.

But there is one problem. They are now an expert of why they have all the garbage, but YOU STILL HAVE IT. You have to at some point throw it out. And re-experiencing isn't throwing the garbage out. You can a little more easily throw it out after you re-experience the emotions, but it is not guaranteed.

My Releasing Stored Emotional Baggage CD's also do this. And in my opinion are the most effective way of doing this.

If you fully get what I am saying about the difference between feelings and emotions, you can also help forgive this way. Because you will realize that they actually didn't "wrong" you. They didn't cause you to have any emotions. YOU DID. You had a feeling, and a feeling is just a feeling and when experienced without judgment or stories the feeling goes away all by itself.

But often YOU made up some story, some judgment about the feeling, turned it into an emotion, and then it stuck around. So "they" didn't cause you to have any emotions. You did. When you see this you realize there is actually nothing to forgive some one else for.

That is why forgiveness is all about you. You letting go. You being "For Giving" again. Because the only person you not forgiving is hurting is yourself. They probably don't even know you are a still being impacted by what they did. And if they do, they could probably care less. The only person whose life is "negatively" impacted is your life, the person not doing the forgiving.

Remember, forgiving does not mean condoning. Forgiving just means letting it go. Releasing it and moving on.

So if you went around forgiving everyone for everything, yes you could do it without experiencing any emotions, because emotions are feelings that you made something up about. Even calling the feeling an emotions is something you made up about it. This is what keeps it around.

When you forgive you can still learn from the experience and choose not to be around someone, or rely on them, or whatever. The experience and learning that happen are not to be thrown out because you forgive.

If someone lies to you, odds are very high they will do it again. So you forgive them for lying, and then learn the lesson that what they say is not always the truth.

Forgiveness is a choice that you make many times a day. Let go of the story, let go of the judgments, let go of the labels of the feelings. And as you choose forgiveness, the emotions will begin to release.

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