Words matter. They have the potential to alter the course of your life. That is why we talk about their power, right here, on The Speak Healing Words Podcast. Today is Part 2 of our “Forgive and Forget” conversation, which started in Episode 2. You are going to be amazed at what “forget” actually means. It helps us understand and even accept the old adage, “forgive and forget,” with a renewed vigor and understanding.
Speaker 1: Words matter. They can change the course of your day. Just listen. You are brave. You are stronger than you think. You have value, worth, and dignity. Don’t you feel better already? Welcome to Speak Healing Words, the podcast, join author and board-certified life coach Janell Rardon as she opens a very important conversation about the power of our words.
Janell Rardon: Hello and welcome to Speak Healing Words, the podcast. I am Janell, your host for today. I am so excited that you have found your way right here. Whether it was happenstance or highly intentional on your part, I believe that you have been led here because today’s your day. It’s no ordinary day. It is your day for a brand new, fresh start. Every week we come together and we look at words, because there is great power in our words. The ancient proverb says, “Death and life are in the power of our words.” We’re going to take words apart. We’re gonna examine them like a spiritual doctor an emotional doctor, and we’re going to look at the bones of these words, the words within the words. It’s said that men speak about 7,000 words a day and women … Alrighty, you ready? About 20,000 words. That’s been proven in many different scientific research and in the article gender jabber on Scientific American. They estimate 20,000 for women and 7,000 for men. That’s a lot of words, so my passion is to help us speak healing words into our lives and in the lives of everyone in our sphere of influence, so that we can change our worlds, make a difference in our worlds, and leave a remarkable legacy of emotional health and spiritual authenticity, which I believe involves a threefold cord, as you’ve heard me say, but I’m going to keep saying it.
Janell Rardon: A healthy sense of self. What do you think about yourself? What’s your sense of identity? How is your self esteem? How’s your self worth? Do you really believe that you have value, worth, and dignity? Secondfold of our cord is healthy behavior patterns. How are you doing in that area? I’m going to be honest. It’s not easy. I fail a lot, and I actually studied this, and research this, and teach on it, but yet I still find that in my 20,000 word allotment for the day, I tend to mess up. Whew. Thank god for forgiveness, which is what we talked about in Episode Two. Oh, my goodness, so let’s talk about this week’s word. Very excited, and I felt like we couldn’t talk about forgiveness unless we talked about forget. You know that adage, forgive and forget. How many times have you heard that comment?
Janell Rardon: I’m asked all the time in my practice. “Oh, Janell, do I have to forgive and forget?” We’ve been trained well in our lives with that adage. Oh, just forgive and forget. Let go, and there definitely is a layer of truth inside of that adage,, but when we look at the word, forget what you know we’re going to do. We’re going to be spiritual and emotional physicians, and we’re going to dissect it, and we’re going to take it apart. We’re going to see that forget, the verb, actually means to fail to remember. Peel it away a little bit more, to put out of one’s mind, and here’s my favorite, favorite interpretation of the word forget. No longer caring for. I’m going to repeat it. You know I am. No longer caring for. Okay, what does that mean to you?
Janell Rardon: To me, it means when you care for something, you nourish it, you rock it if it’s a baby, you water it if it’s a plant, you nourish it. My son is into soil management. He’s a turf manager and irrigation specialist, and he is always talking to me about how important the seasons are in soil management. The timing is impeccable. It’s all according to God’s design, but if you uproot something at the wrong time, it can be really disastrous to the soil. But if you treat it, and do it in the right time, at the right season, it’s going to have high, high benefits. You’re going to have beautiful grass. You’re going to have a beautiful lawn. You’re going to have a beautiful garden, a beautiful yard, beautiful plants and trees. Everything is going to thrive when you do it according to the proper time, and the right season.
Janell Rardon: To forget something means to not care anymore about that something, that grudge, that regret, that wound, that deep hurt. It means are not going to … You’re not going to water it. You’re not going to nourish it. You’re not going to care for it. You’re not going to fertilize it. You’re going to neglect it, and this is the one time neglect has a beautiful connotation, because when we choose to forgive, transfer and pass that deeply negative, intense grudge, regret, wound, whatever, when we pass and transfer that onto God’s very strong shoulders, and allow Him to to absorb it in the work that He did on the cross for you and for me, when He absorbs it, we can then forget it. Forget it in the sense that we’re no longer feeding it, nurturing it, nourishing it, rocking it, coddling it, like a baby, holding on so tight to it that our fists are clenched.
Janell Rardon: I’m not letting go of this grudge. I’m not going to do it. Last week I was so vulnerable and shared my heart about my … The hatred I had towards my father, a,nd how God gave me love for my father and allowed me to forgive. Now have I forgotten the essence of growing up in the home of an alcoholic father? Have I forgotten all of the affects that that has had on my life? No, but I’m not nurturing it. I’m not nourishing it. I’m not holding onto that grudge, that regret, that wound. I am forgetting, meaning I’m not nurturing it, so that I can move forward into freedom in Christ, the freedom that Christ died on His cross for me to have, that divine exchange that we talked about, and please hear me. You may not follow the Judeo Christian worldview. I’m okay with that.
Janell Rardon: That’s just what I do, but I want to share this remarkable love of Jesus. He was a man who was all about love, about transformation, and He gives us the power to do that, to walk it out. In his book, The Art of Forgiving, when you need to forgive and don’t know how, one of the masters on the subject of forgiveness, and the author of Forgive and Forget, Louis B. Smeeds, he writes this. Stick with me here, because this is so powerful. I have heard that 80% of what we see lies behind our eyes. If this is so, 80% of what we see when we look at a person who recently wronged and deeply wounded us must lie behind our eyes in the memory of our pain. We filter the image of our villain through the gauze of our wounded memories, and in the process we alter his reality.
Janell Rardon: Okay? Listen closely. This is so good. We shrink him or her to the size of what he or she did to us. He becomes the wrong he did. If he has done something truly horrible, we say things like, “He’s no more than an animal, or he’s nothing but a cheat.” Our no more thans and are nothing buts knock the humanity out of our enemy. He’s no longer a fragile spirit living on the fringes of extinction. He is no longer a confusing mixture of good and evil. He only, he only, he totally is the sinner who did us wrong. As we start on the miracle forgiving, I love that Louis Sneeds calls this the miracle, because I truly think it is. We begin to see our enemy through a clearer lens, less smudged by hate. We begin to see a real person. Let me interject. That’s where it began with my dad.
Janell Rardon: He was no longer this monster, and again … No, he wasn’t a monster. He just was no longer this thing. He was a real human being, and like I said, he was a man with a great, big problem. We no longer … We begin to see a real person, a botched self, no doubt, a hodgepodge of meanness and decency, lies and truths, good and evil, that not even the shadows of his soul can wholly hide. We see a bubble held aloft by the blowing of a divine breath. We see a human being created to be a child of God. Oh, I’m not asking you to do anything easy here. Know that. Forgiving our enemy does not turn him into a close friend, or a promising husband, or a trustworthy partner. We do not diminish the wrongness of what he did to us. We do not belined ourselves to the reality that he is perfectly capable of doing it again, but … Big but here, we take him back into our private world as a person who shares our faulty humanity, bruised like us, faulty, like us, still thoroughly blamable for what he did to us.
Janell Rardon: Yet, he or she is human like us. After we have been wronged, and wounded in the bargain, we’ve been swindled. Okay. See if you hear anything here that might just be triggering, or prodding, or bringing something, some hurtful words, some negative narrative, some oppressive behavior, some grudge into your mind. After we’ve been wronged and wounded in the bargain, maybe we’ve been swindled. We’ve been cheated, we’ve been abused, we’ve been demeaned. No human right seems more sacred than the right to get even with the scab who wronged us. We want to get back at him. We want to make him or her feel, at the very least, as much pain as he made us feel. Nothing could be fair, or taste so sweet, or seem more deserved. Smeeds writes this. They’re going to get it. We heard Richard Nixon grumble on his vengeful tapes.
Janell Rardon: I think the ancient Greek poet, Homer, was smacking his lips when he drooled about revenge. It does tastes so sweet. He said, we swirl it around on our tongues and let it drip like honey down our chins. Oh, we want our enemy to suffer. Yes, we do, but we also want him to know that he’s suffering only because of what he did to us. We don’t want him to admit he made a mistake. Flip an apology in our direction like a 50 cent gratuity, and go on as if he had done nothing worse than burping before dessert. We want the satisfaction of watching him turn and burn with hellish leisure on the rotisserie of his remorse. Whew, so Smeeds offers this. As we move along a step or two on the path of forgiving, we hold the right to vengeance in our two hands. Take one last, longing look at it.
Janell Rardon: Okay. That is the vengeance, and let it spill to the ground like a hand full of water, with good riddance, but take care. When you give up vengeance, make sure you are not giving up on justice. The line between the two is faint, unsteady, and fine. He describes that vengeance is our own pleasure of seeing someone who hurt us, getting it back, and then some. Justice, on the other hand, is secured when someone pays a fair penalty for wronging another, even if the injured person takes no pleasure in the transaction. Vengeance is personal satisfaction. Justice is moral accounting. Forgiving surrenders the right to vengeance. It never surrenders the claim of justice. Oh, I just think this is just … Excuse me while I put this book down, the most powerful of teachings, the most powerful words to consider. Let’s just consider forgive now, in light of what we just read.
Janell Rardon: Someone has wronged us. Someone has hurt us. Someone’s hurtful words have wounded us so deeply. I write all about my story in Overcoming Hurtful Words, and I hope my story informs your story. Your story might be really different than mine, but the underlying principles of hurt and suffering are the same. Someone said to me this week, “You know, you’re not the only one who suffers. A lot of people have suffering in their life, and so you’re not alone. You know, it’s yours is just another story.” I know they were trying to comfort me, and I received it as such, but I really want to make sure that we clarify that yes, there are so many people in the world that are suffering in far dire straits than we are. There will always be harder stories, more difficult stories, but this is our story.
Janell Rardon: I want to say to you, this is your story, and I honor it, and I value it, and I want you to know that it’s your suffering, so honor it, validate it, bring it here into the present. As we use our heart lift method, we bring our history of hurts into the present, long enough to pray, and process, and make peace with our history of hurts. Once we do that, we leave it here in the … We leave it right here, and we move forward into our future vision of victory, our future freedom. That way we leave our self pity. We stop smacking our lips. We don’t nurture and and coddle anymore. Our wounds, our regrets, our pains. We’ve let them go. We’ve placed them at the foot of the cross. We have sincerely made peace with them. Another great, great teacher, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, in his book, The Body Keeps the Score, talks about how trauma …. Forgiveness and it’s definitely something that we have to move through a traumatic situation and find our way to forgiveness, so when trauma hits us, when some something wounds us like hurtful words, or negative narratives, or oppressive actions of other people, our limbic system, that’s the part of our our whole brain system, our nervous system.
Janell Rardon: The limbic system has to restore a proper balance between the rational and the emotional brain, so that we can then become back, maybe come back to being in charge of how we respond, and how we conduct our life. A huge part of the work of our heart lift method is to practice, and I have nine practices in overcoming hurtful words, and I chose the word practice because we need to have a practice-based faith, a practice-based life where daily we are practicing healthy behavior patterns, healthy communication skills, so that we can put aside unhealthy behaviors and communication skills that are holding us back. We want to move forward, and the only way we move forward is by regaining that beautiful, proper balance in our limbic system. Man, God made our brain so powerful, so, so powerful, and I just want to stop and yeah, I’m going to do a little commercial right now.
Janell Rardon: I am so excited that on September 8th in Columbia, Tennessee, I’m going to be joining with Allison Rolston, a physician’s assistant and brain health coach, and with Annette Reeder, the biblical nutritionist, and we are going to be a threefold cord of strong emotional teaching and biblical teaching on nutrition. I’m going to be teaching on the heart lift method, and how to move through your own heart lift, and experience the power of love in a way you never have before. Allison’s going to be talking all about your brain, and brain health, and how to optimize all the cognition and all the beautiful processes within your brain. Then Annette’s going to come along, and tie it all together with how we feed our bodies, and so that’s on September 8th in Columbia, Tennessee at the Memorial Building, three to [6:00] PM and it’s only $35.
Janell Rardon: Very, very inexpensive. I’m going to be there with my new book, so any more information you need on that is definitely on my Facebook page at Speak Healing Words, Janell Rardon. Just look me up there or go to my website, janellrardon.com. Dr. Kolk continues, and I’m just going to read a little bit more. When we are triggered into states of hyper or hypo arousal. Okay. That’s when someone projects hurtful words, oppressive actions, bullies us, when we go into that flight, fright, or freeze mode, we’re pushed outside our window of tolerance, the range of optimal functioning. We become reactive and disorganized. Our filters stop working. Sounds and lights bother us. Unwanted images from the past intrude on our minds, and we panic or fly into rages. If we’re shut down, our body will feel numb, and our mind might feel numb. I know I get a massive headache.
Janell Rardon: My stomach feels sick, Our thinking becomes sluggish and we have trouble getting out of our chairs. As long as you and I are either hyper aroused or shut down, we cannot learn from our experience. Even if you manage to stay in control, you will become so uptight, and Alcoholics Anonymous calls this white knuckle sobriety, you become inflexible, stubborn and depressed, so recovering from trauma involves the restoration of executive functioning, and with it self confidence and the capacity for playfulness and creativity. All of this leads us to just the power of forgiveness, and transferring, and passing any regret, wound, oppressive behaviors of other people, decade long grievances that maybe our family of origin narratives have walked through life with us. I’m telling you, today is the day that we want to forget, okay? Remember, forget doesn’t mean what we think it means. We’ve learned today that forget actually means to stop or no longer care for the regret, the wound, the oppressive feelings, the anger, the rage. We don’t want to feed the fire anymore. We want to forget about it. We want to to to neglect it, and when we forgive, when we actually voice and say, “I, God, am going to forgive what Nancy did to me. Her words were so hurtful. I cannot forget them, but I want to forgive. Please help me forgive God. Please help me.
Janell Rardon: “I want to experience the divine exchange. I’m giving You my hate. I’m accepting Your love. I’m giving You my rage. I’m accepting Your peace,” and then you wait for the endowment from heaven. Oh, yes. You may have to move through that again tomorrow. You may have to move through that the next day, but slowly and surely it is going to begin to fade, to where you forget. You’re not nurturing it anymore. You’re not carrying. You’re not coddling it. You’re not enjoying it. You’re letting it go. You’re neglecting it, and instead you’re nurturing peace. You’re nurturing stability, you’re nurturing goodness, you’re nurturing grace, you’re nurturing love.
Janell Rardon: Oh, I hope this is not just clear as mud, but that it’s just crystal clear. I pray that it is. Today is your day. It is no, my friend, it’s no ordinary day. Let me close with the powerful words of the Apostle Paul, who wrote these words in Philippians 3, and I’m reading out of the Voice Bible. I love the Voice version because it refers to God as eternal. Paul, I’m going to go back to … Oh, it’s so good. Okay. I’m going to go to Philippians 3. I’m going to start at Verse 10, and here’s the Voice version. I want to know God inside and out. I want to experience the power of His resurrection. I’m going to add in a good way, I want to experience God’s heart lift, and join in His suffering, shaped by His death, so that I may arrive at the end of my life safely, and arrive at the resurrection of the dead.
Janell Rardon: Verse 12. I’m not there yet. This is Paul, remarkable, amazing Paul who says, I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect, which means mature, but I’m charging on. I’m pressing forward to gain anything and everything I can from the anointed one, Jesus. I want everything God has in store for me and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me, and He won’t let me go. Nothing is going to stand in my way. That means he has to do something with perhaps any wounds, rage, unforgiveness that is in his way. So in Verse 13, he tells us how he does it. Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived, but there’s one thing I am doing. Here it is, and the Voice says it this way. I’m leaving my old life behind. Hello, history of hurts.
Janell Rardon: We’re leaving you behind, and I’m putting everything on the line for this mission. We’re going to transform these words into our intention that we’re going to walk through the rest of this week with forgive and forget in our forefront of our prefrontal cortex, so that we can bring our limbic system into regulation and stability. We’re going to say, “I am going to forget the things that lie behind me.” That’s how the King James says it. I’m going to forget, and remember that means what Paul is saying is, I’m going to not give any more time, and attention, and energy to my wounds, to my regrets, to my pain. I’m going to bring it here into the present. I’m going to process it. I’m going to pray through it, and then I’m going to leave it here, and I’m going to move forward towards the beautiful life that God has planned for me.
Janell Rardon: I’m going to move into my vision of victory. If you want to read more about how to do that, the how’s and why’s and where’s get my new book, Overcoming Hurtful Words. There’s so many things there in the resources, and in The Heartlift Method, and that is our time for today. I’ve gone over time and I’m so sorry, but I want to pray before we go. Father, I thank You for each and every person who has come here today. They have heard a message of forgiveness, and what that looks like, and how do we move through that. Let us all adhere to Paul’s admission, his admonition, in Philippians 3, 10 through 13, and let’s forget those things that lay behind, that are behind us now, because we’re processing them in the present. We’re making peace with our past, so that we can be on mission, and live into all of the beautiful things You can have given us on this life. Oh, let us be a radiant, radiant influence in our sphere. Oh, have a great day. I’ll see you next week.
Speaker 1: Thanks for listening today. It was great having you here. For even more great content and conversation, please join the Speak Healing Words community at janellrardon.com.