The Practice of Forgiveness with Stephanie Puente

me&my health up podcast episode #78 – Transcript

Anthony Hartcher 0:00
Are you someone that holds grudges and just kind of allows yourself to forgive this inability to let go? Maybe holding you back? If you want to free yourself from the past, this podcast episode on how to create greater freedom and flow in your life through the practice of forgiveness is for you.

I’m your host Anthony Hatcher, a clinical nutritionist, and lifestyle medicine specialist. The purpose of this podcast is to enhance and enlighten your well-being. Today we’ll be chatting with Stephanie Puente, on this topic of forgiveness, Stephanie is a transformational coach, professional speaker, and the President of core factor transformative coaching.

In this episode, we’ll be covering how forgiveness plays a critical role in the evolution and growth, how to evolve your perception with forgiveness, and to make it a part of the self-care routine.

How forgiveness opens the door to compassion, to make welcome a greater state of freedom, and learn some practices to help step you into forgiveness. Before we tackle this important topic of forgiveness, here’s a little bit more about the amazing Stephanie.

Since 2014, Stephanie has helped business owners and professionals to hone in on their authentic life path and empower them to create a life of light who live a life of what that’s worth loving her, sorry about that. Having earned multiple certifications from the brave thinking Institute BTi. She has more than 25 years of study in personal development backed by a professional career that includes two decades of marketing and communications, business administration, and event planning. Stephanie is a graduate of the University of Texas and continues to invest in advanced training education through BTi.

She has been happily married for more than 20 years to her loving husband Sebastian, and his two beautiful daughters, Sophia and Paloma.

So welcome, Stephanie. How are you today?

Stephanie Puente 2:12
Thank you, Anthony. I’m so happy to get to be with you today. Thank you for this opportunity to be here with you and with all the listeners talking about this important topic of forgiveness.

So I celebrate every person who is here today expanding their awareness around how this practice of forgiveness can support and serve you in your life. So it’s a privilege to get to be here. Thank you.

Anthony Hartcher 2:38
That’s all right, and I hope you forgive me, for me stumbling over your bio

Doesn’t matter how many times I read something, but it must be the pressure sometimes I feel. So anyway, let’s move on.

Yeah, so let’s talk about, you know, what is forgiveness?

Stephanie Puente 3:00
Well, I think I know in my own journey, there can be many ways of considering what this is, and, and I want to invite listeners to consider a couple of different ways of seeing what forgiveness is, and, and it’s, it’s really like mental and emotional, and really spiritual hygiene that we can do just like every day, you know, we brush our teeth, and we take showers, you know, for the purposes of you know, we go through life and we’re eating, we’re out there, we’re getting dirty, and we cleanse that off, and that forgiveness is a practice that really helps us with our emotional well being our spiritual well being and our mental well being to cleanse our mind to cleanse our way of being on the inside.

So that we stay, keep our channel open if you will.

So that’s one invitation, I invite you when you think about forgiveness, and also another way of looking at forgiveness that has been very helpful for me and my journey of discovery, and this comes out of teaching in a Course in Miracles and it invites us to consider that forgiveness is a shift in our perception.

That removes in us a block to our awareness of the good, the love, the blessings, all the many things that are here currently and so it’s a shift in perception because when I have a perception of anger, resentment, bitterness, grudge, I am blocking myself and whatever it is that I’m focused on. That’s what I’m going to see more of.

So we can invite ourselves to see ah, this is a shift in perception and why it matters for us to consider shifting our perception is because there are answers there are solutions. There are blessings, there’s good all around us but we can’t see them, we may not even know what the next steps are, even though they’re right here because our focus is on that bitterness.

So those are a couple of different ways, of considering it and applying that to our lives and why it would matter to work with this, what I really think is a tool, and, and working with our faculty of perception and I’d love to take a moment to shine the light on the fact that, you know, each one of us, we have our five senses, we can see we can hear, we can smell, taste, touch, and we use those five senses to navigate our physical experience.

But we also have these higher faculties or faculty of imagination, intuition, memory, Will, our reasoning faculty, and our faculty of perception and although we can’t control facts and conditions in our lives, we do have a choice on how we’re going to see things and the perception that we are going to bring to any circumstance that we find ourselves in and so we’re really learning with the practice of forgiveness, to evolve our perception, so that we can continue to move forward and grow and really serve the things that are important to us versus staying stuck how we can often do and holding grudges and staying angry.

Anthony Hartcher 6:27
Like with your, you know, helping your clients, do you find that it is a better starting point with teaching them how to forgive themselves. It because that once they’re able to forgive themselves and do this practice regularly in terms of forgiving themselves for the mistake they’ve made, and, and not to hold grudges, and have this perception of themselves that they’re hopeless and they can’t do it and I’m thinking is that the first stepping stone? To them being able to then forgive others? Is there any association?

Stephanie Puente 6:56
I? That’s a great question and I think that it that it’s a both-and because I’ve heard it said that all forgiveness is self-forgiveness.

That because when we you know when when when we’re holding a heart, it said, you know, we’re holding this person hostage in our mind, we’re holding, you know, that circumstance that happened 20 years ago, or something that occurred in our childhood, or we may be still holding on to that grudge for, we’re holding that person hostage and when we’re willing to release it, and be willing to see it in a more empowered way, and, of course, in miracles also talks about giving, one perception, the hurt the anger, the bitterness, for a more empowered way of seeing the circumstance in the situation.

Personally, for me, that has been super helpful and how can I take these angry hurt feelings that I may have? Either, you know, either for someone from my past or a current circumstance, I may find myself in, or even myself right now. You know, and, and even at any given moment, just like with, you know, forgive me for, you know, mispronouncing or, you know, making some mistakes, you know, let me, let me, let me reframe how I, you know, that was just a common thing that happens, you know, maybe it’s this, maybe it’s sad, but I’m going to forgive myself for it, you know, I’m going to, I’m going to give my judgment for a more empowered way of seeing it.

So I think it’s a combination of both because as we, as we work on releasing that bitterness and resentment and grudge, from past circumstances, current people in our lives where we’re freeing ourselves, which is a form of self-forgiveness, and I think it also makes it easier to forgive ourselves as we’re going through our daily steps and things occur where we may or we may make a mistake, or we may find ourselves falling back into some old behaviors or we may have said, you know, I wanted to get to bed early tonight, something as small as that or we may have said, you know, I had carved out this time to do X, Y, and Z. and I didn’t follow through, how can I give that judgment, that anger toward towards myself for a more empowered way of seeing it?

Where, where I am giving myself some compassion, but then I’m also not letting myself off the hook as well and like, what can we do to take that step tomorrow? You know, how can I get better from this mistake that I made? So I think it’s a combination of as we practice, forgiving others, we’re forgiving ourselves, and it gets easier for us to forgive ourselves as well.

Anthony Hartcher 9:38
And in terms of why is it so hard for us to do forgiveness, like, is it because it’s not practiced and we’re not having that constant cleaning process that you spoke about earlier? Is there anything that you know, you see that makes it so difficult for us today to forgive, or is it simply a primitive protection mechanism to Protect us or it could be a bit of both, is what are your insights as to why?

Stephanie Puente 10:07
Well, that that’s a great question as well and, and, and what I what I believe is that we, we have some familiar ways of thinking we, you know, we wire and fire, some familiar well worn high ways of thinking about things, and we also have beliefs about ourselves that, you know, experiences that have occurred and when situations and circumstances occur, it can trigger within us these beliefs that we may have about ourselves and who we are and what’s possible for us and sometimes those really core beliefs, and self image, feel so hard to change and we can, and we can continue to rehearse certain circumstances and events that have occurred in our lives, that really reinforce those beliefs, and when we try to move beyond them, sometimes we’re stepping out in growth, and we’re situations occurred that could convince us to see ourselves a certain way in relationships or a certain way in our health, or a certain way, and the amount of money we believe we can earn, and, and will, will stretch out and growth, but then those familiar ways of thinking will rise up.

And oftentimes, we’ll look to the events that occurred, and, you know, it can be easy to maybe say, that’s the cause of why I believe what I believe, but when we’re willing, you know, to open up and expand our awareness and shine the light on those things and we’re willing to discover that we are more than what has been, you know, we are more than our mistakes, we are more than perhaps failures that have occurred in business or love, or we are more than what we’ve known ourselves to be with a certain level of vitality and health that that can be transformed.

And when we are willing to dream beyond what’s been in forgiving what has been that, that over time and that’s one of the important things to know about forgiveness that I think can be hard for us because I know for me personally, it’s like, I just want to be able to think at once and then boom, be done with it, but it’s really a process. It’s a process that takes time to live into the continuous practice of letting go of that hurt, letting go of that past circumstance, and to it’s not an invitation for us to make an agreement with what occurred, sometimes I think it’s hard for us to let it go because we believe we’ve got to, maybe we’re agreeing with what happened or we’re saying this was okay, that this occurred.

And that forgiveness isn’t about that at all, because we can’t change the facts and the conditions but that it’s that what’s really happening is we are changing our relationship with it, that it no longer can have power over us or causes us to feel dial down that we can have this experience and circumstance in our life, but it no longer has to have us because we’ve changed our relationship with it and that, I want to say that it takes time to live into that depending upon, you know, the level of which the forgiveness is required, and this leads to an idea that I think can also be really helpful when you were talking about why is it so hard for us to forgive, and this comes from the Dalai Lama, and he teaches that all of us, you know, have, you know, people in our lives that are easy to love.

We have situations that are easy to forgive, but that then we have what’s called sacred friends, sacred friends, are the people, the circumstances, the situations in our lives that are very difficult to forgive, but that this is can be seen as a blessing because that it is within that difficulty that it helps our hearts.

It helps us to expand. It helps us because each one of us has our own unique desire for greater fulfillment, fulfillment and our health, fulfillment in our relationships in our work that we do with our resources and how we spend our time and we want that, but when we are in that bitterness and that resentment and that anger or we’re holding on to that, to that past hurt, we’re not a match to that that greater fulfillment that we would love to call in we can’t really see the ideas and the opportunities and the solutions for how to bring that into our life because we’re tuned in.

And this can be, we may not even be consciously aware of it, but we’re tuned to holding on to that hurt so, so those really difficult things, as the Dalai Lama says, are sacred friends, and he talks about how the Chinese government was his sacred friend, you know, that, but that, if it weren’t for that, he would never have had the capacity to expand his heart and I personally have never, you know, had an experience of personally being with him, but I’ve heard others talk about, you know, and just this light that he exudes this compassion that he exudes, and it was because of that internal work that he had to do with sacred friends.

And so, so, if listeners, you know, are bringing to mind, situations and circumstances, you know, a health condition, you know, a circumstance that occurred, a financial circumstance that occurred, you know, in the past or something that occurred in childhood, to, to bring a sense of compassion and see this as a sacred friend, and then I want to invite you to, to, to think about how is this helping me to evolve and to grow, and to expand because this matters for me because I want that expanded life, I want that fulfillment, I want that greater love, and that this work of forgiveness is a blessing, because, and we’re working with our perception, you know, to cause ourselves to look at it this way, for purposes of our own growth and evolution.

Anthony Hartcher 16:42
Yeah, it’s really interesting how you phrase that, you know, based on what the Dalai Lama’s teachings are, and yet, that situational forgiveness, because, you know, at the start, where I said, I stumbled over the words in the bio, that sort of that situational forgiveness, but then I’m thinking of those sacred areas of our sacred friends, as the Dalai Lama refers to, is those breaches in relationships, trust, like, you know, a trusting relationship and their commitment to one another, when someone breaks that trust, that’s that real, you know, sacred space that that person has breached, and I can see how it’s a lot easier to move on from those situational forgiveness, compared to those more sacred bonds, and how the journey on a sacred land is going to be far longer, you know, to earn back that trust, because that’s where I see that, you know, like, there’s, so there’s that element of, you know, if I look at from the person’s perspective, a lot of the forgiveness is probably around giving up, you know, letting go of perfectionism, right?

Because you want to do things really well, everyone wants to do their best, and often we, we try our best, and it just doesn’t pan out to the way we wanted it and so then, you know, we always have to go through that evolution of, you know, letting go of perfection and to seeing it as incremental growth but then I’m seeing that another one, that bigger one, you know, beyond self, you know, with another person is, it’s that area of trust, and where that trust is a breach.

it’s, that’s a real hard one to and to look for growth in that, like, I’m thinking from a relationship, relationship perspective, you see a lot of relationships break down after that, you know, there’s probably only a small minority that actually grows and moves on from that, you know, breaches in that relationship trust.

So, are there any tips on how you can accelerate that healing or forgiveness? Or is it such a process that, you know, you need to certainly allow time? But is there anything in, you know, anything you can share as to what could help someone move on from their bigger sacred friends sort of breach?

Stephanie Puente 18:57
Yes. So here, here’s another invitation for people to try on, you know, and consider a perspective. This too, comes out, of course, in miracles, but the idea is, is to consider that each person is on their own journey and every single one of us is operating at a different stage of awareness, we each have a certain level of consciousness and awareness.

And Course, miracles talks about every act is either an expression of love or a call for love, regardless of how unskillful it may be, and so to think, wow, every act that someone does, we can invite ourselves to consider wow, you know, every act is either an expression of love or a call for love, regardless of how unskillful it may be and at this moment, you know, this, this in this situation, this person really operated at a very unskillful way but perhaps, that this was the best They knew how to do and that particular moment.

Why it would matter for us to consider trying to assign is that if we’re willing to see it in that way, or experiment with it, that it brings about a sense of compassion and that with that, with that compassion, theirs can then open the door to a greater sense of space and freedom inside of us and to, to also consider, you know, to separate, and this, this is a process, you know, and so I said, No, you know, this is an opportunity to just experiment, try this on bit that, that there, you know, that we can practice separating, you know, the being from the behavior, and that this person was, was operating at the best level of awareness that they had at that time.

So, that’s something to consider, for purposes of bringing about a practice that we can do to bring about a greater sense of compassion, and over time, as we’re willing to consider looking at it that way, it brings about a greater sense of freedom and us, we also can bring a greater sense of compassion to ourselves and the other thing is also, you know, you know, just, if, if, if we knew what was really going on, and one of my beloved mentors, you know, tells a story about in her life, how, you know, if we knew the whole story, you know, we would probably have compassion, if we really knew what was going on behind people’s behavior.

I’ve tried to work with this, you know, in my own life, when I, you know, when I’m engaging with those closest to me, like my husband and my kids, and we haven’t, you know, we have an interaction, and I feel like they’re treating me disrespectfully, they’re being rude, you know, and how we can take that, and use it, you know, sometimes as evidence to convince us of certain beliefs about what we think about the relationship or what it might mean, or how we see ourselves, but then when you really have a moment, to bring a sense of compassion, and find out what’s going on.

You know, maybe they had a really bad day, you know, or they made a low test score, you know, and they’re really feeling upset, and at that stage of awareness, where they were, that was the best way that they could respond, you know, at that moment, or maybe they’re completely stressed out about, you know, finances or who knows, but that underneath the unskillful behavior, that, that more often than not, you know, it was the best expression of love they could do, or they were calling, you know, for some form of attention.

And that’s all that they knew to do at that moment and that that can help us kind of free us from that resentment from the story that we may be telling about what’s going on, and I like to say to myself, and I invite listeners, you know, as you consider experimenting with this yourself, you know, to say, you know, what matters at this moment for me too, to practice with this, why? Because I want to be free, I want to be open to the good that is here, right now.

There is something that I can do, there is some learning, there is some growth, and I want to stay open, I don’t even see it at this moment but I know I can make it welcome if I hold my perception in a way that frees me not changing the facts and the conditions or making it okay, but just that I don’t have to let it get inside me and, and dial me down into that place of constriction and know that it’s a process and, and finally,

I have one other tool that has really helped me and I’ll share it with listeners as well, in regards this, practice with those relationships where there has been that really difficult betrayal, or breach and trust or you just have the hardest time letting go of that hurt, and this comes from the Dalai Lama as well.

It’s the Dalai Lama’s loving-kindness meditation and, and the way that we work with it as we are we practice first with saying this for ourselves, and then to somebody that’s easy to love, like our child or our spouse, and then we endeavor to practice with us towards that difficult, sacred friend and it’s basically saying, you know, may I be truly happy? May I live in peace? May I live in love? May I know the power of forgiveness? And may I live in the recognition that my life has deep meaning and good purpose?

And we work with saying not really feeling it within ourselves, to not just say it but to really feel it and then sending that loving-kindness you know, to our family member or child, good friend, parent and then endeavor to say this to that to that sacred friend and no, you know and support yourself, give yourself some compassion and let it be okay that it may feel like you’re just saying it, you don’t really believe it and you don’t, you don’t really feel it.

That by just using practicing with it just like daily brushing your teeth, this can be like a little tool to clean yourself that over time you can trust as you practice with it, that you will begin to notice a shift and that your relationship with the situation has changed and that this has been a blessing to help you evolve and expand and become more of who you’re capable of becoming and that using that, that is opening you up to have more inspired ideas and, you know, more self-care, more love more compassion, more giving out of that, because that’s the energy that you’re in, that’s the channel, if you will, that you’re endeavoring to stay tuned to one of compassion and kindness.

Anthony Hartcher 26:04
I can totally understand and, and see what you know where it’s all coming from is like, as you explained, it’s that, you know, if you don’t forgive that person, then you close up, and you can’t be open and more expansive and give more love and more trust and have more compassion, because you’re essentially allowing that breach of trust, or whatever has happened to really, I guess, put you in a shell, so to speak, and allow another protective barrier on you and so that next person never really gets to connect with the authentic or the True, true person and so I can see how if they don’t forgive themselves as to what’s happened in that relationship, or forgive the other person, give the other person I think is a better word.

Then they go into the next relationship with all these protective barriers, all these perceptions around love and trust and compassion and so that next person doesn’t really see the true them because they’ve got so many layers of protection from the previous breach, and so I can see how important it is for that person, if they are moving on from that relationship because of that breakdown in trust, then that they they do forgive that person so that they can then have all that expression, as you said, have complete openness and complete trust and complete love for the next person.

Otherwise, yeah, I can see how it’s not going to work in the next relationship because of that, that person won’t be seeing the true them because there’ll be so many layers of protection.

Stephanie Puente 27:43
Yes, and if I may quickly add, I am, it helps me to say this, you know, and why it matters to is it stopped. It’s that that that not only is it serving you as you are opening yourself up to make welcome greater love in that next relationship but using this practice, that it’s also serving all the other areas of your life, your financial abundance, your creative abundance, you’re well being because we can’t be bitter and constricted in one area, but expect you know, abundance and another area we’ve because I invite us to consider you know, it’s all at work its energy.

And you know how we do one thing is how we do everything I’ve heard, I’ve heard it said and so if I’m withholding over here, I’m going to have I’m going to see with withholding in other areas of my life so so we can support ourselves in saying even though this feels hard, even though I don’t, you know, I’m still working on it, I’m willing to do this because I want you to know that greater fulfillment in all areas that flow of, of it, and in Lastly, I’ve heard this other great saying that we can either become bitter, and stay bitter, or we can use this circumstance and become better and that can help sometimes when we’re working with that daily process, and I want to become better from this and not stay in this bitterness.

Anthony Hartcher 29:09
It’s so true. Yeah, now, I really like how you brought the whole into this because I could see how, if you are taking that sort of, Well, I I trusted that person so much.

Now I’m not going to trust everyone, you know, and so, therefore, the next person that’s going to give them financial advice, they’re going to have that knot that openness around the trust around the financial advice and so as you said if load flow on to their financial situation, because they don’t trust anyone because of that previous breach and you, know that relationship, relationship trust and then I can see how you’re so true about you know, holding, suppressing those emotions of bitterness and how that would affect the body and the biological operation of how the body works because the energy channels, you know, there’ll be some blocking the energy channels and so the various organs would be affected from that suppression of emotions and not allowing that free expression.

So that I can imagine the energy workers would sense, you know, blockages in specific energy channels as a result of not forgiving that person and moving on. So, yeah, I really loved how you brought the whole into it.

How can listeners best connect with you, Stephanie?

Stephanie Puente 30:34
Well, thank you, the best way to connect would be through my website, Stephanie, and from there, listeners, if they would like they can sign up to be on my mailing list, there’s a forum there that can be completed for that.

I also offer complimentary Discovery sessions, where I support people in gaining clarity on where they are now where it is that they would really love to be, and what those next empowered steps are that they can take.

So there’s a way to sign up for a complimentary discovery session as well on the site and then if listeners would like more information, I also have some ebooks that I’ve made available for people to download.

One is on the power of purpose and the other is on transforming your life with empowering statements and those are available here, for listeners who would like additional content to support them in the work that they are doing.

Anthony Hartcher 31:30
Thank you for that incredible generosity of making your ebooks available, and I’ll include all those links in the show notes, so listeners can go directly to those respective links.

So before we close up, Stephanie, have you got any concluding how words of wisdom you’d like to share any final comments?

Stephanie Puente 31:49
Well, I want to, again, start off by or and conclude by acknowledging and celebrating each of you for being here today, investing your most important resource, which is your time, into your growth and into your awareness and for your willingness to try on some ideas and experiment with them and I invite you to support yourself by saying,

I’m willing to experiment with this and just try it on and that it doesn’t matter how long that hurt has been there, maybe it’s been there for, you know, five years, 10 years, 20 years, that that has no bearing on what’s possible moving forward from here and that each one of you deserves to live a free, full expanse of life that you love, and by that willingness to work with this tool of forgiveness and really harness your capacity for persons with your perception.

That, that you can give that that hurt and resentment for a more empowered way of seeing it and using this, that this is supporting you and welcoming in greater flow using greater vitality, creativity, love, greater connection, greater openness, and always and that remind yourself at matters and I’m willing to be uncomfortable because I want the freedom and the growth that this will bring and that using practicing, that it gets easier and easier.

So keep up all the great work that you’re already doing and keep taking steps forward.

Anthony Hartcher 33:29
How wonderful and thanks, Stephanie for helping us make those steps forward from you know, being held back from past lack of forgiveness, and for the listeners.

You know, if you’re really struggling and need some additional help to move on from any past relationships or any past lack of forgiveness for yourself for something that’s going on, then please reach out to Stephanie she’s certainly someone that can really help you move on and expand into new areas of growth and fulfillment.

So thank you once again, Stephanie, and for the listeners. Thank you for listening and if you liked the episode, please like and share it with others so that we can get the word out and help more others to forgive and stay tuned for more insightful episodes of me&my health up.

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