If you feel anger about a situation or a relationship, there might be some self-forgiveness needed. In this episode, I step you through a process to forgive yourself and let go of anger.
Today, we’re going to talk about how forgiving yourself can help you let go of anger. So it’s been actually a couple weeks since I turned the podcast mic on.
I traveled for Thanksgiving and it was wonderful. We live in the Denver area, as you probably know, and it’s usually pretty cold here, snowing. And we decided that because my kids have a whole week off of school that we were going to get out of Dodge. And we went on a Caribbean cruise and it was so amazing.
I loved it so much. Although I will say that. I tend to get vertigo a little bit after cruises and after travel, I’m still dealing with a little bit of that, but it was really awesome to be with my family and my daughter, who’s in college in the UK, flew out to be with us and to go on the cruise with us.
We got to go to Honduras and Belize and Mexico, and I just loved it. I really, really loved it. It was a break, I think, that I needed to kind of take care of myself and I’m generally not very good at resting. So being on a cruise is a way to force me to like, not be able to get online and not be able to work at all.
It was lovely. So it feels like it’s been a while since I’ve podcasted, since I’ve talked to you all. So I’m excited to be here and I have an episode today that was inspired by a client session. And we didn’t have time in our client session to kind of fully go into it. So I told her I will create a podcast about this.
And I just thought that it would be so helpful, not just for this client, but for all of us. Even as I was preparing this episode, I was using myself as an example, and I thought, wow, this is going to be powerful because I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up crying in this episode, kind of going through the process I’m about to share with you for myself.
What is Anger?
So the main takeaway that I want you to get out of this episode is that if you feel anger about things that have happened in the past, relationships that you have, really any reason, it might be that it’s a sign that you need to forgive yourself. And I know that this feels a little bit weird, like what does self forgiveness have to do with anger?
But anger typically is a sign that a boundary has been crossed. Either somebody else has crossed one of our boundaries or sometimes, (and this is why it feels a little bit not appropriate, or like confusing why these can go together) but sometimes we cross our own boundaries. Have you ever said to yourself, “I’m angry at myself for fill in the blank. I’m angry at myself for not saying anything for not standing up for myself, for allowing that to happen, whatever it is.”
Those are, that’s usually the neighborhood of thoughts that I hear myself and my clients thinking when it comes to reasons why we’re angry at ourselves. But just remember that anger means a boundary has been crossed.
Some kind of unfairness or injustice has been done and we care about it, right? So if it’s the case that we are the target of our own anger, then there’s some self forgiveness. Now, this is not the only antidote to anger, but it’s just one of them. And I have never heard of anybody else talk about it this way.
How do you forgive yourself?
So I thought this might be useful. So I’m going to tell you kind of a process that I sat down and I thought about, okay, how do you start and where do you go? And I thought of some obstacles that you might come up against. I probably haven’t thought of all the obstacles. So if there’s something else that you are coming up against that you’re confused by, please feel free to reach out to me.
I love connecting with people on Voxer, which is a free, um, it’s called a free walkie talkie app. It’s an asynchronous app. You can text and you can talk. Totally free. You just need an email address. I like it because you don’t have to give your phone number. You can also schedule a free session with me. I would love to help you, no strings attached.
So the first step when you’re noticing that you are feeling some anger and you might actually notice this in terms of like, I don’t want to have a relationship with that person. Or maybe you notice some judgment that you have about yourself or someone else. And if you were to talk about it in a conversation, if you find yourself getting heated and like wanting to justify and giving a bunch of reasons, that can be anger, right?
This can be like, “it shouldn’t have happened this way. And here’s why. And here’s why I think I’m right.” It doesn’t necessarily have to be like yelling and screaming or conventional anger. It could just be this sort of like stiff defensiveness that you feel in your body, or it could look like certain types of thoughts.
So just maybe as sort of a pre work to doing this, notice when you feel a little defensive, when you feel frustrated, when you feel angry or mad, um, these are all areas where you might have some discovery to do. So the first step is to just list all the things you’re angry about. Now, Many of us are angry about a lot of things, right?
There are a lot of things going on in the world that make us frustrated or angry. So really what I would have you do is list all the things you’re angry about in this specific situation or with this specific relationship. So like I said, this client session inspired this episode and we were talking about a specific relationship in her life.
And when I wrote out this episode and I thought, “okay, I need some examples,” I used myself as an example. I also went to a specific relationship. I don’t think it has to be a relationship. It could be like right now there’s stuff going on in Israel and Palestine and you know, Gaza and all of that, you could feel angry about that.
So whatever circumstance or situation or relationship, it might be useful to kind of limit yourself to one relationship or circumstance. Does that make sense? So figure out the relationship or the circumstance and then just brainstorm all the things you’re angry about and really let yourself not edit all of it.
Like, I’m angry because of this and I’m angry because of that. And this frustrates me. Just let yourself get all of it out as much as you can. This one step can be very helpful and almost cathartic, but I want to caution you that things that feel cathartic, talking to a friend, journaling out all the reasons why you’re angry, that doesn’t necessarily solve the anger.
It can feel good temporarily, but it doesn’t solve the root problem. So that’s why there are more steps here. So first you list out all the things you’re angry about, all the reasons why you’re angry, and then just take one reason at a time. I’m just encouraging you to get a little bit more specific and I am going to go over some examples, but first I want to kind of give you the process, the sort of the overview.
Make a list
So first list everything in this situation that you’re angry about, and then list out all the reasons why and do that kind of one at a time. And then for each reason why you’re angry that the kind of for the second step, turn that statement into an, “I forgive myself for believing” statement.
There’s more steps, but I want to get into some examples cause I think it’ll be more clarifying. So I was thinking about what in my life do I feel some anger or frustration or resistance around? And it’s really my relationship with my dad. Most of the time I feel peace and I just feel like it is what it is.
But sometimes when I think about my relationship with my dad, I can get a little heated. And I don’t usually verbalize this out loud because it’s been something that has been happening for so long, like going on 20 years. But even when I have conversations with myself about it, I can feel, I can feel kind of the defensiveness, the rigidness in my body.
I can like hear myself trying to justify or trying to prove those kinds of things. That’s how I know it’s in the neighborhood of anger. Okay. So the example that I have is “I am angry that you weren’t there for me.”
So just a little backstory. My mom died when I was 20. And my dad kind of spiraled into a depression and he didn’t take care of business. Like I had a little sister that was nine at the time. She basically went to live with an aunt and uncle and he just kind of fell off the face of the earth, so to speak. And I didn’t feel like he was there for my sister or for me. And he ended up going to jail for a few years. Like it was this whole big, ugly situation.
And I think I’m just still harboring some feelings about that. And so that’s kind of the first thing, I’m angry that my dad wasn’t there for me. So then step two, I listed out all the reasons, all the reasons why I’m angry that my dad wasn’t there for me. And it sounded like this, “because I want a dad, because families are important, because I needed you, because it made me feel worthless.”
Ah, here’s where the tears come. “Because I felt like you loved my sisters more than me, because it’s just not okay to check out. Because that’s not who I know you to be. because I wanted you to fight for me.” There’s several reasons. Probably if I gave myself more time, I would find even more reasons, right?
And so I was just doing this for the purpose of the podcast episode. And so I kind of stopped there because I wanted to go deeper. Okay. So that’s step number two- for each item, for each reason why you’re angry, write all the reasons why, right? Go a little bit deeper, one step deeper. And then step three, turn each why statement into a forgiveness statement.
So step one, I’m angry that you weren’t there for me. Why? Because I want a dad. Why? Because I believe families are important. Why? Because I needed you. Why? Because it made me feel worthless. So I’m going to use “because I needed you.” So I turned that into a forgiveness statement that sounds like “I forgive myself for believing I needed you.”
And I choose this one first because as soon as I said that to myself, I just felt this relief and this peace. I forgive myself for believing I needed my dad. It just felt like truth. Like peace. Like I can relax a little bit. And that is what we’re looking for. Sometimes it’s that easy.
Just kind of noticing what we believed about the situation that made us feeling angry and forgiving ourselves. Sometimes it really is that simple. So if you can get there simply and easily, then. Ding, ding, ding, you did it right now. It’s not always that simple, which is why there are more steps. So if you turn that statement into a forgiveness statement, I forgive myself for believing and.
There’s a little bit of an art to this, so if it doesn’t feel like the, I forgive myself for believing fits, just play with the statement a little bit. I noticed that sometimes when I was doing this, and I’ll give you an example, it was like an “I want” statement, and so instead I said “I believe myself for wanting…”
If you feel into the forgiveness statement and you don’t feel that relief, that peace, um, there’s a couple more steps here. So first of all, if you still feel angry, which is common, if you still feel angry, then I’m going to encourage you to get even more specific in that reason. So here’s an example. My first thing that I came up with was, because I want a dad and when I said I forgive myself for wanting a dad I still felt kind of angry like it didn’t really move anything.
It didn’t change anything. And so I thought “okay why do I want a dad?” I took that statement because I want a dad and I thought why? I came up with “I want a dad because I want a parent who cares.” And when I turned that statement into a forgiveness statement, “I forgive myself for wanting a parent who cares,” that actually feels like sadness in my body.
So it has shifted now from anger to sadness. So if, when you say the forgiveness statement. you still feel anger or frustration or resistance, go a step deeper on that statement, ask yourself why again, and then turn those statements into forgiveness statements. And eventually you’ll get to a point where you’ll shift to a different emotion.
Sadness is really common, but it might be something else for you. It might be confusion. Um, this is where it gets very personal, right? So I’m trying to give some guidelines, but you might find that this process takes you in a direction that I don’t mention, and that’s okay for me and for my clients. Mostly, it was either I still feel anger or I feel sadness.
So if it shifts to a different emotion, what I want to recommend that you do is to allow yourself some space and time to fully feel that emotion. So when I said “I want a dad because I want a parent who cares” and I then turned that into the statement, “I forgive myself for wanting a parent who cares,” that just brings up this well of sadness in me. I think what’s behind it is that I want a parent who cares. I want to want a parent who cares, but also I don’t. It doesn’t feel like I have that parent. And so it just feels sad. It feels a little helpless. Like I want this thing and I can’t have it. And so the work for me would be to just feel the sadness, to feel the helplessness.
Beyond that, when you give yourself time and space to feel these feelings that are lurking under the surface, I’m even just noticing, as I’m explaining this example to you, that my mind went to some options. I forgive myself for wanting a parent who cares that felt like sadness. It felt like helplessness, but even saying it out loud, almost opened me up to it.
And I immediately thought of, “well, my mom cares, even though she’s gone, even though she’s passed away, I believe she cares about me. I see little signs that she’s watching over me all the time. And I also believe that I have heavenly parents.”
I didn’t like think that was going to happen, but I just noticed my brain saying, you do have parents that care. And I can even think of people who aren’t technically my parents, but who feel like mothers and fathers to me, in my church organization, in other ways. Now I’m able to see how I actually have so many people who care about me.
And maybe that’s not the role that my dad is here to fill at this point in time. So it actually almost moved me to some gratitude and some love. I think I’m feeling love is actually what I’m feeling. So again, this practice can, can be a door that’s, that’s just opening and if it feels too much, just take it really slow.
There’s no like right or wrong way to do this. I’m going to give you a couple other examples. I gave you the example of, “I’m angry because you weren’t there for me,” which then led to “because I want a dad,” which led to, “I want a parent who cares.” That was the example we just went over. And then before that, I give you the example of, because I needed you. And that just felt like peace. “I forgive myself for believing I needed you” just felt like, “Oh, I can let go of that. It feels like peace. I don’t, I don’t need to need him anymore.”
I wanted to do one other example. So the reason was why I wanted a dad, or “I’m angry that you weren’t there for me, why? Because that’s not who I know you to be.” And so I turned that into a statement, “I forgive myself for believing that’s not who you were.” Do you see how there’s a little bit of art in that? It’s not a direct translation from the statement that I came up with.
The statement that I came up with was “because that’s not who I know you to be. I know you’re different than that.” And so my forgiveness statement was, “I forgive myself for believing that’s not who you were.” And when I say that, it doesn’t really shift anything again. So I asked myself, “why do I think my dad is different than how he has showed up for me?”
And it was because it’s not okay to check out, that was one of the reasons why I was angry that my dad hasn’t been there for me. It’s not okay to check out. So I changed it into a forgiveness statement. “I forgive myself for believing it’s not okay to check out.” And I actually do feel a little bit of peace with that. A little bit of space in my body being created, just saying that statement. But what I recognize is that I think I’ve been using that same statement against myself, telling myself, it’s not okay to check out, which actually speaks to how I said at the top of this episode that I’m not very good at rest.
It’s probably because I have this belief that it’s not okay to check out. Like you have to keep showing up. You can’t just disappear. And so then because it didn’t like fully shift for me, it was like a little tiny bit of relief and peace, but mostly I still felt this like anger or frustration. So I asked myself why, and the reasons were “because I love you, because you have responsibilities, because we’re here.”
And so I picked on this one, “we’re here.” I realized that like that, I just got curious about that statement. I was like, “why do I want him to know that we’re here?” And I realized it was like this version of, “I want you to see see me and see the people that are here for you.” And so I turned that into a forgiveness statement.
“I forgive myself for believing you should want to be with us, that you should see us.” Those are a couple of statements. But as soon as I said that I forgive myself for believing that you should see us. That’s when I felt the peace. That’s when I was like, oh, I am wanting him to be someone who he’s not.
And so I added “I forgive myself for believing you should be different than you are.” And that also felt like peace. That feels like love. Actually, when I say that, and I think about my dad, I forgive myself for believing you should be different than you are. It’s tinged with a little bit of sadness, but it’s mostly feels like love. It mostly feels like acceptance. And that is so much better than feeling angry.
So a couple of things that I want to remind you of about this process. There’s a bit of an art to this. You might’ve heard a little bit how I’ve like changed the statements if they didn’t feel quite right.
Like if it doesn’t feel right to say, I forgive myself for believing, or for wanting you to see us, to see me, I was like, “uh, that doesn’t quite feel right. Like, that’s not quite what I’m trying to say.” So there’s a little bit of an art. So play with it, play with the wording, and just use what I’m offering here as guidance.
Follow your heart, follow the spirit with these statements and feeling them. And then the second thing is that if you think that this would be powerful work, if you’ve tried it a little bit as you’ve been listening, but you need more support. That is super, super common if you feel like you want to do it, but you’re a little lost in this.
Please reach out and schedule a free session with me. I promise no strings attached. I just want more people to be able to overcome their anger and to feel peace and love and forgiveness and you know, all these feelings, some of them even sadness. I would rather you feel sad than angry and maybe you wouldn’t, that’s okay too.
But just my opinion is that sadness feels better than anger. Anger feels like resistance. Anger feels there’s like a helplessness to it. Like we can’t do anything, but I think sadness draws us closer to people and to relationships, to ourselves So you might not agree with me, but for me, I feel like sadness I would rather feel sadness than anger, which also might be why my nervous system defaults to a kind of a shutdown versus a fight response.
Just feel into that. And if you need support, it’s okay. If you feel like you can’t do this on your own, that’s what coaching is for, and if you can do this on your own, if you can take what I’ve given you here and you can do it on your own, then I say congratulations and keep doing it and share it with others because I can’t coach everyone that wants to do this work.
So if you can do it and you can share it with someone, that’s amazing. I just want to recap kind of the process.
- Number one, list all the things you’re angry about and keep it to one specific situation or relationship.
- Number two, for each item, write all the reasons why you’re angry.
- Number three, for each of those reasons, turn it into a forgiveness statement.
And the statement sounds like, “I forgive myself for believing,” and then whatever you said in that statement that you were angry and play with that a little bit. “I forgive myself for wanting.” Could be another real useful statement.
- Number four, feel into that forgiveness statement. Do you still feel angry? Can you let it go easily? Does it shift into something else like sadness if there’s still anger?
- This is number five. If there’s still anger, get more specific on the reason why you’re angry, and then repeat the process. Repeat. put that more specific statement into a forgiveness statement.
- Number six, if there’s a different emotion, like sadness, give yourself time and space to fully feel that sadness.
- And number seven, if you can let it go, if you can feel peace, that’s kind of the signature of what we’re looking for. Uh, sometimes it’s really easy. Sometimes all you need is to say that statement out loud to yourself.
Congratulations. And I would encourage you if you do and can get to that piece, take some time to feel into that piece and to allow that relief and that space in your body to be there and to kind of integrate that into your, into your body really so that your body gets the signal that we don’t have to be angry about this anymore.
Okay, if you have any questions, please reach out to me. You can go to my website and get all the information, but you can email me at email@example.com. You can find me on Voxer. I’m just @denitabremer on Voxer. It’s in the app library, it’s an orange app that has a little walkie talkie with a little smiley face on it.
That is enough for now. And so are you.
I want to share really quickly that I have on my heart, I have feel like I’ve been prompted to write a book. And so in 2024, and really starting Christmas 2023 here, I am pulling back a little bit in my business. I’m, I’m just rearranging my schedule a little bit to make time for writing.
And so I’m going to be offering only very, very, very limited private coaching next year. Really mostly just for people who are current or previous clients, I have two spots. So if you listen to this podcast on a regular basis and you’ve been wanting coaching, now is the time. I decided I’m going to just have these three, it was actually three spots two days ago when I started writing this episode, and in that time in the last two days, I have had somebody take one of those spots.
So I have two spots and I don’t know when I’ll have spots for private coaching. It might be another year from now before I do. I just don’t know it kind of depends on how the book writing goes, but I also do have presence, my group that I am going to keep doing. So that is going to be the main way to work with me next year, which is great!
It’s a little community and it’s cheaper than hiring me for private coaching. And I’m trying something out because I really want presence to be the only way that people work with me eventually. And so between now and January 6th, if you want to join presence, I am offering a bonus of six private sessions.
They’re probably going to be 30 minute sessions, but if you want some private coaching, if you want kind of a hybrid of a group where you can meet other people and see what other people are struggling with, because that is super valuable, to see that the things that you feel and think are not unique to you, but you also want some private sessions.
This is a fabulous deal because after January 6th, the price to presence is going to go up to include this new offering of offering private sessions. along with the group dynamic.
So that was a lot, but basically if you’ve been wanting to work with me, now is the time to decide because either I’m not going to be offering privates very much, just, just a couple probably in order to make time for writing a book.
And the price of my group is going up February 1st. So now is the time to decide. I don’t want this to feel like pressure. It’s just more of an announcement of if this is something you’ve been thinking about, I don’t want to blindside you on February 1st saying, “Okay, the price is up now,” and you’re maybe you’ve been saving up or something.
I don’t know. And so I just kind of want to give my loyal listeners some warning and an opportunity to sign up at the lower price and to get in while they can, because I am limiting my schedule a little bit more.
All right. If this podcast has been helpful for you at all, would you please take a minute to leave a rating or review? And also if you think this would be helpful for a friend, please share it. That would be just so amazing and mean so much to me.
Remember that I’m a life coach, not a doctor or a psychologist. Any suggestions or advice mentioned in this podcast should not be a substitute for medical or mental health care.
Until next time, go be yourself and follow the spirit.