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complexity of forgiveness

Hello and welcome to my latest "Empathy Journey" podcast where we dive into the complexities of forgiveness and emotions. I'm your host, Christopher Meyer, and I'm here to explore the complex world of empathy, forgiveness, and personal growth. Today we embrace the challenges and rewards of cultivating compassion, both for others and ourselves.

Today, I want to discuss a topic that's close to my heart: the struggle to forgive those who have hurt us deeply, and how this relates to our capacity for empathy. This is a journey I'm personally navigating, and I hope that by sharing my experiences and insights, I can offer some guidance and support to others who may be facing similar challenges.

Growing up as a child in the Texas CPS and foster system and experiencing PTSD from my service with the U.S. Army in Iraq, I've experienced my fair share of anger and resentment. It's taken me years of self-reflection, therapy, and a whole lot of podcast listening to reach a place of understanding and acceptance. It's impossible to overstate the impact my wife's love and encouragement have had on my ability to embrace empathy and forgiveness.

First, let's acknowledge that empathy and forgiveness are not always easy, especially when it comes to those who have caused us significant pain. It's natural to feel anger, resentment, and hurt in these situations. These emotions are valid, and it's important to give ourselves permission to feel them without judgment.

However, holding onto these heavy emotions can take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. It can create a sense of cognitive dissonance, where we feel like our anger is in conflict with our values of empathy and compassion. We may even feel like a "fake empath" or a hypocrite for struggling to forgive.

But here's the truth: empathy and forgiveness are not destinations; they're ongoing practices. It's okay to be wherever you are in your journey, and it's okay to have setbacks and challenges along the way. What matters is that you're committed to growth and healing.

But the question now is how can we work towards forgiveness and expand our capacity for empathy?

Here are a few thoughts:

1. Start with self-compassion. Extend the same kindness and understanding to yourself that you would offer a beloved friend. Acknowledge your pain and give yourself permission to heal at your own pace.

2. Seek support. Whether it's through therapy, mindfulness practices, or talking with trusted friends, find ways to process your emotions and gain new perspectives. You don't have to navigate this journey alone.

3. Try to humanize the person who hurt you. This doesn't mean excusing their actions, but rather recognizing that they likely faced their own struggles and limitations. Understanding their context can help soften your anger over time.

4. Remember that forgiveness is for you, not them. It's about releasing the burden of resentment so you can find greater peace and freedom. It doesn't mean forgetting the past or condoning hurtful behavior.

5. Practice empathy in small ways every day. Look for opportunities to extend compassion and understanding to others, even in small interactions. These moments will strengthen your empathy muscle and help you approach bigger challenges with more resilience.


Empathy and forgiveness are lifelong practices, and it's okay to be imperfect in our efforts. What matters is that we keep showing up, doing the work, and extending grace to ourselves and others.

If you're struggling to forgive someone who has hurt you, know that you're not alone. It's a challenging and deeply personal journey, but it's one that can lead to profound growth and healing.

Remember, empathy starts with self-compassion. By taking care of yourself, honoring your emotions, and being patient with your healing process, you're laying a powerful foundation for extending empathy to others, even in the most difficult situations.

Thank you for joining me on this "Empathy Journey" where we explore the complexity of forgiveness. If you found this episode helpful, please share it with someone who might need to hear these words today. Together, we can embrace the challenges and rewards of living a life guided by compassion.

Until next time, keep growing and hold onto hope. You've got this.

(c) 2023 Christopher Meyer Law Firm, PLLC All Rights Reserved The information on this video is for general information, entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney client relationship Please call (281) 845-2472 if you have any questions about this disclaimer.

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