Why Forgive


Sherley is a Haitian-American flight attendant who served eight years in the US Army Reserve. Her journey with Femme Naturelle began in 2012 as a way to build a safe space, a community to uplift and empower women in relationships transitioning out of crisis. She resides in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

Hi, I'm sherley

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Why Forgive: Forgiveness

Why forgive? Forgiveness is a major part of the healing process in a relationship. It is defined as “a conscious deliberate decision to release feelings of hurt and resentment toward someone who has hurt you whether they deserve your forgiveness or not.” In this episode, Sherley and Kira discuss what it means to be a prisoner of self, choosing to release feelings of hurt and resentment in order to heal, expectations, and loving unconditionally. 

Why Forgive Podcast Discussion:

  1. What does forgiveness mean to you?
  2. Why should you forgive?
  3. Does forgiveness mean acceptance?

Article to read: How To Be In Control Of Your Happiness

Kira is my co-host for Season 1, she is a recently furloughed flight attendant, current stay at home mom, and former hairstylist. She has committed her time to helping people on the ground all around the world, learning how to be a better ally, and making change in her communities. Originally from New Jersey, she resides in Texas with her husband and very active toddler.

What are your thoughts from the show?  Please share in the comments.

Mentions on the show:

Below is David Bayer’s website:

David Bayer

Transcript Below

why forgive

Femme Parler Podcast is learning and growing every single day. We aim to uplift all marginalized voices both on this podcast and in real life. Please note that we are always striving to change the problematic language that society has internalized in us. Thank you for your patience as we aim to strip certain phrases from our vocabulary. Thank you.

Forgiveness Podcast Episode Transcript

Transcripts are the conversations from the podcast which may contain a few errors/typos.  It can be difficult to catch all errors, especially if two people are speaking at the same time.  Please enjoy the conversation and if you have any questions email us at feedback@femmeparler.com

Season 1 Episode 02

Sherley [00:00:07] Hello, everybody, welcome to Femme Parler Season one, Episode two, where we are unpacking opinions and changing destinations. Today, we are going to talk about why forgive? Forgiveness is a major part of the healing process, and it’s defined as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of hurt and resentment towards someone who has hurt you and rather they deserve your forgiveness or not. And I know there are many of you out there that has gone through some type of situation where you had to really ask yourself, do I want to forgive that person? Why should I forget that person? Do they deserve my forgiveness? We’re going to talk about that today, stay tuned.

Kira [00:01:07] Last week, we talked about relationships. And like you said, at some point in any relationship, you’re going to have to have the opportunity to forgive the other person. Sometimes it’s something small, sometimes it’s something large. But forgiveness is always a part of any relationship, and not just romantic relationships, kind of dealing with my own crisis and my relationship right now. So I feel like this is pretty therapeutic for me to talk about forgiveness and why it’s important and feel like it’s going to give me an opportunity to reflect and allow me to have some vulnerable moments that I need to kind of talk through.

Kira [00:01:40] So I read this quote, Sherley, that said, To forgive is to set the prisoner free and discovered the prisoner was you. What do you think about that?

Sherley [00:01:50] To forgive is to set the prisoner free and to discover the prisoner was you. Yeah, that is quite deep. It makes me think because where I get thrown off is to discover the prisoner was you. And I wish the person was here to explain. What is that supposed to mean because I’m thinking about my own crisis. Huh.

Kira [00:02:16] So here’s here’s what I think it means. Lights it out for me. I feel like when you’re bound and unforgiveness, you are holding yourself prisoner to what happened to you.

Kira [00:02:28] Instead of letting it go, when you forgive the person you think or when you’re holding unforgiveness towards that person and you think that you’re punishing them, you think that they are the ones who are the prisoner. But really, you’re the one that’s holding all the bondage and you’re the one that’s actually the prisoner. So when you finally release it and you finally forgive them, then you’re no longer prisoner to what has happened. I think that’s what it means.

Sherley [00:02:48] You think that’s what it means?

Kira [00:02:49] Yeah.

Sherley [00:02:50] I’m still processing. Like, I’m thinking about what you just said and I’m still processing. Repeat that quote again.

Kira [00:02:56] OK. So the quote says, to forgive is to set the prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.

Sherley [00:03:03] You know what? I usually have a lot to save it, this one, because the part that says to discover the prisoner was you. I’m trying to think I am a prisoner. Maybe I don’t like the prisoner. We’re putting myself in the situation of that person.

Kira [00:03:18] Right.

Sherley [00:03:19] I don’t know how to break this down. And that’s a challenging one because I don’t feel like the prisoner was me when you were holding unforgiveness.

Kira [00:03:27] You don’t feel like you were like being in a prison, like you were in bondage when you were holding unforgiveness.

Sherley [00:03:32] Yes, because holding on to forgiveness. Yes. Is bondage is it’s a it’s like heavy bricks that you’re holding on to when you don’t choose to forgive that person.

Kira [00:03:42] Right.

Sherley [00:03:43] It’s why forgiveness is important. I think where I’m stumped is to realize that the prisoner was you. I can’t rationalize it. My head, Kyra. I can’t I don’t feel like I was the prisoner.

Kira [00:03:55] OK. And that’s totally fine.  I, I feel like for me, when I have held on to unforgiveness, when I knew I should forgive someone else. And this is not just in a romantic relationship. This is an friendships or family relationships.  I felt like like crippled in a way because I was so consumed with that and refusing to forgive them. I do feel like I was a prisoner to myself until I let it go. OK. So what does forgiveness mean to you?

Sherley [00:04:27] Forgiveness means to me. You must release the anger that you hold for that person, for every for any wrongdoing that they have done to you. That’s simply what forgiveness means to me. Forgiveness is hard even to this day, because I’m not gonna lie to you. I think I’m forgiving because it’s part of the healing process. And it’s important for right that there are people that I genuinely feel that do not deserve to be forgiven in that. Is ungodly, and that’s not the right way to think. And that is something I still struggle with. Extremely.

Kira [00:05:07] Right.

Sherley [00:05:08] So part of my forgiveness is it’s important because of my healing and it’s something that I must do in order to heal.

Kira [00:05:17] Right. It’s for yourself. And it’s not for the other person.

Sherley [00:05:20] Right, exactly. But it’s still a struggle for me even to this day. And that’s why it’s important that I stay grounded, self reflected, and not allow my mental to race down a rollercoaster because those bad thoughts come into play. You know, that little voice is like. And you forgive that person.  Look at them here.

Kira [00:05:44] Here’s the thing that I’m learning through this journey is that forgiveness is definitely a choice.  Like, pause and ponder on that, because when you’re saying, like, there’s things or people that you feel like don’t deserve to be forgiven when you move to the space of I’m going to choose to forgive them, I’m going to release these feelings of hurt and resentment. My part that I’m struggling with is the retaliation part. It releases when you forgive someone, it releases that desire to want to retaliate against them. When you choose to forgive someone, you have to choose that no matter how you’re feeling about it in that moment, even when you’re triggered, you’re going to really release these feelings of hurt and resentment. And like when I think about it as cure, this is what you chose to do. You chose to forgive. So this is X, Y, Z. What you have to do to stand in that choice that you made, like you made this decision.

Sherley [00:06:37] And, you know, to piggyback off what you said.  I listen to this guy. I haven’t attended a seminar, but his name is David Bayer.  He preaches that every thing in life is a mindset. And we as humans have more control over every action, every thought.  Everything that happens in our life. And you’re absolutely correct. Forgiveness is a choice in choosing not to retaliate.

Kira [00:07:04] Is hard, sometimes it’s really hard, yeah.

Sherley [00:07:04] It’s hard, but it’s all a mindset. It’s you controlling those thoughts. Exactly. Difficulty doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Kira [00:07:13] I wonder the retaliation part of it is because we feel like it won’t make us feel better. Because I’m going to hurt you back the way you hurt me.  And this isn’t any I’m not just speaking about, like, romantic relationships. I know that’s what we’re talking about. But I mean, you can have a sister or a mom or a good friend and they hurt you and you just want to hurt them back.

Sherley [00:07:31] You’re absolutely correct. The reason it’s hard for people to forgive is because to bring you pain.  You don’t want to forgive them.

Kira [00:07:42] Right.

Sherley [00:07:42] If you were comfortable doing that to me.

Kira [00:07:45] Right.

Sherley [00:07:46] Do I deserve to forgive you? I think this is the problem, too, because for the longest time I assumed forgiveness. Now I have to break bread with this person.  And that’s something that people also have to remember. Forgiveness does not mean now you have to be buddy buddy with this person.

Kira [00:08:06] That goes on to like this, Forgiveness mean acceptance. And the answer is no.

Sherley [00:08:11] Absolutely not.

Kira [00:08:12] Right.

Sherley [00:08:12] The issues I feel like people have is deep. Do they really understand the meaning of forgiveness? Not to smile and laugh and joke in their faith.  No, I can forgive you and still want no dealings with you at all whatsoever. And I’ve chose to release the anger that I have for you. I don’t choose to have any dealings with you. And that goes for friends or family, regardless of what the situation may be.

Kira [00:08:36] Right. I think sometimes we get confused and think like you’re saying, that forgiveness means acceptance and that you’re not holding the person accountable for what they did or you condone what they did. And that’s exactly not it. You know, the forgiveness is allowing you to heal.

Sherley [00:08:52] You to release that her and then you move on. I don’t know if a lot of people know that.  I don’t know if it’s based off of because I misinterpreted information that was given to me. And that’s what I thought forgiveness was for the longest time. Now, just because I realize that it doesn’t mean, like I said earlier, forgiveness is not any easier for me.

Kira [00:09:13] Right.

Sherley [00:09:14] We as humans were selfish. I don’t feel as though they deserve my forgiveness. Well, who the hell am I to think that they don’t deserve my forgiveness? I’m not anybody of importance.  You know, I need to be the one.  And I guess the quote you had stated earlier, I guess I can really understand talking about it and thinking it and processing in my head. See what he’s talking about when he said that you discover this prisoner was you and me and my selfish thinking, because that’s how people think.

Kira [00:09:40] Like, I’m gonna hold on to this forgiveness and I’m not going to give it to them.  It’s it makes us feel X, Y, Z. But you’re holding onto it so tight, you hurt yourself. They don’t even care if you give up at this point.

Sherley [00:09:52] And that breaks down in the quote of what the person is trying to say.

Kira [00:09:55] Right now for sure. So why do you think it’s. We’re into forgive.

Sherley [00:10:00] It’s part of healing and healing can be big or small. And like you said, it could be mother, brother, sister, girlfriend, boyfriend, anybody deserves forgiveness and forgiveness applies to all. But forgiveness means that you are holding on to something and you don’t want to release it, kind of like a tumor. It’s just going to keep growing bigger and get bigger and get bigger and hurt you more and more and more. Yeah. You know, to use an analogy to me, that’s what it is. Forgiveness is important because you’re holding onto that tumor. It might be benign.

Kira [00:10:34] Right.

Sherley [00:10:34] But you still have to release it. Let it go.

Kira [00:10:38] I definitely think when we forgive, gives us freedom and gives us peace. Like you’re saying, I think a lot of times we hold back on forgiveness is because we feel like there is no justice for our pain. So you hold onto it to try to, you know, either hurt the other person back or hold something over them when it’s really at the end of the day just hurting you. I do want to say, talking about relationships in general and like romantic relationships. But I think if you’ve experienced abuse by someone, I think forgiveness is important for you to heal. But I think navigating that, you know, through therapy is the best way to do that. We’re just giving you guys like general nuggets of wisdom and things to ponder on when it comes to forgiveness. But if you have experience like any type of abuse, what we’re saying is just cutting the surface. I definitely think that more professional help would be necessary in order for you to move to a place of forgiveness with stealing with something like that.

Sherley [00:11:34] I agree. Because when we talk about physical abuse, when it comes to forgiveness or even forgiveness, us as mothers. Can you imagine if somebody did anything to harm your child?

Kira [00:11:44] No. Absolutely.

Sherley [00:11:45] I have not been through that.  Somebody doing something to harm your family member in a wrong way.

Kira [00:11:51] Or you physically, mentally, sexually. All of that.

Sherley [00:11:55] And that’s why forgiveness is hard. It is takes time. It doesn’t happen right away. And we’re not saying that. Oh, so your trying to say that somebody does something to me today and tomorrow. You want me to be like, oh, goodness, take three years.

Kira [00:12:12] I wish I wish it happened that fast.  Even when I made the decision to be like, OK, I’m going to forgive. You know, God forgives me all the time. And that’s to say, like, I’m God. But it’s like I do stuff wrong all the time and God forgives me. And he still loves me unconditionally. Right. So it’s like if I’m in a relationship with someone that I love, that I have to offer them forgiveness when it gets hard. And when you’re triggered, it’s not easy. So just walk in that like when you’re you’re even though you want to. It’s hard to, like, actually walk it out like you’re saying because it doesn’t happen overnight. You know, really, it takes time.

Sherley [00:12:49] It does take time. It does take time. But we’re just giving you the I guess the whole nutshell in this podcast to let you know that it’s important. It’s a must. And remember that you forgiving that person, as Kira said, does not mean acceptance. You forgiving that person is releasing yourself from the prison or the jail that you’re putting yourself in to not allow that tumor to grow into a cancer form because it could be detrimental when you choose not to forgive, because it takes over you physically and mentally.

Kira [00:13:24] Even going back to that like that is something I think sometimes we’re taught that like, OK, well, you know, even when we teach little kids, when someone hits them and, you know, you have to tell them, OK, say sorry. And then they say it’s OK. And then they hug and then they have to play again. So, like, if you hit me, I don’t have to be friends with you. After that, I can say, OK, I get it. But like we’re taught that from so young.

Sherley [00:13:46] We are taught that from so young.  And, you know, it’s a good thing you bring that up. We teach our kids that, you know, you have to apologize. You have to say, I’m sorry, you can’t bully. But, you know, as adults, we’re so hypocritical and we don’t realize how much. Our kids are watching. Even myself, I have to catch myself when I’m talking to my kids. I even have to tell myself to watch my manners. I’m preaching for my children.

Kira [00:14:14] Right.

Sherley [00:14:14] But I’ll speak to them.  And I’m not implementing. Please.

Kira [00:14:18] Right.

Sherley [00:14:18] I am not implenting, thank you. Right. Doing the things that I’m preaching to them.

Kira [00:14:22] Right. Yeah.

Sherley [00:14:23] You know, we’re just absolutely hypocritical as adults because how many times have we hurt someone’s feelings? Do we even bother to say I’m sorry? No. So I’m a victim of it.

Kira [00:14:35] Could be something so small. I remember I was working a fight and this lady asked me, we’re doing orange juice and water service.  You know, it’s a short flight and we’re trying to clean up because we’re we’re descending. And she’s still drinking this little tiny orange juice. I’m going through the cabin to clean up.  And I’m like, ma’am, I have to see take your orange juice. And she’s like, oh, I’m not finished. And like, I’m sorry, I have to take it.  And I took it and I put it the trash. And she’s like, oh, my God, I could have just chugged it right then and I’m like, I’m sorry, like we’re trying to clean up. And I just keep moving. And I got to the back and also I Kira that was rude. You could have definitely let that lady finish her orange juice. So I went back to her and I apologized and I said, I’m sorry.  Sometimes I’m just moving so fast. You could have, you know, finish your juice. So here’s one to take with you. And I gave her mine. It’s something so small. But I felt like that was rude. You know, I didn’t have to do it that way. And I wanted to be accountable for my behavior. So I went back and I apologized.  And if we did that more often, because even when you’re in your emotion and you’re having a bad day or something’s going on and you’re kind of short with someone, it’s like they didn’t do anything to you.  You just let your feelings about whatever your and your feelings about you’re taking out on them.

Sherley [00:15:45] I think because we expect too much of others at times. Your situation, it’s not accepting too much of where this is most, just like you ask her something. And at that moment at that time, like you said, you were moving too fast.

Sherley [00:15:58] Just like caught yourself and you went back, you apologized and you gave her another one many times. That’s not the case. That’s why, you know, our kids deserve respect, too. It’s like as soon as we turn 18, we’re absolutely hypocrites. We’re doing things that we preach to our children not to do. We all know we work. We’ve done things that we should have apologized for. And who gon check you not a danggone person could let somebody come say something to you.

Kira [00:16:27] Yourself. The Holy Spirit has to check you check and check us as adults.

Sherley [00:16:32] That’s it. Holy Spirit. Karma comes back to bite you in your ass, thats what it is.

Kira [00:16:35] For real, for real, just being nasty but it definitely starts at home. And even like me being home with a toddler and seeing how he speaks to us.  He’s saying what he hears, so he hears me saying, please, daddy, can I have this or whatever.  That’s how he’s going to say it to. I say thank you. Like, we were so happy when you started saying you’re welcome. I’m like, oh, my gosh, he’s getting it.  He’s hearing us. He’s saying, thank you. He’s saying, please. He’s saying you’re welcome.

Sherley [00:17:11] They do listen. You will see when he gets older, my kids will check me.

Sherley [00:17:18] So today, who was three things. The first thing was forgiveness is important. Forgiveness is not meaning acceptance.  And three, do not hold yourself hostage.

Kira [00:17:33] That’s a good word.  Yes. 

Sherley [00:17:36] Do not hold yourself hostage and allow that tuna to grow and become cancerous because it’s going to. It’s going to be detrimental for yourself, for the people around you.

Kira [00:17:47] Right. And so we would leave them like the question of is there someone you’re harboring unforgiveness towards? And you need to forgive them.

Kira [00:17:57] I think that’s something we all need to think about. And then what steps do you take to start that process?

Sherley [00:18:05] Think about that person that you need to forgive. That you’re holding on to. Been holding on to. It’s time to release that. All right. So we’re going to be wrapping up today. Thank you for listening, as always. And I’m going to leave saying love yourself, be yourself, voice yourself. From Kira and I and I have a blessed day.

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