The Jim Fortin Podcast

EPISODE 78: “Q & A – How Do I Release And Forgive My Past?”

December 16, 2019

I’m sure that a lot of people can relate to this Monday’s episode. Shame from the past!

It’s something that many people hang onto for far too long. It’s debilitating.

In this episode I talk about:

When I say “let go of huge mistakes,” you’ll find an interesting story in this episode where I talk about a man who brought down Richard Nixon’s presidency. I’ll share with you what he told me about “huge mistakes.”

I picked this question this week because so many people hold onto their past and they try to manage their lives from their past and there is no past, there is only now!

Transformational Takeaway

You are not your past, the past does not exist

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Full Episode Transcript


You're listening to episode number 78 of the Transform Your Life From the Inside Out Podcast. This is a Monday Q&A episode and this week I answered Darla's question. And her question is one that probably a lot of you can relate to. Her question is this, “How do I release and forgive my past?” If you can relate to that, stay tuned.

Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start transforming your life from the inside out with this podcast. I'm widely considered a leader in subconscious transformation and I've coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you're going to find no rah rah motivation and no hype because this podcast is a combination of brain science, transformational psychology, and ancient wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive, and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life, then this podcast is for you, because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.

We Make Mistakes, We Make Amends, and We Move On

Okay, so episode number 78. How do I release and forgive my past? Before I go into that let me read Darla's email that she sent in. So here it is, “How do I release and forgive my past? I've made mistakes. I failed myself and others multiple times and I find I keep coming back to my past. I've done talk therapy and figuring out why I did the things I did. And the decisions I made back then. Maybe it's because I've identified with it. I am grateful for the mistakes that I've made because I wouldn't be the person I am today and the work that I have done to get here, but maybe I've identified who I am too much to my past mistakes.”

Okay. In a lot of podcast I just give you the general question that people ask but I thought the entire, you know, everything she wrote was appropriate and I think that many of you might, you know, be able to see yourself in Darla. So let me go here first in shamanism and of course I, you know off topic here I wanted to name this podcast, “The Shamans Apprentice,” because I talked about it so much. It's my life. It's so much a part of me. And I didn't for various reasons, but I'm going to talk about shamanism here for a second. And I was taught very early on when I started apprenticing that there are four tenants of what's called impeccability, meaning to live an impeccable life. It doesn't mean perfect, but it means impeccable with yourself. And those four tenets of impeccability are letting go of ego, which for many of us is a lifetime challenge most people never even look into it. Secondly is balance and that means balancing not like work life balance, but balancing the higher with the lower. Next is loss of attachment. And then number four is, the way that I was taught and the phrase that I was taught was erasing past history.

Okay, so erasing past history. Now, I know that I've told this story before, I believe in the podcast, if not to my coaching groups. But I remember my parents got divorced when I was in college and my mother remarried a few years later, and she was with that man for about 20 years. When my mom passed, my stepfather called me, I don't know a couple of months after, and he said, “Hey, you know, your mom had all of your stuff from childhood or baby book, you know, baby shoes, you know, things that mothers keep.” And he said, “What do you want me to do with all this stuff from your lifetime,” and I said, “I want you to put it all in a box or boxes or whatever I said, you know, basically put it all together, take it to the trash and burn it.” Now, these are things that many people air quote, “cherish” for a lifetime and for me, it's simply you know, past history, and that's me erasing my past history because I know that the past does not exist. I'm not going to go into it too much in this episode but but we humans, we try to manage time and energy and in truth all the week can really manage is our energy, which is our consciousness. And the reason why is time doesn't exist. I mean, time is a human construct. And it's applicable to the 3D world and we look out in front of us and we, you know, we see what we call time and calendars and seasons and all this kind of stuff, but in the cosmos, time does not exist.

Anyway, so erasing past history. So, I know, I believe I've done an episode on- I'm thinking through this year for a second- I believe I've done a past episode on there is no past. So you may want to look and I don't mean to send you on a wild goose chase. I don't know the title of it. But I do know that I did do a podcast on erasing the past. And I'll talk about, because that's what Darla asked about, is how do I release and forgive my past? Two very different things there, releasing the past when the past doesn't exist is one thing, which I'll talk about in just a bit and forgiving is something else. So I want to take this apart, she said, Darla said, “I've made mistakes.” I don't really think this is name dropping because most of you will not know the name. But I want to share a story from a man that I knew personally, he's not on the planet anymore. And he made what many of us would call a gargantuan like, like, colossal, major massive mistake in his life. This man, I'm actually I'm not gonna say his last name. Those of you that are older would know his name. But this man, I knew personally back in the 90s when I lived in Atlanta, I knew him for some time, as I said, he's no longer on the planet. But this man is one of the three president's men, meaning he was one of the three men around Richard Nixon. And he was a senior level advisor to President Richard Nixon. This man, actually, he authorized the Watergate break in. And I never said anything to him about it. I mean, I knew him in a different context. It was all, you know, business that I knew him in. But I never brought it up. And then one time on PBS, yes, back before we had, you know, things that we have now as well. I think we only had channels back then. We did have cable. But I saw this documentary and this man was talking about things that had happened during the Nixon administration, which obviously led to the impeachment proceedings with Richard Nixon. Now, this man as history, you know, reports it and as he would say, to some degree, this man authorized the Watergate break in which ultimately brought down Richard Nixon and I was talking to him one day and I don't want to mention his name. Again. I don't know why just hit me. Just not to say his name. But I said, “You know, I said, I want to thank you for telling your story publicly, because it helps me learn more about history.” And he looked at me and he grinned and this is all that he said. He called, he called me, Jimmy. He said, “You know what, Jimmy, he goes, we make mistakes in life. We make amends, and we move on.” And that's all that he said. We make mistakes in life. We make amends, and we move on. And I'm kind of giggling here. The reason I tell you this story, I mean, we've all made mistakes. I mean, welcome to the planet. But I mean, if this isn't a colossal mother of all mistakes, bringing down an American presidency, then what is the mistake, right? I mean, seriously, and when he said that, it was a great reframe for me, and it changed my life because I remember walking away after lunch that day, and I even said to myself, I mean, I'm driving, I'm, you know, I'm in the car. I'm driving home. And I'm like, I mean, he made them Mother of All mistakes. If he can say that, I mean, this guy's an expert on mistakes. And if he can say that, then any mistake that I made with you know, could be trivial. You know, I make a mistake, I make amends and I, which I'm talking to Darla, I'm talking to every one of you, move on.

Okay, so I'm going to get to that in just a little bit but I want to share when Darla says, “Well, I've made mistakes.” You know, I don't even look at life as mistakes. I mean, we do what we do and then there's outcomes. And I might usually, you know, maybe, and I say the word usually, but I might colloquially use the word mistake like “Oh, I made a mistake.” And really how I look at it at an emotional level is that you know, what I do what I do I get outcomes. If I don't like the outcomes, then I change what I do. So I keep it pretty simple, but I am not one of those people in my life after I heard this from this man. I am not one of these people at all. And I mean, almost at all. I'm not one of these people that dwells on mistakes that I made in the past because, as I said, the past doesn't exist, and even mistakes, if used properly, they are learning experiences. So as I said just a couple of minutes ago as well, she said, You know, “I failed myself and others multiple times.” Well, you know, Darla, this is actually really good, because guess what, you're a human. I mean, welcome to the human race and welcome to Earth school.

So when you say things like, “I failed myself,” I mean, jeez, everyone, there's not a single person listening to this podcast, that hasn't failed himself. I mean, whether it's something you know, from, and I'm just kind of giggling here, but he's not on the planet, whether it's from bringing down an American presidency or failing yourself with your diet. I mean, there's the whole gamut of air quote, “failing yourself.” So, I'm thinking here as I'm going through this, as I said, I'm not one of those people. I do not beat myself up anymore. It's like, Oh, I didn't do this. I didn't do that. Plain and simple. I'm responsible for my life. You know, my life. I must be 100% integral and if I'm not, if I'm not, I must get back into integrity. But it's far as beating myself up for who I've let down or including myself, geez, if I beat myself up for letting myself down, I'd never stop beating myself up. And then I go to well, okay, when is enough? You know, I'm asking you guys, if you're beating yourself up, when is enough beating yourself up? I mean, is it you know, January the first? Is it four years from now? Is it 17 years in the future? I mean, when, when are you, you know, do you have enough of beating yourself up? And then to what degree do you beat yourself up as well? I mean, do you just beat the hell out of yourself for you know, your past and you know, that you haven't let it go? Or is it kind of like eh blip on the radar? So I want you to look at that also. But the main question I asked you for those of you that beat yourself up is when? When is it time? When will you know how to stop beating yourself up?

Okay, next, you say, it's an interesting way that you wrote this, is you say that “the past won't leave me.” And the way that you phrase that is almost as if it's something that you have no influence over, when you have complete influence over your thought processes. So what I want to share with you also is that it's really nothing to do with the past that won't leave you and it's not the past that you want to leave you. It's your thoughts about the past. When I was a hypnotist, people would ask me all the time, they would say things like, “You know what, Jim, can you help me, you know, forget about a relationship?” And that's what a lot of people want is “Can you help me forget about a relationship with hypnosis?” And I would say no, I mean, what happened is what happened. It's in your, you know, long term memory. It's something that happened in your past. What I can do though, is I can help you shift your feelings about the relationship, because see, it's not the relationship you want to forget. It's the feelings about the relationship. And I'm saying the same thing to Darla. It looks like here she's working in multiple layers of, she felt bad in the past and now she's feeling bad for feeling bad for making mistakes. I know I kind of jumbled coming out of my mouth. But, Darla, it's not the past that you want to forget. It's the feelings associated to whatever you deemed as mistakes in the past that you want to eliminate.

I do want to say analytically is that you're choosing, and I do want to say this is both conscious and unconsciously because what's coming from, you know, your thoughts about the past and your feelings are all coming from long term memory and that's actually unconscious. And there are ways we can actually shift that. I talked about hypnotherapy and hypnosis, you know, just a minute ago. I'll talk about it some more in just a moment. But I want to share with you here is that you're also making the choice. The operative word. And I you know, recently created a podcast on choice and it was titled “Life is Choice.” You're making the choice, which I'll get to in just a minute possible causes, you're making the choice to hang on to your old stories. And to some degree and it seems like, I don't want to put any words in your mouth or anyone else's, but it seems like to some degree that you're getting in the victim mentality. And that victim mentality would be is “My past just won't leave, and there's nothing that I can do about it.” So just food for thought, you know? Are you into a bit of victim mentality with your thoughts about the past?

Let me keep on going here you say, and this could be very true. And we're going to dig into this. You say, “Maybe it's because I have identified with it.” Now, you've said, meaning your past, maybe that's why you don't release it is because you've identified with it. So a question that I have for you is this. How specifically have you identified with your past? And your whole email here is very generic. I mean, when you say you made mistakes in your past and you've identified with your past, I mean, does that mean when you spit gum down on a sidewalk? When you may be, I don't know left your dishes dirty dishes in the sink? I don't have enough information here. I don't know what you mean by the past. And I would have to guess also, it might mean if I'm just thinking aloud here that perhaps. Okay, let me think through this for a second. So what you're doing is you're feeling you didn't use the word guilt. But how do I release and forgive my past? As I'm looking at every bit of this, what I'm guessing that you mean is that in your mind, you have wronged someone and you're wondering how do I let this go? Now, you didn't even say that in your email but why else would you want to let go of your past? I mean it's not because you owe anything to a TV or your car keys or a desk, it's having to have some people. So I put that out there because I want to go a little further here with this.

So when you say you've identified with it, I want you to dig deeper, which I alluded to just a minute ago, is what specifically have you identified with? And then what do you make that mean about you? Consider that for a moment. So let's say that in your mind you've hurt someone or wronged someone. What have you identified with there? And then again, what does that mean about you? Does it mean that you are a air quote, “horrible person?” Does it mean that your mean malicious, vindictive? Doesn't mean that you're spiteful? What does it mean? You know, as I said, I don't script these podcast. What's interesting is human beings are as far as I know, the only species on the planet that beats himself up for being a human, you know, for being the being they are. You know, for example, if you look at a dog, a dog doesn't beat himself up because he bites somebody, or he doesn't beat himself up because he lived, you know, he heist his leg on somebody's property or something. I mean, that's just what dogs do. And when you look at him, I'm just laughing at that, you know, but that's what humans do. And then we actually we beat ourselves up many times for doing what humans do. I mean Darla, I want to share with you is that every one of us, I can tell actually by you asking the question is that you're progressing and you're looking for answers or you would not have written in. But every one of us, me included, every single one of us are in what I call Earth school. Every one of us are progressing, hopefully, and every one of us are hopefully actually having awareness and learning our lessons. So you're beating yourself up for being a human being. And if that's the case, that's where you want to work from, then what that means is you're going to spend the rest of your life beating yourself up because you're going to continue, even though you're progressing, you're going to continue to be a human. And if you're beating yourself up for doing what humans do, well, then good luck because you're going to be beating yourself up for the rest of your life.

So a question here, and I ask many questions like this in this podcast is tell me how will you know when it's time to stop beating yourself up? And I wish I could play a little Jeopardy music here and let you play that. How will you know it's time to stop beating yourself up? Okay, another question that I have for Darla and many of the rest of you is, what reward, what reward do you get for beating yourself up and hanging on to it? Everything we do whether we left brain analytically deemed to be bad or good, everything that we do, there is some benefit for it unconsciously. So, Darla, what reward do you get for beating yourself up and then feeling you know, feeling guilty about it? So what can be some possible rewards? One is do you get to enjoy self pity? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe you get to be like, “Oh, poor Darla, poor Darla, you know? Oh, poor me.” I don't know. Do you get to be a victim? Do you get to look at yourself and be a victim? And you get to castigate yourself and beat yourself up? If I was playing darts and I was throwing darts I would guess that part of this also Darla, and many others of you is that it's a matter of self worth also, so I would see how that feels, you know, try that and see if that fits for you. But I would think it's also a matter of self worth.

Okay, then Darla says, “but maybe I've identified who I am today too much with my past mistakes.” I want to share with, well let me ask you this first, Darla, what's the relationship between who you are today and your past mistakes? Notice the dichotomy here is identified who I am today, which is president with past mistakes, which doesn't exist. You're literally equating you know, not even apples and oranges but apples and kumquats or something or, or onions. I mean, there's no relationship between who you are today and your past mistakes.

I do want to point out you keep using the word mistake, and I want to go a different direction. There is a relationship between who you are today and your past but you are not your past. So consider that for a moment. The way that I look at it, which you alluded to in your email, is everything in my past has brought me to where I am today. But I am not my past. None of you are. No one listening, as a matter of fact, I've talked about this on another episode. The past doesn't exist. I mean, I don't know how many minutes I am into this episode but even one minute ago, that doesn't exist because time doesn't exist. So Darla, I want you to look at that. Is that you are who you are right now. And I also want to point out here is that all of us, we create our future based upon who we are right now, not based upon our past. Many of us live out of our past but yet we can actually choose in any given moment to create our next moment, and we can create our future by choosing right now in the now as opposed to living from the past.

Okay, so Darla's big question is this, is “How do I release and forgive my past?” Let me go here for a moment. I know I've told this story in the podcast, but I had a student of mine and she literally was saying, “I'm just not a very happy person,” an extended conversation with her but but she said, “Jim, please, please tell me how to be happy.” And you've heard me say before that happiness is a factory setting. I mean, you don't see babies when they start to smile and coo and they're giggling, you don't, infants, you don't see babies say, you know, “Hey, Mom, Dad, you know, please teach me how to be happy.” It's a factory setting. I mean, this is literally I mean, like divinity. We have this ability to be happy, which is an amazing state, and it's hardwired in us. I mean, it's like, like I said, a factory setting. And here's what I'm alluding to is that so many people in our world, people love to make things difficult. People want seven steps to everything. And what I told her is this. I said “The easiest way to be happy is to be happy.” And she really was so simple. She couldn't get her mind around it. So I want to point out that every one of you when you wake up in the morning, you can choose to think anything that you want. Because when you're unhappy that actually, that feeling is preceded by what you think. Because you feel how you think. So where I'm going here for all of you and for Darla is how do I release and forgive my past? Well, back to the person I'm talking about the way to be happy is to be happy.

Now, before I finish up with Darla here, what I want to share is a phrase that I've been taught is “The way is the way.” But that's not what we want. We want “Ooh, tell me seven steps to the way.” Okay, let me get my analytical mind around this. Let me concretize it. Okay, so if I'm going to go that way, I need seven steps on the way. And we I think we've all been there. No, the way is the way. So for Darla, how do I release and forgive my past? The simplest and the most complex but the simplest answer is to release and forgive. Plain and simple, release, and forgive, that's exactly how you do it.

What I learned many years ago, is that we love to make things so difficult, but we can change anything in an instant by moving our attention and choosing to let something go or choosing to start something new. But like I said, we like to make it really difficult as human beings. And I see it all the time with my students. I mean, I see people drowning in knee deep water, metaphorically speaking, when we literally can make life as simple as possible. And when we do that, and we come to know that life becomes so much more peaceful.

Okay, so forgiving here. You know, guys, you've heard so many different places, I believe. I don't know what you've heard, but talk about forgiving. I've never really resonated with that to a large degree because I've never held like lifetime grudges against people and been mad at people for 10 years or any of that. But what I know is this, is and I know this by being a hypnotist and I've observed it for so many years. Now, I cannot medically or scientifically validate this, it's just empirical experience, but I'm sure I could find some research to validate this- is many times I find that people, because there's an absolute mind-body connection, I find the people that have the most physical ailments also have the most mental ailments. And in particular, they're living which, I believe and I've come to learn is the lowest frequency vibration emotion is shame. I mean, that's like the opposite of unconditional love and peace which are the highest frequency feelings. Shame is the lowest. And so many people get into the shame and the anger and all these counterproductive emotions and especially around forgiving themselves and forgiving other people. All I'm going to say is this, is that forgiving and letting go is one of the most powerful places that you can live from. So take it for what it's worth. Forgive and let go and be at peace. Because the most powerful place that you can live from as a human being and I mean, the most powerful place is a state of what I call mental and emotional well-being. When you're in that place, you're literally in Nirvana, you're in bliss.

Okay, so a couple more things here. Let's get practical here for a moment, is Darla said “How can I release and let it go?” Well, you can just do it, Nike, just do it and release it and let it go. Or go back and listen to the episode on subconscious reprogramming, get the book that I mentioned in that episode, or find the qualified hypnotist in your area. What I tell people also is if you're going to go see a hypnotist, find somebody that's been certified by NGH, the National Guild of hypnotist. I'm sure there's many other wonderful hypnotist out there. But the reason that I say that is I know the standards for people that have been through NGH training, and they're well qualified to help most people with just about anything they want to work on. So go back to the episode I think it's oh I don't know 4, 5, 6, 7, somewhere in that area and there's an episode on subconscious reprogramming. Get the book that I recommend and start doing the exercises and things that you're learning in that book.

Okay, so, you know, when I think about the transformational takeaway for every episode, the one this episode that resonates I think the most with what we're talking about overall, is you are not your past. You are not your past, and the past does not exist. Okay, so that wraps up this episode. Episode number 79 coming up. 79, wow time flies, is, it's about your brain. It's about the reptilian part of your brain. And I've covered at some other places in this podcast and I want to cover it again. But epiode number 79 is about you are not in control, your brain is. You are not in control and many things that you think that you can control, I'm going to demonstrate to you in the next episode. No you don't. Your brain does it and science proves it. So coming up next episode, you're not in control, your brain is. Alright, thanks to all of you. Stay well and I'll catch you over on another episode and make it a great day to day. Bye bye.


Thank you for listening to this entire podcast. If you're the kind of person who likes to help others, then share this with your friends and family. You know, if you found value, they will too, so please share via your social media channels. Also, if you have questions, I'm here to assist. You can email me questions to and I may even use your question for a future podcast episode. Also, if you want transformational content like this daily, connect with me on Instagram. My Instagram name is @iamjimfortin. Finally, I do have a personal request. I believe that we're all here to help others and to grow and evolve ourselves. together. You and I let's help more people. If you would, please leave a review on iTunes, and a good one by the way, I'd be grateful and through your assistance together, we can transform more lives. Thanks for listening

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Jim Fortin

Jim is an international subconscious self-transformation and high performance expert with over two decades of expertise in brain based transformation and high performance. Using a brain based approach coupled with transformational psychology and ancient wisdom Jim has created programs that create long-term core-level life transformation in his students.

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