Moving Forward: The Power of Forgiveness in Overcoming the Past

In this episode, host Steven Webb shares his personal journey of working on self-forgiveness and discusses the profound impact of forgiveness. He explores the steps involved in the process and encourages listeners to embark on their own journey of forgiveness. Join us as we delve into the transformative power of forgiveness on Stillness in the Storms.

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  • 00:00 Others’ actions have long-lasting consequences on us.
  • 04:07 Bullied at school, struggled with silence.
  • 06:42 Struggling with forgiving myself, but getting better.
  • 10:55 People often act without understanding consequences. Forgiveness.
  • 15:45 Imagining hospital date after impressive dive. Forgiving.
  • 17:02 Forgiveness is important. Find the gift.

The Power of Forgiveness: “Not forgiving someone is like handing them poison but drinking it yourself.”

— Steven Webb [00:02:1900:02:24]


Steven Webb [00:00:01]:

Hello, and welcome to Stillness in the Storms. I'm Steven Webb, your host. And this is the podcast that helps you to see life differently to get you through the most difficult times. I'm gonna talk about forgiveness this week because it's such an important subject. I'm working on forgiving myself. I say that with a deep breath working on it because every time I think I've done it, every time I think I'm there, I realize I'm not at all. And it's an ongoing process and it keeps coming up. And each time I catch it quicker but it does mean it's still there, there's still work to be done and I think that's normal.

Steven Webb [00:00:42]:

So first of all, thank you for donating to the show. Thank you for the coffees. Thank you for being members. And if you'd like to support the show, the shows are becoming more popular, and I'm still I don't want to go down the sponsorship route. I suppose you guys sponsor it really by treating me to a coffee and helping to pay for the show and the hosting. So just deeply grateful to you for supporting me, supporting the show, and by doing that, you're helping others. You're awesome. And if you cannot support the show in that way, just leave a review or just follow it or whatever on your platform.

Steven Webb [00:01:20]:

It all helps. It all helps these algorithms and things like that. Don't really understand them, but I know it helps. So thank you. Alright. Let's get on with today's show because there's a lot to cover. And knowing me, I will go off on tangents, and I will come back and all that. And I've got a screen in front of me with loads of different pages of notes that I've been looking up over the last few days about forgiveness.

Steven Webb [00:01:46]:

And I wanted to simplify it and go back because I've kind of been procrastinating over this show too much. And I've tried to record it a couple of times and I've gone and deleted it because forgiveness is a huge, huge topic. But, boy, is it so rewarding. It really is for ourselves and I know that's a a simple meme, but it really is. It frees us. I think it was a Buddha that said, and I haven't got this quote in front of me so I'm probably gonna butcher it, but I think it was the Buddha said, not forgiving someone is like handing them poison but drinking it yourself. And that's so true. Very often someone does something to us.

Steven Webb [00:02:29]:

They may not realize the consequences of what they do, and they get on with their lives, and you're left with all the mess. You're left the one to deal with it for many years to come. And they're off doing their thing. And especially when it comes to relationships and things like that, people do make mistakes in relationships. They go and do these terrible things. And then before you know it, they're off on the next, I don't know, next thing that they're doing or whatever, and not a sparing of thought for you or the people are left behind in the aftermath. And especially as we're children, so many things happen to us as we're growing up from abuse and parents and siblings and I don't know whether it's relentless or whether it's one offs and things like that. There's so many things that happen to us.

Steven Webb [00:03:18]:

I remember being bullied at school. I don't think I've ever shared this story. So when I moved to Truro, we were first of all, we moved into a caravan, and then we moved into a house near my local primary school. And as I moved in there, I was the new kid on the block. And above that estate, there was another estate that I had to walk through every single day coming home from school or going to school. And I was I don't know. It may have been 10. I used to always my last lunch break, I used to make sure my coat and my bag was either in my hand or I it was there ready for me to pick up really quickly because I had to get to the green area on the estate above me before this particular person.

Steven Webb [00:04:07]:

If he got there before me, I I either had to run the gauntlet through him and his friends or I had to go the long way around. And if I went the long way around, I would get in trouble with my parents who'd been late, but I couldn't tell my parents I was being beaten up in this new school that I loved. I didn't mind the school. I just didn't like being beaten up most days on the way home. And this guy that did it to me for so many years, I really I grew to really hate him. And now that I look back, I know he was trying to fit in with his peers and he was trying to do his thing. He seemed me as a vulnerable person that he could climb through the ranks of hierarchy the way they were seen on The Estates and all. But, ultimately, it was about 3 years later that I heard a voice screaming out, help.

Steven Webb [00:05:00]:

Help. And I went to see it was him. And he cut his leg, and I ran to get his parents all the way up through the top of state. And his mom come down, and we got into hospital and he I bumped into him. I did that a couple of years ago in town. And he said to me, you saved my life. You have no idea how much you saved my life. I remember saying, yeah, you believe me.

Steven Webb [00:05:22]:

You used to beat me up on the way home from school. And he so brushed it away. He's like, yeah, we did really matter, though, do it. It's like, yes. It really did. It really had an impact on me. And I think really with me saving his life so many years later, I don't think I saved his life at all. He would not have bled to death.

Steven Webb [00:05:41]:

I don't think he was any kind of real danger, But he believed that and I think in some way that helped me to forgive him and move on because it changed the hierarchy. I don't know why I shared that story. That was a really I'm gonna quickly share another story about, forgiveness of myself, if you don't mind. It still makes this podcast slightly longer. When I dived into the swimming pool, I had no idea that I was gonna blame myself for the next 30 years. I had no one to blame when I broke my neck. I dived in myself. I broke my neck.

Steven Webb [00:06:18]:

I ended up severely paralyzed in a wheelchair And for 30 years, I would not like asking people for help. I always wanted to give back. I would go into a shop and someone would say, would you like me to pass that to you? I go, No. Thank god. I'm alright. So I didn't like putting on people. I always felt I was a burden to people, and I still feel that now. I have carers that are paid and things like that.

Steven Webb [00:06:42]:

I still feel like I'm a burden to everybody And that's because I have a deep shame that I haven't forgiven myself. It's getting better. I'm reducing it. But sometimes I feel that it would be easier for me to have someone else to blame than I would have a focus to someone to forgive, an actual tangible person to forgive. When we're trying to forgive ourselves, how do we do that? Of course, Stevie exists in some way in the narrative inside of me as an ego. But how do you forgive that person when that was the person that did it to that person? It's the same entity. And it's really difficult because we have inside information. So, yeah, I I'm finding it difficult to forgive myself.

Steven Webb [00:07:35]:

And I just want to say how much the work I did to forgive myself, it's not there yet, but it's to the point where I'm able to ask you. Say, can you donate to this podcast? I'm able to ask for help because I don't have editors. I don't have the means. I don't have a full time job and things like that. I'm hoping these podcasts at some point will give me an income. I'm hoping the more people I help and reach will get me to a point where I can have a monthly income and I can be more proud of what I do. Meanwhile, I love what I do. But there is still an element of shame.

Steven Webb [00:08:20]:

And that shame held me back for such a long time. I just wouldn't ask. And I remember being at an air show about a year after my accident, and a couple of servicemen said, would you like to sit in the cockpit of the fighter jet? I said, oh, no. No. No. No. And I got my carer to push me out of the way, and we went off from the rest of the show. But I realized years later that those guys wanted to help me.

Steven Webb [00:08:49]:

I deprived them of helping me, and that was my shame. And I never realized it come down to forgiving myself. Unless I forgive myself, I would always have that shame rumbling along. So although I've lifted out of that feeling most of the time now, it still does come up. I don't know I don't know if it helps sharing that story. But forgiving ourselves is really difficult. So I wanna talk about the 5 step process that Jack Kornfield shares about forgiving. And the first one and I think the first one is understanding the hurt, you know, recognising and acknowledging the pain that you've experienced or caused.

Steven Webb [00:09:35]:

It's about being honest. It's about being honest with yourself. It's be being honest with the hurt without suppressing or exaggerating it. I think that's really important. It's painful enough without actually exaggerating it. And you cannot just push it away. Because if you push away pain and hurt, it just keeps rumbling along. And then the next phase is empathy and compassion.

Steven Webb [00:10:01]:

This stage involves developing empathy and either for those who have wronged us or for ourselves, you know, recognizing that I couldn't do any different. It's what I've done. It's okay. You know? Don't be so harsh. Having a little compassion for them. Very often, people do things that they don't mean to do. They don't know the consequences. They're not thinking about your life ahead and what their little bit of bullying or their their what they say or what they do is how it's going to affect you for sometimes decades ahead.

Steven Webb [00:10:37]:

They have no idea. It was Jesus when he was been nailed to the cross. Forgive them. They don't know what they do. I don't think he said it quite that way. I think he said it a lot more adequately than I said it. Well, it's certainly written in the Bible a lot more adequately anyway. But forgive them.

Steven Webb [00:10:55]:

They don't know what they do. And people do things and then years later, think, why did I do that? I wish I had none that. And I think we got to understand that when people do things, they're not always aware of the consequence of what they do. Very often, a lot of the time, they're not even aware of what they're doing. And number 3 is willingness to forgive. You have to be willing to forgive. Very often, we think on the outside, yeah, I'm willing to forgive them. I forgot about it.

Steven Webb [00:11:28]:

I've moved on and all that. Have you really? And bear in mind, this has not anything to do with them. You don't even have to communicate with them. You don't even have to talk to them. You don't even have to let them know you've forgiven them. It's all internally what you're doing internally. But you have to have that willingness to do it. It doesn't mean condoning the hurtful action.

Steven Webb [00:11:51]:

It doesn't mean that it was okay what they did. It just means that you get into grip with your emotional well-being. You're actually looking at it and seeing what you can do with it. Number 4, releasing the grievance. Here, the focus is on letting go of the story and the emotions that are tied to the hurt. Then letting go of it means it's no longer going to have a pull on you. It's still gonna be there. You imagine carrying a heavy weight that's on a string.

Steven Webb [00:12:31]:

When you leave it go, it drops on the floor. It's still there. You can still see it. You can still trip over it. It doesn't mean that it's gone. This forgive and forget, just it's impossible. But as you walk away from it, as you dropped it and walked away from it, it will start to fade. It will start to have less influence on you.

Steven Webb [00:12:55]:

There's less chance of it tripping you up. Do you know what? This is a really good metaphor. I'm like walking along the beach carrying a weight on a piece of string. It's like letting it go. It's not a matter of getting rid of it and forgetting it. It's actually very good lessons. And that moves on to number 5, reflecting on the benefits. Understanding the benefits of forgiveness such as inner peace, improved mental health, the ability to just move forward.

Steven Webb [00:13:28]:

Now that weight is not there. You're not dragging it. And the problem is when you're dragging it I'm gonna really milk this metaphor now. You're dragging it in a big hole in the sand. And as you're dragging it, as the years go on, there's more sand in front of it and you're leaving. The great big trench you're leaving in the sand is there for everybody to see. Sometimes we don't wanna be free. Sometimes it gives us a benefit to keep hold of this.

Steven Webb [00:13:56]:

If I leave go of this, I don't know who I'm gonna be. Who's my identity? This is important to me. This is who I am carrying this around. If you're listening to this and that is where you're to, I think you'll recognize it. With a heavy heart, you might recognize. You might try to deny it, but I think at each one of these stages, you'll see where you're to. And it's not about forgive everything. Forgive everything and move on or every single thing that's ever happened to us that other people have done or the things we've done from the mild things to the big things, they're all things that we have to work on with the with the forgiveness.

Steven Webb [00:14:41]:

So reflecting on the benefits was number 5. And finally, number 6, reconciliation or release. The final stage can be the reconciliation with the person involved, or in the case of self forgiveness, a reconciliation with oneself. I'm not sure quite what that looks like. I don't think maybe I've got there. You know? If I could do that with myself, what would it be? Like, sitting in a meditation and being okay with what I did, realizing that I didn't do a dumbass thing deliberately. It was a dumbass thing diving off Cornwall, but I was trying to show off in front of women. I was 18 years old.

Steven Webb [00:15:26]:

It's what 18 year old boys do. I didn't even get a date out of it. Okay. Well, I didn't get a date because I ended up paralyzed in hospital. So where was I gonna go the next day? Hey. Come and bring a meal in the hospital to me. Anyway, see going off on a tangent. I just find that really funny.

Steven Webb [00:15:45]:

It's like, you imagine lying in bed the next day, tubes are all hanging out at me. And one of the females that was there that night comes in and goes, I was really impressed for your dive last night. Here's a takeaway meal. Can we have a date in the hospital? Why am I even thinking about that? It just it just conjures up just such a brilliant image. I love it. Anyway, maybe that's where I am forgiving myself because in one way, I look at my accident that I don't know the alternative. And I think it's really important when it comes to the forgiveness, actually and I'm gonna talk about it briefly. You don't know what would have happened if they hadn't done what they did or you hadn't done what you did.

Steven Webb [00:16:24]:

You we often think that if they didn't cheat on us or they didn't hurt us or they didn't do that to us as a child, we often think the alternative is through a roast into glasses. And I'm not saying it's a good thing that happened. Not at all. And I wouldn't wish it on anybody to have bad things happen to them or them do bad things. But once something happened, you cannot go back and change it. There is no time machine. There is no way of changing what's currently happening, let alone what happened in the past. The only thing you can do is recognize that it happened, and this is the trajectory I'm on.

Steven Webb [00:17:02]:

You can change the trajectory, but it's really important with forgiveness that there is no alternative to what happened. And in actual fact, find the gift in it. Maybe maybe someone cheated or maybe someone hurt you. Maybe it stopped you from something worse that you don't know about. You know? Who knows? But, yeah, that's what I think about forgiveness. Forgiveness is so important. And I think when we look around our lives so what do what what thought do I wanna leave you with? I want to leave you with, can you work on something over the next 2 or 3 weeks? Perhaps you can go over to and message me something that you're gonna work on forgiving yourself or somebody else. Never mind.

Steven Webb [00:17:54]:

It's got nothing to do with them. They don't even know you're working on it. Trust me. They moved on. They don't care. They don't care whether you've forgiven them or not. Trust me. They they've got enough problems in their life without worrying whether you're forgiving them or not.

Steven Webb [00:18:11]:

And secondly, internally ourselves, what are we forgiving ourselves for? Because, otherwise, it'll keep bumming along and have effect on your life. So what one thing are you gonna that you've been dragging around in the sand that you're gonna let go of and move on? Just give that a thought. And if you would like to message me, email me. I would love I love hearing from you. Go to, and there's a link there where you can email me. Thank you to everyone that supports. If you could support the podcast, you're awesome. If you can donate a coffee, there's a link below where you can go to

Steven Webb [00:18:51]:

I think I've mentioned the website enough already. If you can leave a review, tick a star or whatever, follow the podcast. Best of all, just take a deep breath and forgive yourself. Just imagine what it's like to let that go. Take care, and I love you.