E09: The Love Choice within Forgiveness and Relationships

Today we have the honor to dive deep with Dr. Paul Jenkins on several aspects of forgiveness, why it is critical, what it is and what it is not. Join us and learn how to move forward and not be stuck in victimhood.

Guest Bio

Dr. Paul Jenkins is a clinical psychologist specializing in the science and practice of positivity. As a coach, keynote speaker and trainer, author, and host of a popular podcast and YouTube channel, he empowers individuals, families, and influencers to go far beyond traditional therapy or positive thinking programs to create and live the life they love through powerful positive psychology processes.

For over two decades now, he has been accused of being pathologically positive so he has decided to embrace that title as the theme of his practice and the title of his first book.

Social media links Dr. Paul Jenkins:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pathologicalpositivity/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/drpauljenkins/?hl=en
Twitter https://twitter.com/drpauljenkins?lang=en
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/drpauljenkins/
Website – https://drpauljenkins.com/

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Transcript

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Dr. Allen Lycka here and I’d like to welcome you to How To Live A Fantastic Life Show. Where we’ll be discussing the important aspects of your life. We hope to inspire you to live the best life you can. Get out of your comfort zone and explore the awesome world around you. Break through your barriers. Take inspired action, use the difficulties in your life to achieve the best version of you. I’m Dr. Allen Lycka and today I’ve got a real special guest, Dr. Paul, who’s a clinical psychologist, and he specializes the science and practice of positivity. Wow, we shouldn’t need a lot of that these days, as a coach, keynote speaker and trainer and author, host of the popular podcast and YouTube channel, he empowers individuals, families, and influencers to go be on traditional therapy and positive thinking programs to create and live the life they love through powerful positive psychology processes. For over two decades now he’s been accused of being pathologically positive. So, he has decided to embrace that title as the theme of his practice and the title of his book. Well, thanks for being here today, sir.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

I am thrilled to be with you. Dr. Lycka you were on my show recently.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Yes, and we talked about some positivity to it. All right. I think the world is going through a funk right now. It’s a bad funk. It’s I don’t know if I’ve seen that this bad in the years that I’ve been around, at least it hasn’t been in recent memory. But everything seems to be dour everything. See, you turn on the news right now. And it’s not the world’s going to end tomorrow, it’s not that it’s going to end in 20 minutes. It’s like it’s going to end right now.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

Well, I think you’re right, you know, we talked about a pandemic. I think there’s a pandemic of poisonous pessimism going on out there. And, and you know what? Things are better than they’ve ever been in so many ways. You look at advances in technology and the way we’re able to connect to each other, and just all of the amazing, rich abundance that we enjoy as a species on the planet, and yet everybody’s complaining. What’s up with that?

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Well, you know, and I think I think I get part of it, you know, beginning of March, we started into a pandemic, you know, it came on us like crazy. I mean, no one was expecting this. I had just gotten back from Mexico. I jokingly said to my wife, when we were leaving, you know, dear, I think we can leave but I’m not sure we can come back. And within two days of coming back, everything was shut down everything. It was like, everything the carpets were rolled up, the houses were locked, everybody was supposed to stay indoors, and no one was supposed to do anything. And we didn’t, you know, this pandemic came on very quickly. It just started in about January in China, it spread around the world like wildfire. And now it’s still spreading like crazy. Now, the thing about this, right now, we know more about it than we did back in January. We know more about it than ever. So, we have the means and ability to understand things a fair bit. Not that we’re totally in control yet but we understand the processes that are going on, we are understanding what’s going on. And yet, the negative news is out there every day and the I guess it’s the, the contradictory statements that come out from everybody within such a short period of time. I think people don’t know where to turn to. And I think that’s causing some of the pessimism.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

Yeah, for sure. And it brings to light something that I think is really, really important to understand. And it has to do with this positivity, now we’ve all heard it right. Just think positive, which can be annoying if it’s just thrown out there like a trite, fluffy motivational speaker kind of a thing. But when you understand the psychology behind it, it changes the game. It puts us in a position to really have a powerful impact on our own life and our own experiences. So, we’re not talking about the trite, fluffy version today.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

No, I think we get criticized sometimes about magical thinking, you know, thinking it’s going to happen, you know, and there has been a lot of that thinking that’s gone on in the past, you know, just dream it, and the world is going to be a better place. Just dream and, and the world’s, you know, that was the message of the secret a little while ago, you know, and I think that is a bad message, because that really pervades pseudo-science. Now, people do need to be positive, but just thinking it isn’t going to make it happen.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

No, it’s like a prerequisite. It’s not the whole course. And I think Rhonda Byrne got it right in the secret when, when she pointed out, hey, and the essential element here is for us to be able to envision what we want and steer our thinking in that direction. But it’s not a magical thing. I remember in the movie version of the secret, this little kid was wishing for a bicycle, right, and so he just pictured it, and he put up pictures of it in his room. And he opened this door one morning, and there was. Well, the movie doesn’t show how the grandfather or whoever it was went out and worked to obtain money to go purchase a bicycle and haul it over there with his pickup truck.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

And it didn’t show that the kid actually gave the message to his grandfather to go and buy it. And gave him this dream that it was there, you see the dream was important. But without all the other stuff. It’s just doesn’t happen.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

It’s just a dream at that point. These are natural laws and I have found this in my career as a psychologist that principles, or natural laws, we can use those almost interchangeably determine all of life’s outcomes, all of them. And if we don’t understand a principle, we’re likely to go out and harm ourselves because we don’t fully understand the principle. It’s like gravity, you never get up in the morning and think, Hmm, I wonder if gravity is on today. It tends to be in every location I’m aware of.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Having the space shuttle or something like that floating around, but not too many of us are up into outer space, there floating around without gravity,

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

Right? And even their gravity is working we just don’t experience it the same way. Because if you’re in orbit, you’re actually falling toward the earth and missing because you’re traveling so fast.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

So, gravity is still on.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

So, you know, we’ve got to understand this whole process. And, you know, I think that’s part of what I did, when I created The Secrets To Living A Fantastic Life. I created some golden pearls that people have inside themselves. And I didn’t invent these, everybody has them inside themselves. But they’re basic principles that if people concentrate on them, their lives will be better, their lives will be made better. And that’s what I was trying to get at it. And the main principle of my book is something simple and it was said by Epictetus, way back 2000 years ago, and it’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens. And I and I think that’s a very important part of positivity. If you look at the world in a dour way, and think everything’s going to go wrong, and no matter what you do, everything’s going to go wrong, that isn’t a healthy way of looking at things. But if you look at things and say, you know, if I put these steps together, if I do this in this way, this is how I’m going to make my day better. This is how I’m going to make the world better. And that’s the foundation of positivity.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

Right. You know, it’s not magic it’s not luck. There are principles behind all of this as you were sharing that Allen, I was just thinking about a friend of mine Bill Stainton has 29 Emmys, which is crazy. I mean, he used to work there, right for Seinfeld and other popular television programs, and he knows his stuff. And, he said that one of the secrets to good content is that you get to think about television, you get your hero up the tree, and then you start throwing rocks at him. Because this is what creates an inspiring context for that hero to emerge from whatever the context is. And, if you think of life as a game, and or maybe it’s a television show, and the writers just put us up a tree with the pandemic, and now they’re throwing rocks at us, with the political structure, whatever it is, right? This is simply the context in which we, as a species, and as individuals to get to rise from and within the context that we’ve been given. And I love your concept of golden pearls, these pearls of principle inside of us that will allow us to take whatever the context is and create something beautiful from that. We’re not done yet.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

No, we’re not. And the thing is, I’ve realized, and my coauthor Harriet have realized as these golden pearls are definitely inside yourself. And all you have to do is look for them, all you have to do is let them come to the surface, all you have to do is bring them to the surface. And I think that is some of the fundamental parts of life and love that very, very few people can really understand that really get to the to, really make it one. And, you know, I think that’s what everybody has to do. And I’m just going to go through some of these golden pearls. And I’d like you to say how maybe some of these might fall into your, thinking of positively, you know, three of these are: Love, Forgiving and attitude. Now, just think of those three, there’s 13 of them and there, will be more in our second book. But those three in itself, can you see how positive let’s say forgiving can be?

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

You know, it’s funny because you mentioned love first, my second book is based on love.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Yes, there you go.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

The love choice. Forgiveness, this is the most important relationship concept, I think we can possibly master. Forgiveness, and it doesn’t mean that saying that what happened was okay, that’s not what it means, it’s a detachment emotionally. So that you can take whatever it is, that showed up for you to get hurt, for example. And you’re going to, I’m sorry, to burst anyone’s bubble about this but if you’re living breathing human being, you’re going to get hurt. And some of that hurt is going to come from people you love people you care about. And so, when you get hurt, you’ve got two courses of action, you can go down the grievance road. And that’s simple. All you have to do is get hurt. Make sure you over personalize the offense, take it very personally, this is important if you want a good grievance, blame someone else for how you feel, and then create a victim story where you get to be the pitiful victim who was beat up by this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad villain. That’s the way to form a grievance. And I set that up as a contrast because forgiveness, which is one of your golden pearls, psychologically is created if we take a different choice here. So instead of the grievance route, turn your brain on.  And when I say that Allen, I’m acknowledging your brains always on, but different parts of your brain do different things. And there’s a part of your brain neurophysiologically that is designed to keep you alive. It’s about survival. And that part of your brain, if it perceives any kind of threat, it kicks you into the fight or flight response, which is a chemical response that your brain and body has in order to preserve you another day. We have to turn on a different part of our brain. It’s in the prefrontal lobe. It’s the part of your brain that’s in charge of compassion and empathy and logic and reason and problem solving. That part of your brain is very separate from the limbic system that controls the fight or flight response. So, we physiologically take control over that. You can do this by breathing, making sure you get enough sleep, get some regular exercise, take care of the equipment. And then after doing that, you turn your brain on, okay, second step, find a way to take it less personally. Talk to a coach or somebody else really, this is not about you, it is you, because it happened to you and that’s why it’s easy to take it personally, it’s not about you, this kind of stuff happens to all kinds of people. So, find a way to take it less personally. Step three take full responsibility for how you feel. You’re not going to blame anyone. And I spend a lot of time coaching people through that, because that’s simple, but not easy, simple and easy aren’t the same thing. take full responsibility for how you feel. And then step four, create a new story, a hero’s story, where you show up as this amazing hero in the context of, you know, being driven up a tree and having rocks thrown at you.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Yeah, you know, the thing about forgiveness is pretty important. Because, you know, when you forgive somebody, it’s saying that another person is more important to you than the act that they committed. And that is truly a survival mechanism, that that is truly the survival mechanism. Because the act really is usually not that important but that other person in the relationship often is. So, no matter what that act was, I don’t care if they, they called your mother a bad name, maybe she were army boots or something, you know, something like that, I’m just trying to make it a little bit humorous as well. You know, the point is, no matter what the act was, it’s not as important as what the person is to you. And secondly, you know, when you don’t forgive, it’s like, you know, what, what kills you when a snake bite you is not the snake bite, it’s the venom that keeps going on inside of you, and this is the way to get rid of the venom, it’s the way to really do use the antidote for the venom, so to speak. And that is what’s so unusual about forgiving is that it’s not a natural Act, the fight, flight, fright reaction is the natural act. But we are now given this overpowering thing to overcome it.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

And we have in the same brain that controls our fight or flight response, a different part of the brain, okay, but it’s in the same brain, we have the natural response of forgiveness. But this is a higher energy level of response. This requires what I call the cognitive override, where you get, you get the logical, compassionate thinking part of your brain to take charge over the animal response, limbic system that has you in fight flight or freeze.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

And that’s huge. While we’re getting close to the end here, Dr. Paul, so I want to do two things. First, I want to say, you know, this is The Secrets To Living A Fantastic Life Show. What do you do to have a fantastic life?

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

I’m going right back to a word that you mentioned earlier, in our conversation here today, and that is attitude.  Attitude, I learned some things about this from my son, Allen, he’s a newly licensed pilot and he took me up in a little two seat sport cruiser one morning, a couple of weeks ago, we had a beautiful ride through the foothills and across the state and into another one, back before breakfast. And he pointed out to me on the control panel, the most important instrument in the cockpit of that airplane is the attitude indicator.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

That’s a very important one, that’s a very important one.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

Did you know it was an aviation term? It means we think attitude is how we feel it’s not it affects how we feel. Attitude is position. What position do you take? And in a plane, it’s the position of the plane relative to the ground or the horizon and that is really important.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

That’s really very important because if the grounds too close, you’re in trouble.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

Down attitude is heading you in the hard stuff.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Yeah, that’s right.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

That’s true in life, too. What is our position? See, we don’t get to control what’s happening. Often around some stuff just shows up like a global pandemic. Here you go, surprise. This is your context. Now, what is your position about that, and that position will determine your trajectory or where you’re going. That’s extremely important and I’ve really thought about that, Allen, since that early morning flight.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Well, I can understand that, and I’ll have to tell you a story about me and planes. It’s a very funny story it came out to a good ending, but it was, you know little planes and I don’t get along since that time but we’ll save that for another episode.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

That’s another chat, sure.

Dr. Allen Lycka

The good thing about all this is we really are in control of our destiny. It’s not what happens to you most of the time. You know, there are some things that happen, you have no control over in your destiny, you can’t do anything. But you know, when you can, you should be steering that plane appropriately, you should be taking the controls and doing the things appropriately and doing all you can in there. And I would like to give all our guests a little present today, I’d like to give them 52, golden pearls, Dr. Paul, all they have to do is text me the word golden pearls to 1-819-717-2515. That’s 1-819-717-2515 the words golden pearls. And I will send them 52 golden pearls one a week for the next 52 weeks to help with that attitude and help them do better. And how can they get in touch with you if they so desire, Dr. Paul,

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

You know, what I would invite you to do is to come to Live On Purpose Central, there is a.com for that liveonpurposecentral.com. That’s where we put everything we’re doing. We’re doing our podcast, we’ve got books, the courses, the live events, my office hours, there’s so many ways to interact with us over at Live On Purpose Central, I’ve got a team of coaches that are assisting and we’re creating a community of people who are ready to live on purpose, and really hone in on The Secrets To Living A Fantastic Life.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

You know, Dr. Paul, this, again, is one of the highlights of my day. I think everybody should always have a list of things that make their day proper. You know, when I looked at my list today, and I said Dr. Paul was going to be on today, I knew this day was going to be extraordinary. I knew this day was going to be special. And I said wow, isn’t it a great opportunity to share with others again, and help them to live a fantastic life like we’ve been able to?

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

Right? It lights us, I’ll speak for both of us, maybe it lights us up to see the lights go on for other people out there on a similar mission with that. And similarly, I looked at my calendar day and I’m like sweet Dr. Allen Lycka again. Awesome!

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Wow, great. And we will make this another show at another time. I was blessed last week because I got another book that became a bestseller The Pillars Of Success with Jack Canfield, it became a best seller last Thursday. It was just released on Thursday and became a best seller the same day. And I’ve got a third book coming out right, now called Business Life And The Universe with a fellow by the name of Corey Poirier.  That will definitely be a bestseller too. So, three best sellers and the pandemic of 2020. Now my friends said are you crazy what you know, are you doing one book in the pandemic? I said, of course, now they see three they’re saying oh my god.  Anything is possible Paul if you put your mind to it.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

I agree. I built I the entirety of Live On Purpose Central since the pandemic started.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Yeah. And look how many people you can help as a result.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

These are times of great opportunity that is an attitude or a position that I’ve chosen to take, and it’s been serving me well.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Wow, that’s fantastic, well, Dr. Paul, thank you again for being on our show. Thank you for spending the time with us. Thank you again for making this so special for our guests out there.

Dr. Paul Jenkins 

Thank you. The pleasure is mine and I so appreciate your including me in this great work that you’re doing. Thank you, Allen.

Dr. Allen Lycka 

Thank you. Thank you very much. I’m Dr. Allen Lycka. Make sure you go to DrAllenLycka.com. That’s D r a l l e n Lycka – L y c k a.com and get a free copy of my book, The Secrets To Living A Fantastic Life. And subscribe to our podcast on this page, so you won’t miss a single episode. Every week we have exciting guests to help you have the best life you can.