Radical Forgiveness

by Nikki Mark

Last week, I mentioned a book called Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping. Whether you have lost someone you love, you are feeling lost, or you simply want to help a friend or family member navigate through either one, I highly recommend this book. Its principles apply to virtually any human dilemma and can help shift the way we experience them.

“We must choose whether to heal and grow, or to be right,” the book’s author asserts.

In other words, we can spend our lives blaming our parents for our problems. We can live as victims of our circumstances and complain about them to the bitter end. We can even choose to clog our bodies with a lifetime of resentment, anger, drugs, alcohol and/or sadness and feel unfairly abused when we fall apart.

Or… we can reshape the stories we tell ourselves about our wounds. Trust that they have something deeper to teach us. And start healing from the inside out.

“The people who seem to upset us the most are those who, at the soul level, love and support us the most,” Radical Forgiveness says.

This is hard for the human mind to grasp, but in every situation, Tipping says, each person is getting exactly what his or her soul wants. “Everyone is engaged in a healing dance.”

After my son passed away, I started to believe for the first time in my life that I had a soul separate from my body. I have never been a religious person. Nor was I a very spiritual one. But when tragedy struck, something mystical happened, and I can tell you that on some subconscious level that I may never understand, my soul was up to something.

One thing I wish I had known earlier in life that I now know is this: What we fear the most is what we attract into our lives.

If we fear betrayal, we will be betrayed. If we fear abandonment, we will be abandoned. And if we feel unworthy, our boss, our partner, or our best friend…whomever it is that enters our life to play the role, will excel at making us feel especially unworthy.

We do the same for them, by the way. Why? Out of love, Colin Tipping would say. Sounds like an absurd thing for us to do to ourselves and each other, but we do it, and our deepest selves, aka our souls, are the masterminds behind it.

If we think our lives would be more whole if we had another set of parents, we are wrong, says Tipping. “Any set of parents would have given us the same experience because that’s what our soul wanted.”

We don’t have to understand this. We just have to be open to the possibility that while our human minds and personalities are engaged in one experience, our souls are having another.

Like Alcoholic Anonymous, one of the largest healing clubs on earth, Radical Forgiveness doesn’t care about your background, religion or race. You only need to trust in something greater than yourself for it to work.

I have seen Radical Forgiveness mend strained relationships between parents and their children. I have watched it alter the way partners process betrayal. And I have personally used it to help me address aspects of my grief that I simply could not carry any longer.

We first have to walk through our grief to be desperate enough to start learning from it.

If you notice that certain types of relationships in your life usually end the same; if you feel lost and blame others for losing your way…or if you find yourself constantly attracting the same types of people into your life that you wish would go away…commit some time and give Radical Forgiveness a try.

Not only is the investment a lot less than a lifetime of suffering, but when we change the way we view our relationships, we change the way our relationships view us. And then, heart by heart, we begin to heal, ourselves and each other, from the inside-out.

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