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Radical Self-Forgiveness offers a great deal more hope than does conventional forgiveness, as it is based upon Radical Forgiveness principles. Let me now explain those principles and summarize the difference between conventional forgiveness and Radical Forgiveness. I will, of course, be expanding on this as we go through the book.
Both Radical Forgiveness and Radical Self- Forgiveness/Self-Acceptance are contained within the same conceptual framework and under the same set of assumptions that have their roots in many spiritual traditions throughout the world.
If this is new to you, don’t worry. It is not quite as crazy as it seems, and it will become clearer as we go on. And in any case, the method does not require you to believe a word of it. That’s why we call them assumptions, not principles. All you have to be is a little bit open to the possibility that life is like this—that’s all.
What this leads to is the idea that there are no accidents, and at the spiritual level, no one is doing anything wrong or making any mistakes. We are all getting what we need for our soul’s growth, and each one of us is in service to the other in this regard. That means there are no victims and no perpetrators.
Obviously, this is very different from conventional forgiveness, which takes no account of the possibility that there was a spiritual purpose for what has happened. It references only human interpretations of right and wrong, good and bad, and has its feet firmly planted in the world of humanity. And that’s fine, of course. But it also takes victim consciousness as a given, and even though there is a desire for forgiveness, the core belief is that something wrong happened.
This is what makes forgiveness so difficult and why so few people ever achieve it—especially self-forgiveness. How can you forgive yourself if the core belief is that you have done something wrong or that you yourself are wrong? We do have to confront this issue in Radical Self-Forgiveness, of course, because we are living in the World of Humanity. There are exercises in this book that guide you through this process, looking at how we need to process our guilt and shame when deserved. But at the same time, when we contemplate the much bigger principle that in spiritual terms nothing wrong ever happened, that’s when our energy shifts, and we are more able to come to a place of peace about it. Bear in mind, though, that we are not processing that idea mentally. Using the tools, it all happens at the spiritual level.