Forgiveness as a radical concept

There are several difficulties with the traditional approach to forgiveness, the chief one being that it can be very difficult to accomplish.

by Beth Phillips — 

“To err is human; to forgive … radical.”* Radical? What is so radical about forgiveness? The concept of forgiveness has been around for millennia. Most, if not all, spiritual teachers and coaches probably include forgiveness in their tool boxes. So how is radical forgiveness different from the process of forgiveness with which we are so familiar?

What do you think of when you encounter the word forgiveness? Traditionally, forgiveness puts us in a dilemma. On the one hand, someone did something bad (or something bad happened) that upset us; on the other hand, we know we need to forgive in order to “get over it,” “move past it” or “let bygones be bygones.”

There are several difficulties with the traditional approach to forgiveness, the chief one being that it can be very difficult to accomplish. There are even some actions (such as genocide or slavery) and perpetrators (think Hitler or Saddam) that society encourages us to hold as being unforgivable. Traditional forgiveness can take years, it may involve extensive and expensive therapy, and it tends to keep us in victim consciousness.

Now, however, we have available to us a newer, very different approach to forgiveness. Radical Forgiveness is a spiritual self-help technology developed by Colin Tipping, author of Radical Forgiveness: Making Room for the Miracle. Compared to traditional forgiveness, Radical Forgiveness is very easy. It is also virtually instantaneous, it is inexpensive and it gets us out of “victim-land.”

Radical Forgiveness is a step-by-step process whose main tool is a worksheet that, for the most part, requires the individual completing it simply to read aloud, check some boxes and nod his or her head. There are several additional tools beyond the worksheet. For more information about Radical Forgiveness or how to use any of the tools, you can visit www.radicalforgiveness.com or read Tipping’s book.

*Apologies to A. Pope for “radically” altering his famous line.

 

Beth Phillips has a master’s degree in adult education and owned a tutoring service for 10 years. She is a freelance professional copy editor and is serving a six-month internship as a Radical Forgiveness coach intern. 602-995-7235 or eagleeyeeditor@msn.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 4, August/September 2006.

, , , , , , , ,
Web Analytics