There comes a time in our lives when we must take command, let go of all that "happened to us", and declare our lives as our very own.
All too often we find adults in their 40, even 50's and older still blaming their family of origin for stuggles that they are going through, even though perhaps one or even both parents have passed on.
When we blame others for our misgivings or short comings, we have given our lives over to those persons who we continue to blame. We are telling them "it's your fault that I have this deficiency" wherever that "deficiency" or struggle or hardship exists, rather than owning personal responsibility as full grown adults.
This gets us forever stuck in the original incident, and with at least part of us wanting revenge. It ties up our life force energy and deprives us from possibilies of joy and confidence that would be there for us if we could shift our perspective.
I strongly believe that in the healing process, there are stages of taking back one's power.
When one feels still victimized by their past, it is first very appropriate and usually crucial to spend time with professional therapists getting at the anger, rage, grief, loss, and other various emotions stuck in the mind, heart and even the cells of the body.
As we move through this release stage, we give ourselves permission to fully express these pent up emotions, we look for moments that we empowered ourselves during these situations (thereby recognizing our resiliency, strength, brilliance, adaptability, etc), we aim to develop compassion for our perpretrators (what wounds or unhealed places in their lives were motivating them) and we learn to look for spiritual and life lessons that the situations brought to us.
This can be powerful work; three of my clients who were incest survivors directly confronted their perpetrators after extensive work during our sessions over time. Two received apologies, one was scoffed and rediculed, but in all cases each person experienced a powerful life transformation from wounded child to strong adult and the transformation was deeply moving for each of us.
There comes a time after this cathartic work where radical forgiveness needs to occur as a final releasing step.
Radical forgiveness is an outlook originated by Colin Tipping, and the philosophy is simple yet profound:
As souls, we chose our parents, relatives, etc to come to us and teach us powerful lessons about manifesting strength, brilliance, compassion, or any of a myriad of other wonderful loving traits - for our Divine spiritual evoluation and blessing.
In fact is was a soul agreement between our perpetrators and ourselves for this to occur and in some cases, it involved considerable sacrifice on the part of our soul partner to honor their part of the agreement and treat us as they agreed to do.
In addition, even though the situation might have felt traumatic as it occured, when we come around to see the Gift that we gained during the situation, we come to bless the individuals who were involved in the situation and actually thank them for the service that they performed for us. We see them as in their own way serving as teachers and healers.
When we acknowledge the Gift that these individuals have brought or perhaps are still bringing to us, we have the potential to single handedly transform the relationship from one of conflict to pure love and gratitude.
As we shift within ourselves, our sparring partner so to speak suddenly opens their heart and the relationship transforms to amazing love beyond all imagination.
For some individuals the place of radical forgiveness occurs almost immediately after a devastating incident. For example, several years ago I read of policeman who was attacked and shot point blank by a criminal.
This left him severely disabled. Yet he pleaded for clemency for his perpetrator and in fact ended up traveling and speaking for peace and forgiveness in the whole justice system.
In some cases this process might only occur after years of post traumatic stress syndrome therapy.
However, in all cases, when we come to the point of radical forgiveness, we arrive at a complete re-framing of the event(s) and feel gratitude for our experience of it and what we discovered from it or how we blossomed forth in greatness as a result of the experience.
Forgiving vs. Forgetting:
Some individuals confuse these two terms. When we forgive, we let go of the emotional charge of the event, and feel inner peace, acceptance and even gratitude for what we learned.
Forgiving does not mean wiping the memory away. We can still remember what happened, and use this memory to assist others who are going through similar experiences.
The key is that when we speak of the forgiven experience, we have zero feeling of remorse, anger, resentment, hate, etc. as we speak. Only peace, acceptance and even thankfulness.
I strongly urge you to read Colin's book Radical Forgiveness (or listen to the CD series).
I believe that this is breakthrough or cutting edge work, and provides for us a potent bridge to wonderful healing within ourselves and our relationships.