The first step to gaining Personal Power is Radical Forgiveness. While Forgiveness can be a touchy subject, and one many aspire to practicing, it can also seem downright impossible. When someone has harmed us, we might wonder why we should do the Forgiving—especially in a situation where the other person is unwilling or unable to apologize.
Interestingly, the Aramaic word for Forgiveness (shbag) literally means to untie. How bound up do we feel when we hold onto resentment, shame, blame or anger?
This bound-up state keeps us imprisoned, in our own negative, and sometimes even toxic emotional state. There is a better way to live, and that is in a state of Radical Forgiveness.
It starts with the realization that every single person on this planet is doing the best they can, where they are, with the tools they have. As you become aware of this fact, and understand it fully, you will be able to live a in a state of Radical Forgiveness.
Woah—I know that sounds crazy, what about the bad people?
There are no bad people.
People are people. There are those who have lots of positive tools in their toolbox, like self-love, acceptance, good health, positive self esteem, prosperity and access to education and a loving and supportive network. And then there are those who have very few of those tools, along with a ton of fear (fear of failure, fear for personal safety and security, fear of rejection, and many, many more), self-loathing, poverty, lack of education, isolation and possibly even physical or mental illness as a result of real or perceived trauma.
Some or most of those tools and traits may even get passed down through family lineage through genes. We’re just beginning to uncover the scope of Epigenetics and its effects on people’s lives.
And guess what? You can’t ever really know or understand where a person is coming from because even the most empathic among us has no way to walk in another (wo)man’s shoes.
The first step to forgiveness is the willingness to forgive. —Marianne Williamson
Perception is Projection. This means that what you are seeing in the world around you is a projection that is filtered through your belief systems, your past experiences, your culture, as well as your physiology. These filters alter your perception of what you’re seeing—just as a filter on a camera has the ability to tint the resulting photograph.
An example I often use is that of two people walking in the park, and encounter a large, friendly dog. For one person, the experience can be terrifying and scary, and for the other, it can be delightful and fun. Same outer situation, two totally different experiences based on each person’s feelings about dogs.
As much as you might adopt this understanding that Perception is Projection, and that each person operates in the world with the tools they have, Radical Forgiveness is when you live your life in a way of complete non-judgement.
It’s when you have the ability to consistently give people a pass, because you know you can’t possibly know their story, and that their story is outside your circle of influence, meaning your own story, your own beliefs, words, actions and consequences.
However, Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation, condoning, spiritual bypassing or positive thinking. Just because you’re willing to let go of the angst, anger, resentment and blame you may be holding over another, for the sake of your own positive emotional state, it does not mean you have to reconcile with him or her—nor does it mean what they did was ok.
It may really not be ok. But you will be ok, because your future will be Free of anger, angst, resentment, hatred and blame.
However, Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation…
And by choosing to drop those toxic emotions and take care of that which is within your own circle of influence, you will make room for unimaginable Joy and Happiness—trust me. I’ve seen it again and again with clients who have taken control of their emotional state, and therefore of their life.
Bliss is not only possible when you start with Radical Forgiveness, it’s inevitable.
If you haven’t already downloaded Your 4-Step Roadmap to Personal Power, get it here—what’s your Superpower?