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Day 11: Radical Forgiveness – Why am I Doing This?


I remember attending a coaching conference and one of the topics was how to coach people who want to be less sensitive to things that that trigger negative emotions. After I shared a comment, the presenter looked at me and said, “Wow, you’re just one big button!”

He wasn’t trying to be mean. He was just making an observation but he was right, an awful lot of people and situations were making me angry and defensive.

It made sense because I had only recently made the decision to start a coaching practice and I was feeling really vulnerable.  I couldn’t rely on any of the coping mechanisms that worked in the corporate world. Instead of limiting my resentment to my boss, co-workers, and “management,” the world became my minefield. So many opportunities to be hurt, made angry, offended, etc!

Up until fairly recently, I had a certain comfort level with being a victim of unfairness and other people’s bad behavior. I usually just found other people to complain to or complained in my journal.

But I’ve gotten tired of feeling like every other step trips an old resentful or frustration. It’s like just waiting to be attacked so I can go into defensive mode. It is emotionally exhausting and it isn’t surprising that I wasn’t waking up in the morning rarin to go.

The appeal of the radical forgiveness process it that it is designed to transform the hurt energy that lies in my old stories (keeping in mind these stories are ones made up by 3-year old me) into love and gratitude. As absurd (or wishful) as this may sound, I’ve had some experience in spiritual awakening and I know from experience that this can happen. It just requires some commitment and willingness to be open to the possibility. Oh, and a deep desire to stop dwelling in the beliefs and actions that are causing so much pain.

I noticed yesterday how impatient I was feeling. It’s only the eleventh day I’ve been studying radical forgiveness and working the process and I’m already thinking, “So why do I still have so many resentments and hangups?” I haven’t even completed the all the steps to address one situation because so much stuff comes up and I want to give myself time rather than rush the process.

Yesterday was a particularly tough day because multiple incidents occurred and i was feeling like as soon as I felt resolved about one thing, two additional issues popped up. Like some kind multi-headed monster.

Part of me was thinking, “Jeez, do I have to sit all day completing forgiveness worksheets? Will I ever get some relief here?”

Fortunately, the Radical Forgiveness book is very clear about doing your best and that more effort doesn’t mean you speed up the process. The point is to simply spend time on the process and the process will work on you.

This makes a lot of sense in light of my personal experience. Spend an hour on the process and get on with my day. Allow my unconscious mind to work on it and integrate it while I’m doing other things.

I HAVE already noticed a sense of lightness in my daily presence and if nothing else, I have the awareness that when I get triggered, I remember “You don’t have to remain stuck in the victim story. Maybe there’s a higher purpose working here that will help me heal in a more complete way.”


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Day 10: Radical Forgiveness


I was discussing radical forgiveness with someone and they said, “Maybe you’ll help other people who feel misfits find a way to be successful?” That sounded really appealing to me.

But one of the gotchas that always comes up for me around this is the idea of helping others be successful because I’ve discovered a process that has helped me become successful rather than helping others have success that I myself cannot yet claim to have.

For example, a few years ago my interest was in helping small business owners create and sell information products when I myself couldn’t claim to have created an information product that made much money.

And there’s the issue of just because a process works for me … it doesn’t mean it will work for other people.

Again, I’m not looking for a specific answer so much as I’m asking the question to be open to something I’m not seeing.

One thought I’ve been having to the second part of the question, the process piece, is to keep the process as simple as possible so that it’s based on greater truths (which tend to be true for everyone otherwise they wouldn’t be considered ‘great Truths.’ And encourage people to find the way that will work for them.

Or perhaps tell stories and share a variety of examples as a way to help people find a way that they could apply.

And another requirement, I think, is to be practicing a process that allows for finding your truth and inner guidance so you don’t get caught up in the “shoulds” and can say with confidence “this approach doesn’t fit who I am.”

The process should be a part of a larger environment that supports the persons journey.

This raises an interesting question for me: if I were to create an environment that would support my own growth and expansion, what would that environment look like?

Interesting question to consider. Perhaps do some journaling about. I’m thinking by writing about what I know I might learn at least what my next steps are in terms of things I don’t know but would feel I need to know to move forward. Hmm.

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Day 9: Radical Forgiveness – Big Ones

Captain           Tritura            Leopardo

Those Big Bad Negative Beliefs that Kick My Ass

When I initially decided to practice radical forgiveness for 30 days I assumed I’d be doing one worksheet a day … or nearly so.

Instead I’ve found myself working on the same worksheet and on the same situation over the last 9 days.

The good news is that because most issues boiled down to a limited number of negative beliefs, by addressing one situation, I’m addressing a lot of others and I imagine it will be easier to go through some of the steps in the future as I get more familiar with the structure.

As I’ve been processing this stuff, I realized I have a few beliefs that kick my ass on a regular basis. Kind of like my “Book of Doom” because none of the situations in which these beliefs hold true have happy endings.

The biggies are:

  • I will never be compensated for my gifts and talents because there are so few people in this world that can remotely get the value, I’ll probably die before anything I do is appreciated on a wider scale.
  • There is only one way to succeed in this world .. at least in the small business/entrepreneur world and that is to “hustle your ass off nonstop”
  • A teeny tiny number of people have been successful without hustling their asses off. They just happened to do something that although not obviously marketable attracted a cult following. And btw I’m not one of those people because if I were I wouldn’t have struggled with the first two.

I know I’m not the only person who struggles with these particular issues but I’ve yet to meet anyone who has struggled and found a way to stop struggling.

The other day my husband asked me “Do you have any kind of plan?” It’s a fair question and all I could think was “I WISH!”

Because I really don’t have a plan. I used to make shit tons of plans and have SMART goals and I hit a lot of those goals. But looking back, very few of my achievements merited the energy it took to get there because I don’t think the logical, systematic way I went after my goals fit my personality or style.

As I contemplated my lack of plans and seeming inability to sell I rephrased the issues so I might consider them in a more expansive way. I wrote:

  • What’s wrong with being unable to make a decision?
  • What’s wrong with drifting?
  • What’s wrong with not wanting to have to grind away doing research and asking hundreds of questions to find the right job?
  • What’s wrong with not wanting to pick up the phone?
  • What’s wrong with not implementing some guru’s process if the process just doesn’t appeal to me in a visceral way?

Of course there are voice inside of me that are very good at answering these questions and telling me exactly what’s wrong.

My friend Lynn asked me, “what if you reworded your questions to ‘what’s right'”?

So reworded the questions are:

  • What’s right with being unable to make a decision?
  • What’s right with drifting?
  • What’s right with not wanting to have to grind away doing research and asking hundreds of questions to find the right job?
  • What’s right with not wanting to pick up the phone?
  • What’s right with not implementing some guru’s process if the process just doesn’t appeal to me in a visceral
  • What’s right with wanting to do what I love, make a difference, and get paid?

Whoa! This just blows my little mind!

This is a situation where I’m just going to allow myself to “live in the question” and see what floats up for me. And have some fun with the questions and maybe just come up with the silliest answers possible.

I’m learning the best way to handle big, badass beliefs is instead of challenging them to a wrestling match which I’m bound to lose, I’ll invite them out for a cup of coffee and some conversation.

Who knows what Captain Gladiator might have to share?

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Day 7: Radical Forgiveness


Lessons Learned for Healing

Part of the radical forgiveness process involves looking for patterns in the situation that made me unhappy.

What I’ve been looking at has been my tendency to hire a business coach to help me grow my business and sooner or later I find myself feeling let down by the person I hired. I end up having a hard time seeing the benefits I received and focus on how he or she failed to meet my expectations. I then come to the conclusion that I’m “doomed” to never have the kind of business I want.

In fact in some cases, I end up feeling downright antagonistic toward my former coach and it takes time for me to recover any warm, friendly feelings towards them.

The pattern I’m seeing is that:

  • Initially, I feel very excited about the new person I’m working with because they seem to be offering something: a process or way of looking at things or perhaps they’re going to teach me how to do something better that the last person missed the boat on. For example, last year I was feeling angry and disappointed because although the coach I worked with knew a lot of great strategies and skills, I felt he just didn’t get me.
  • I felt very understood and appreciated by my new coach and was excited by the opportunity to created a successful business based on me being myself rather than having to fit a particular mold.
  • Over time, I got to the point in which I felt I was “complete” with my coach and that I was no longer receiving anything I found particularly new or useful above and beyond what I had already received.
  • Rather than tell the coach how I felt, I continued to work with her because I always enjoyed the sessions and came away feeling like I had received benefits. I guess I found it challenging to articulate this because it felt like such a subtle issue. I would question the value of  my observations.
  • I began to feel resentful because  I wasn’t getting much for what i was paying and by the time the relationship ended, I was feeling a lot of resentment, disappointment, and frustration.

In addition, I’ve noticed that I tend to see new coaches as “the one who’s going to help me make the big breakthrough I need in order to finally be successful.”

I find myself hoping, even expecting that the coach is going to teach me that new process or create an opportunity for me to make money or introduce me to some key person who will help me get rich. I’ve sometimes used the analogy of “being discovered” like someone saying “wow, you should be a movie star,” and all it takes is a screen test and a few introductions and success is finally mine!

In reality, I’ve never experienced this kind of success. When I have been successful it’s never been because one person finally notices what I can do Even when I’ve been in situations in which one or more persons genuinely admire my abilities, it’s always temporary. In business, people are always moving on and maybe I have a great manager for a year or two and they leave or get promoted and replaced by someone who I don’t like working with.

It’s a childish desire but an understandable desire.

The point here isn’t to judge myself or make myself wrong but to ask the question, how is this current situation evidence that, even though I don’t know why or how, my soul created this particular situation in order that I learn and grow.

In radical forgiveness, Colin Tipping writes that the emotions we experience as the result of our problem are because our souls want us to heal and have the experience of unity.

In my case, the anger and bitterness I feel as the result of being let down by someone I wanted to trust is meant to help me learn that these situations are meant to help me heal and experience Divine love.

As I begin to see the higher wisdom at work I learn I am being guided from a place of Love and I can then

  • Let go of feeling like a victim (something unjust was done to me and I have no power to do anything to help myself).
  • Stop feeling as though I’m constantly moving through a war zone because instead of worrying and waiting to be hurt by someone else, I can feel safe that I can forgive the person or situation and move on.
  • When I am able to truly forgive. I can feel peace…even love and gratitude for the situation, all that negative energy dissipates and quite often the crazy-making behaviors or dynamics just stop without me having to do or say anything.

I’ve already noticed that today I a lot less anger or resentment.toward the person I was wanting to forgive. I am aware of some residual annoyance but it isn’t all consuming the way it was as recently as Monday.

I am aware of feeling some apprehension that this is a temporary respite and as soon as I talk to this person or hear their voice the anger and resentment will flare up again. However, it’s important to acknowledge that I’m feeling relief today.

Also I’m only about half-way through the steps and there is more to address the residual. Another thing to keep in mind is I haven’t yet done much to forgive my own part in the situation which I believe will also help because usually the reason there’s so much emotional charge is because the other person is doing something that reminds me of something in myself I can’t accept.

For example, I know I am almost obsessive about wanting to make good on the results I promise in my marketing. Although I can’t ever promise anything I find myself wanting to “be the hero” and wanting people to say, “Judy helped me double my sales…” I suppose I believe that once I have the evidence that I can consistently get results for other people, I can finally qualify for earning six-figures because I’m giving that value to me clients.

That last paragraph brings up a lot of interesting observations for me. For example, there are so many factors that contribute to successful clients: my own attitudes, my client’s attitudes toward success, my client’s willingness to do the work, etc. And ultimately, if I have issues accepting myself and valuing myself, chances are good those are the kind of clients I’ll attract and chances are also good that they aren’t going to do very well because they have they’re own issues that are holding them back.

One more observation worth making …

I forgot to mention, yesterday I had the realization that I wasn’t waking up in the morning filled with low-level apprehension. In the past I had noticed this was a constant issue: feeling this sense of dread and apprehension to the point it took real effort on my part to get myself out of bed.

I’m not waking up feeling like I can’t wait to get up and get going which for me is my ultimate goal (every day is like summer vacation) but it feels a lot better not to wake up feeling a sense of dread. I feel a lot more lightness in the mornings.

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