Tag Archives: Radical Forgiveness

Day 16 – Radical Forgiveness – How to Win Friends and Influence People


My main motivation for doing 30 days of radical forgiveness was inner peace. I was seeing how I used online shopping and other addictive behaviors as a way to suppress feelings of disappointment, resentment, depression, and anxiety, and I reasoned if many of those feelings were the result of grievances, especially toward myself, why not go right to the source?

But in addition to self-compassion and inner peace, one of the biggest gifts resulting from the radical forgiveness process is better relationships.

I’ve been skeptical of this benefit because I’ve been largely disappointed by most processes I’ve used to improve my relationships.

For many years I’ve been doing different things to deepen friendships and cultivate community but I’ve never gotten the results I most wanted. For example, I often find that despite my efforts, most friendships don’t go beyond a certain point. I also find it’s hard to maintain relationships even at that relatively superficial level.

I tended to blame this on:

  1. Most people don’t want close relationships. They think they do but they aren’t willing to take the risk and do the work.
  2. It’s hard to find people who do want those relationships.
  3. The processes that help you develop relationships are generally created by extroverts for extroverts and as an introvert I seem to lack the fortitude to get out and meet enough people to find the few who would be good friends.

I also perceived most communities, particularly online communities, to be stuck at the “getting to know you stage.” Most members seem interested only in showing off their expertise and trolling for leads. I’ve seen a lot of generous gestures and I’ve gotten so good advice but I rarely felt people were sharing what was really important to them.

Bringing this back to radical forgiveness, I believe the limitations I perceived in others were mostly reflections of my own perceived limitations. I have a couple reasons for this perspective:

  1. As I do the radical forgiveness process I see my friends and family approaching me with more appreciation and trust without me doing or saying anything to initiate this behavior. This is evidence that my beliefs and the way in which I am present has a strong effect on the way I experience my world.
  2. Since October, I’ve been listening to the audio version of How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age which is a rewrite of the 1936 original updated to apply Dale Carnegie’s original principles to relationship development online. One of the primary points in Dale Carnegie’s work is first be the friend you want to have…kind of a specific application of the Golden Rule. If you want trustworthy friends, be trustworthy with others. If you want others to sincerely engage with you, first engage sincerely with others. And so forth.

What keeps coming up is that I’m not the only one who desires more trust and authenticity in relationships. Nor am I the only one who feels at a loss about how to have more of those relationships. The Dale Carnegie book also talks about how social media is great for giving the perception that people are out there connecting but that those connections are often superficial and fragile. Not the kind of relationships that are any kind of foundation for creating community.

What now appeals most to me is to begin reaching out more in an authentic way while practicing radical forgiveness. Some of the things I’d like to do more are to become a better listener and to ask better questions so I can get to know people better.

I realize that although I’ve wanted to be a better listener and know about people, I’ve spent a lot of of time talking about myself and trying to make myself look good in the eyes of others.

I’d also like to let go of that subtle need for people to want to buy from me or hire me. Even when I go into interactions with people in which it is not my intention to sell something I still find myself feeling vaguely disappointed when someone doesn’t express an interest in either buying or introducing me to someone who might.

I especially dislike this side of myself because it reveals an extremely not-cool level of neediness…something I’m constantly trying to suppress for fear my friends and colleagues run screaming from the room. When I do my self-forgiveness work this part of my character is one of the first on my list to make peace with.

The benefit of the radical forgiveness process is it enables me to have and offer what it is that I’d like to receive from others. I can only give what I already have however much I may want things to be different.

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Day 14: Radical Forgiveness


Yesterday I completed the Radical Forgiveness process for another situation that was consuming a lot of my energy and thoughts.

The one situation that causes me more distress than just about any other is when I disappoint someone I respect and care about. I had some real concerns about whether the Radical Forgiveness process would “work” because my feelings were so intense at the time.

The Radical Forgiveness process breaks out into three parts:

  1. Telling the story from the victim perspective. (I need to forgive someone for doing something to me)
  2. “Collapsing” the story. In this section you spend some time reframing the story to see if there is a way to step out of being a victim. For example, looking at the facts and how I interpreted the facts. I also begin to consider that there may be a gift in what has happened and the nature of that gift.
  3. Radical Forgiveness. This is where I am able to actually tell the story from the perspective that there is perfection in what happened and to actually heal the hurts. This is where I go from being a victim to being fully healed.

As I did parts 1 and 2, I realized just how much emotional pain was triggered. So, so much! By the time I finished writing the story and writing about the emotions I was feeling I was pretty wound up energetically. I was absolutely open to the possibility of reframing the situation (which is really good because sometimes I’m reluctant to give up some old stories) but skeptical all that negativity could be shifted beyond feeling some relief from the intensity.

But as I finished part 2 and began part 3 I found myself letting go of the negative feelings and actually feeling peace and a desire for reconciliation. I was able to stop seeing myself as a victim and no longer had the urge (a really strong urge) to share my story with other people in order to get their sympathy and agreement.

One of the “requirements” for Radical Forgiveness to work is to really feel the feelings. Not gloss over them. Not say “it’s not so bad,” but really feel them fully. I was wondering whether I was letting myself do this because I can stuff feelings and say “I’m fine” because I don’t want to bring my shit into other situations.

But by the end of the process I actually felt slightly nauseous from all the anger and hurt and sadness that came up in the first part and I also felt a lot of relief. It felt like a really intense physical workout.

When I was complete I felt I had returned to a state of emotional equilibrium and as though I could ride up and down with whatever came at me. I went downstairs and spent the rest of the evening with my family.

So the “Huzzah” is because this process worked for me. It is a transformative process and in my case it enabled me to stop worrying over an upsetting situation to to be fully present for the remainder of the day. This is a great gift for me.

It isn’t what I would call a fun or easy process. It isn’t fun or easy feeling those feelings. I’m not feeling excited about going through the process again today to address a different issue.

I think, however, it will get easier because I’m not just venting…I’m healing so some of the emotions will become less daunting in time. There are also other tools I can use in addition to a written worksheet such as doing the process as drawings.

Finally there are rituals such as burning the written worksheets which I think will give me a greater sense of meaning and release.

I also want to look into groups and communities because I think this is a lot to take on alone. Having other people who are doing similar work to share my experiences with will help and I imagine other people will have some good ideas and suggestions to integrating the process more.

Today I’m delighted and celebrating what feels like an accomplishment that paid off in the best possible way.


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Day 12: Radical Forgiveness – First Completed Process

Young Girl Wearing Fairy Costume in Mid Air

Today I completed the forgiveness process for a situation that was troubling me…bringing up the “Big Three” negative emotions: sadness, fear, and anger.

There are a number of ways to go through the radical forgiveness process. The method I used was to complete a radical forgiveness worksheet.

Initially when I began my 30 days of radical forgiveness I thought I would complete one worksheet a day. But in this case It’s taken me 12 days to complete one worksheet. One reason is the situation that triggers the need to complete a worksheet is rarely in isolation. Usually there’s a a whole string of previous situations that are very similar which occurred in the past and I found myself not just writing and processing the immediate issue but seeing patterns and having insights related to those past events.

The whole point of radical forgiveness is to heal those hurts and transform the beliefs which are interpretations of facts into the truth: that I am here to experience these situations and heal the resulting hurts. Not to carry the wounds around and feel the pain every time a similar situation arises. In fact, the idea behind radical forgiveness is that my higher self will continue creating these situations until I have fully healed and can move on.

I have no illusions that healing one trigger will make my life perfect. I’m sure there are other situations that will trigger this belief or perhaps a different belief I didn’t realize I was holding but at least this particular situation will no longer carry a charge for me.

As I write this I feel the process has worked! The situation for which I was seeking relief is no longer creating emotional distress. I don’t feel any resentment or disappointment.

A couple other issues have come up and this time i’m going to try doing worksheets on each with the intention of completing the process faster. However, I want to give the process the time needed and if it takes me another 12 days, that’s what it will take.

There’s a Radical Living community created by the author of Radical Forgiveness, Colin Tipping, for people who are interested in being part of a larger group of people committed to living the radical forgiveness principles. I feel intrigued about this community and I’m thinking about checking it out perhaps after I’ve gone through the process a few more times and don’t feel quite so overwhelmed with learning and integrating the ideas.

Being a perfectionist and someone who has high expectations of what I should be accomplishing, I’m aware of how I’m already thinkig about all the things I want to accomplish in the future so I want to end this by writing what Colin Tipping wrote about the final step in the Radical Forgiveness worksheet:

“Remember all forgiveness starts as a lie. You begin the process without forgiveness in your heart, and you fake it until you make it. So honor yourself for doing it, yet by gentle with yourself and let the forgiveness process take as long as you need it to. Be patient with yourself. Acknowledge yourself for the courage it takes simply to attempt to complete the Radical Forgiveness worksheet, for you truly face your demons in the process. Doing this work takes enormous courage, willingness, and faith.”

Radical Forgiveness, © 2009 Colin Tipping

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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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Radical Forgiveness – Day 5


I decided to shift my focus from online shopping to forgiveness because when I stopped shopping and buying stuff online I realized that being in a fugue state online masked a lot of negative feelings and enabled me to stuff all kinds of hurts and resentments down.

Although the distractions meant I didn’t have to deal with all the yuckiness … none of it went away. It just stayed there until I finally did something to deal with it.

Over the last week I’ve been reading Radical forgiveness (Colin Tipping) and I’ve been putting a lot of focus and energy into understanding the beliefs and preconceptions I’ve been holding as my way to interpret my world. The theme that keeps coming up for me is: I am doomed to spend my life being unappreciated and uncompensated for my gifts and am fated to a life of frustration and bitterness.

When I write this it’s feels pretty comical because it’s oh so dramatic and seems ridiculously extreme. Yet at least a handful of my friends seem to share these beliefs. One friend emails me from time to time complaining about “Earthlings” who just don’t get the brilliant services he offers and his frustration with trying to “get them to see the value.”

I can relate and I know also that complaining does absolutely nothing to improve the situation. I’m well-acquainted with complaining and grousing and although it feels good to have other people commiserate it never got me any closer to what I wanted.

So I figure I’d try the radical forgiveness approach to see if that will shift my way of showing up in the world.

For example, because I have been moving through my life with the assumption I’m a some sort misfit and doomed to live a life of people who love me but just don’t get me at best and being dismissed and rejected at worst, I realized that I’ve seen my world as a kind of emotional battlefield in which I’m just waiting to be rejected by the people I encounter.

Rejection doesn’t mean someone out and out saying, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard” and turning their back on me although that’s happened from time to time. It’s often very subtle things like someone interrupting me and saying “I have to be in another meeting in 5-minutes” or saying “What exactly is your question.”

I’ve learned that people rarely intend what they do and say to be a rejection. It’s my perception and super sensitivity to all those things that has me interpreting everything as that way.

I’m also learning I have a foundation story and then there are all kinds of little variations on the theme that pop up for me as well.

I’m not sure I’ve yet healed much so far but the first step of any process is insight and awareness and I’m hopeful that I’ll be moving closer to feeling peace in the future. And I’m also hopeful that I’ll at least be able to heal in terms of my emotional responses to specific situations that I’ve found trigger me.

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Day 21: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit – Results so far …


From Addiction to Forgiveness

It’s the official three week mark since I decided to stop my obsession online shopping behavior.

What surprises me is that it’s been a lot easier than I expected it to be. I honestly thought I’d struggle with stopping.

Results so Far

Some of the benefits I thought I might see as a result of ending online shopping included:

  • More time because my online shopping jags could go anywhere from 1 – 8+ hours at a stretch. I’d say the average shopping period was 2-3 hours. If I wasn’t shopping online what would I do with the extra time?
  • In fact, this doesn’t even include the time I spent trying things on and returning things I didn’t like or that didn’t work! So I could easily double the time to at least 4-6 hours!
  • Saving money because I tend to spend between $50 – $200 per shopping binge. Although my husband worries a lot about me spending a lot of money the truth is most of the stuff ends up returned. Nonetheless I’m still paying for shipping returned items back and in the case of heavier items like bags and shoes, shipping can get expensive.
  • Having more emotional space because it isn’t taken up in worrying about getting refunds and disputes with vendors.

Of all the above, the most noticeable benefit so far is with the money. During the 21 day period, I’ve spent only $50 in total. Two e-books and a software app. Figuring I usually spend $200 – $250 this is a big decrease and if I could have been a bit more patient I could have saved $10 getting one of the books from the library (the other was well worth owning).

I don’t yet feel an appreciable increase in time because so many other things have rushed in to fill the space. Still just having the time to spend on journaling and reading Radical Forgiveness this month has made a big difference in my emotional state.

21 Days of Tracking Feels Like a Good Stopping Point for Kicking My Online Shopping Addiction

At this point, I’m going to stop officially tracking my efforts to stop shopping online. This doesn’t mean I now give myself permission to go hog wild and back to my old habits.

It means I’ve been successful when it comes to internalizing a new set of habits. I’m so mindful now of my tendency to lapse into mindless shopping when I feel stressed out or am considering a painful action that I believe I’ve formed a new habit.

I realize this habit is new and still may be fragile. At the same time I feel ready to take on a new challenge in my life.

Beginning tomorrow, 12/3/14 I’ll be practicing 30 Days of Radical Forgiveness using Colin Tipping’s book as my guide. I’ll write more tomorrow about what I’ll be doing during this challenge and the results I hope to attain through practicing radical forgiveness.


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Day 15: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

Like a Feather D r i f t i n g Along the Roadside

The other day my son told me he felt I was “drifting” when it came to my work.

That was painful to hear and I can understand where he’s coming from. I feel like I’m drifting as well. I do a little work on decluttering. I do a little work on the Business Success from the inside Out Mastermind. I haven’t done much work at all on selling m clothes on eBay.

It’s easy to feel guilty and wrong.

I know it wasn’t Matt’s intent to make me feel bad. He was just making an observation but I’ve lived for so many years under the belief that moving forward quickly and purposefully toward some goal is “good” and not doing so is “bad.” It’s hard to avoid judging myself harshly.

On the other hand I do feel I’m having some big shifts around some of the beliefs that get me stuck in places of anger and resentment.

Staying at my parents this year has been remarkably stress-free. I usually feel a combination of resentment, anger, and sadness and this year I’ve been able to simply appreciate that time I’ve been spending with them and I’ve been able to appreciate them for themselves.

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Day 14: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

Not Much to Report Today

Spent most of yesterday traveling to Chicago where I’ll be for the next week.

Although I didn’t feel much of an urge to shop I am aware of a lot of resentment coming up towards other people.

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