Practicing Radical Forgiveness

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

Photo by Paul Green

Sometime ago my weekend started out as a typical Saturday morning. I was reluctant to get out of bed and not expecting any grand turn of events.

At the time, I had a personal situation that bothered me. And I mean really bothered me. I had had a series of strained conversations with someone in particular, and it was hard to stop myself from ruminating over our highly charged “conversations.” A substantial amount of my energy was stuck in the anger of the situation and I continued to feel “tight” and edgy.

However, I did know that with some assistance, preferably in the form of a painstakingly analytical talk with my girlfriend who has Ph.D. in psychology, it would be possible for me to get to the other side of anger and look at the experience from a different perspective.

But I’m human. And frankly, I was having a hard time.

As “luck” would have it, right around the time I realized I wouldn’t be able to move into forgiveness without some form of assistance, I came across a flyer for a forgiveness workshop.

Imagine that.

Earlier during the week I registered to attend the workshop on Saturday morning, and it was time to go.

I didn’t anticipate this workshop would be any different from any other workshop I had previously attended. Usually, the workshop material is presented and one hopes to learn something that initiates a change in perspective; thus leading to a new insight.

Sometimes this happens. Sometimes it doesn’t.

I pulled into the parking lot 15 minutes before the workshop was scheduled to begin and immediately found a parking space, up front. I graciously thanked my “parking angels” for their assistance, picked up my name tag from registration and proceeded to find a seat.

I sat and quietly watched other attendees settle into their seats and make light conversation. I didn’t make light conversation. I wasn’t in the mood.

Just then, the workshop facilitator, Patricia Kingery walked into the room. Kingery introduced herself and said, “Welcome to the Radical Forgiveness Workshop.”

Radical Forgiveness?

‘What could possibly be radical about forgiveness?’ I thought.

I was not familiar with this technique, and how I overlooked the word radical on the informational flyer was beyond me.

Kingery explained that Radical Forgiveness is “massively” (her word) different from conventional forgiveness, because “you release enormous quantities of energy that were trapped in maintaining your original negative patterns.”

“Rooted in the metaphysical world of Spirit, it is simply the process of getting energy stuck in the body moving again.”

In order to get the energy moving again, Radical Forgiveness requires you to “look at the pain of your experience through a completely different lens.”

“All that is required is for you be willing to be open to the possibility that there might be a reason for everything that ever happens to you. Period.”

She had my attention.

According to Colin Tipping, the creator of Radical Forgiveness, “Our culture has long taught us to look at our experiences through the eyes of a victim: to judge, lay blame, accuse, and seek revenge. But this only anchors the pain and perpetuates our suffering.”

“Radical Forgiveness helps you discover that beneath the drama, hurt, and angst of any situation there is a spiritual component that is gently offering you an opportunity to heal and release the victim archetype.”

According to Kingery, a certified Radical Forgiveness Coach, “...most individuals who feel that they have been victimized in some way utilize 60% of their energy being emotionally tied to events of the past, 10% concerned with the event reoccurring while leaving 30% of energy to be in the present moment.”

Kingery went on to explain that during this forgiveness process, there would be no need to verbally re-tell the story.

Instead, we would go through the five stage process to change the energy and perception of the story, thus allowing the energetic release and healing to occur.

The five stages are:
1. Stage 1: Tell the story (not literally, but by physically moving throughout the healing circle). In this step someone willingly and compassionately listens as we tell and own our story.
2. Stage 2: Feel the negative feelings of the story