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Four Steps To Forgiveness

by Colin Tipping

This adaptation of a three-step process taught by Arnold Patent serves as a reminder of our power to attract the events and people we need to feel the emotions we have around a particular issue. The process takes only a few moments, but it is one that literally could save you from getting endlessly caught up in the drama of what is happening and going to Victimland for an extended stay!

When something happens and we get upset, it is extremely easy for us to forget everything we ever knew about Radical Forgiveness. Until these principles become firmly anchored in our minds, whenever our upset creates a lot of emotional turmoil, our tendency is always to default to victim consciousness. The problem is, once there, we tend to hang out there for a very long time. Without a Radical Forgiveness viewpoint, you would probably stay there for years, which is what most people do. But if you know someone who knows Radical Forgiveness and recognizes your symptoms, he or she will have you do a worksheet or listen to the 13 Steps CD so you can return to peace. Each time something happens we default to becoming a victim and go for an extended stay in Victimland. Then we get reminded of how everything might be perfect, so we use the technology to express our willingness to see the perfection and eventually return to a state of peace.

This can be a rough ride, though, and it depends on your having someone who will rescue you. The way to stop the roller coaster is to use the four-step process before you have to book yourself a room in Victimland! When we find ourselves using this process naturally, as a matter of course, Radical Forgiveness has become our default lifestyle—one that is, for sure, a whole lot easier! So, as soon as you find yourself getting upset over something, or even if you find yourself making judgments, feeling self-righteous, or wanting to change something about a situation, use this process to bring your consciousness back into alignment with the principles of Radical Forgiveness.

Step One: "Look what I created!"

This first step reminds us that we are the creators of our reality. However, we create circumstances for our own healing, so do not assume guilt for what happens. Being quick to judge, we often use this step as a way to beat ourselves up. We say, "Look what I have created. Oh, it’s terrible—I must be a terrible person, a spiritual failure." Please do not fall into this trap, for if you do, you buy into the illusion.

Step Two: "I notice my judgments and love myself for having them."

This step acknowledges that, as humans, we automatically attach a whole string of judgments, interpretations, questions, and beliefs to situations. Our task involves accepting the imperfection of our own humanity and loving ourselves for having these judgments, including the one that says we must be a spiritually moribund person for creating this reality. Our judgments are part of ourselves, so we must love them as we love ourselves. Doing this connects us with what is actually happening in our body and mind and brings us into the present through our feelings. Our energy then shifts quickly and allows us to go to the third and fourth steps of this process.

Step Three: "I am willing to see the perfection in the situation."

The "willingness" step is the essential step in the Radical Forgiveness process. It equates to a prayerful surrendering in the moment to the divine plan and the willingness to love ourselves for not being able to see this plan directly.

Step Four: "I choose the power of peace."

This fourth step represents a consequence of all the previous steps. By accepting that divine purpose is served in this situation and that what appears to be occurring may be illusory, we choose to feel peace and to use the power of peace in whatever actions are required of us. The power of peace is found when we are fully present in the moment, acting with clarity and focus to do whatever may be required, and being completely aware of our feelings.

Practice this four-step process as often as possible. Make it a part of your awareness. It gives you a way to be in the moment throughout your day. To help you make this process your practice, it is a good idea to put these four steps on a business-size card for your purse or wallet, or on a 3" x 5" card tokeep on your refrigerator.


This article has been excerpted with slight adaptations from Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping. (Sounds True, January 2010)


Note: A. M. Patent, You Can Have It All (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995)

Colin Tipping is the creator of what has come to be recognized as one of the most powerful leading-edge technologies for personal and spiritual growth today – Radical Forgiveness. Born in England, Tipping taught at London University before immigrating to the United States in 1984. With his wife JoAnn, he cofounded the Georgia CancerHelp Program and Together We Heal, Inc., and founded The Institute for Radical Forgiveness Therapy and Coaching, Inc. in the U.S., Australia, Poland, and Germany. In its self-published edition, Radical Forgiveness sold more than 100,000 copies in the U.S. and became an international bestseller. In addition, Tipping has authored a series of books, audios, online programs and even a board game based on the practice of Radical Forgiveness. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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