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Radical forgiveness is a concept that I first learned of when I began my training as a hypnotherapist. There is an inclination to consider forgiveness in relation to others as the result of an action, belief, or encounter. And yet, if we do or do not forgive someone for a wrong that we perceived occurred against us, we are the ones who carry this burden. Since we have no real control over others, all of our attention needs to be directed at self and our personal responsibility for our own feelings and responses. Many times, when we encounter feelings that may elicit the need or desire to forgive or be forgiven, we feel victimized, shamed, guilty. All of these feelings move us to a place of fixing responsibility outside of ourselves, and not on what we can be or do to resolve our own feelings. The concept of radical implies action with responsibility, thus radical forgiveness includes action based in the principle of being in loving alignment with oneself.

Radical forgiveness speaks to the impact that actions and feelings have on us rather than the impact of actions on others. As with the Hawaiian tradition of Ho’Oponopono, we start with the forgiveness of self first which can bring us back into a sense of balance. When I feel hurt or slighted by another, I put myself in a place of receiving the hurt but not participating in it, while, in fact, my feelings are a form of participation. As with everything in life, we have the ability to choose how we respond to what we encounter. And while someone may wrong us, it is how we respond to the wrong that determines the energetic impact on us.

Forgiveness isn’t about the other – it is about releasing energy within ourselves that keeps us stuck in past wounding rather than being open to healing.
The stories in this issue speak to both this wounding and healing, and the opportunities that life gives us to choose our individual responses and actions. Interactions with others raise the opportunity for both misunderstanding and understanding. The paradox of life is that our communication – regardless of the form or means – is inhibited by our own limitations in both communicating and interpreting meaning. As a result, we filter what we observe through our lenses of past experience that are again limited. None of this is done consciously or intentionally, and the potential for an emotional reaction or response emerges well before we are aware cognitively of what we are feeling.

This issue includes two personal views of Ho’Oponopono – one from Dorothea Fuckert and a different perspective from Larry Siebert. In addition, the stories illustrate the breadth of engagement with and recognition of the impact of forgiveness on the individual client. We hope this issue gives you some insight into your own journey with forgiveness. ♥

Diana Paque, Stories of the Afterlife Acting Editor in Chief, Executive Director for the Michael Newton Institute


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