My first book, Radical Forgiveness, Making Room for the Miracle, was written in 1997. However, I didn’t pen the book on Radical Self-Forgiveness until 2008, more than 10 years later. You might wonder why I didn’t write it sooner, since it surely would have been an obvious sequel.
I did make a stab at it, but at the time I found myself making exactly the same case for Radical Self-Forgiveness as for Radical Forgiveness. So I quit. I was just substituting the word “perpetrator” for “victim,” since they are basically just two sides of the same coin.
I’m sure you are familiar with the mechanism of projection. This is where you project onto others what you find totally unacceptable in yourself, thereby side-stepping the need to confront it in yourself and forgive (accept) it.
When you forgive the person you have judgments about, you are actually taking back the projection, forgiving that quality in yourself and, in effect, forgiving yourself. That means ALL forgiveness is self-forgiveness. It really is that simple. To a large extent this is why you feel so much better after having done a Radical Forgiveness worksheet. Even though you thought it was about them, it was actually about you.
At the deeper philosophical level, if we are indeed all One and separation is an illusion, then there is no ‘other’ to forgive. I am you and you are me. If I hurt you, I hurt myself. Again, all forgiveness is self-forgiveness.
Nevertheless, people kept on saying, “Yes, but it is so much more difficult to forgive myself than to forgive others, so surely we need something else.” So, in response, rather than write a book about self-forgiveness, I created a very comprehensive online program that people could use to accomplish Radical Self-Forgiveness and Radical Self-Acceptance experientially. I felt that if it was experiential rather than intellectual, people would get it. That has turned out to be the case. Thousands of people have gone through that program and have found it to be extremely effective. It is still in the eStore in its original form.
Then, in 2008, drawing on what we had found worked so well in the online program, I relented and wrote Radical Self-Forgiveness, The Direct Path to True Self-Acceptance. In that book I gave an explanation of why we all have so much difficulty with self-forgiveness. I outlined this in my previous blog. If we appeal to our human self for forgiveness, our inner judge will always say, “No” – but make our appeal to our Higher Self and it will always say, “Yes.” It knows the truth. It loves you just the way you are and knows that your perfection lies in your imperfection.