The more technology shrinks and connects our world, the more we are confronted with challenges that we have to deal with, almost on a daily basis. As I watch it all unfold, I will be inspired from time to time, to focus attention on and share with you how my Radical Living Strategies can help all of us meet our challenges with greater ease and compassion. My hope is that these offerings give you the insight you need to create the peaceful, fulfilling life you desire.
The process of expanding into love, as we’ve been covering it for the past several weeks, does not always mean that the relationship continues.
Some couples will find, after one or both of them have awakened and gone through the renegotiating process, that compromise was not possible, or that their relationship has simply run its course and accomplished what it was meant to accomplish.
Nevertheless, the process of just getting to that point may well have expanded your capacity to love, not just love your partner but yourself too. You loved yourself enough to have asserted your need to have a relationship be a certain way, with boundaries established and values declared. You will have recognized that your partner was unable to fulfill your needs and hopefully you were able to love and accept him or her in spite of that, and leave on a good note.
The more we bring an expanded consciousness to the break-up situation, the better it will turn out, and the sooner you will be able to attract a new partner to share your life with, assuming this is something you desire.
If that is the case, I suggest you follow some rules about how to go about attracting a new mate, assuming you haven’t already done so.
The first and most important is to leave a significant amount of time between leaving one relationship and even thinking about creating another. I think you should avoid relationships for at least 6 months, preferably a year.
No matter how centered and loving the divorce process was, when you leap straight into another relationship, even a casual one, you inevitably take with you all the issues you had in the last relationship.
Another important rule is to make sure you do the Radical Forgiveness and Radical Self-Forgiveness work on all your previous relationships before going into a new one.
If meeting someone else precipitated the breakup of the previous relationship, you still want to be sure you leave a good long time, 6 months or a year, before you move in with each other. (Women beware – men are usually the ones to suggest moving in ASAP. You can guess why.)
You may even want to take a break for a while so you can both spend some time working on yourselves, going through Radical Forgiveness and Radical Self-Forgiveness work so that you have a basis from which to negotiate the new relationship.
Finally, get very clear on your values and boundaries. Also, look at where you would be willing to compromise and where you would not. Identify the deal killers and be sure to stick to your guns on them. Only if you are clear about what you want (and don’t want) in a new relationship will you be able to manifest the relationship that you desire.
Remember, you’ve done the separation game so you don’t need any more of that kind of thing. You deserve a loving and equal relationship.
P.S. The best way to prepare for a new relationship is to heal the old ones! Try our new Expanding in Love Online Workshop – and choose a free bonus gift for a limited time. You’ll find it’s an invaluable toolkit for clearing old beliefs and habits, setting clear boundaries for the future, even discovering your sexual personality and how it effects your relationships. Get started today!
The word forgiveness normally comes with a whole load of baggage. Because of its religious connotation, a lot of people think one should forgive in order to be considered righteous. This is not forgiveness. It’s pseudo-forgiveness.
When we talk about forgiving a debt or pardoning someone, we are not really forgiving them. We are just letting them off the hook.
Letting it go or trying to forget or move on is just another form of denial. It is not forgiveness. The toxic energy of the grievance remains in the body and will likely come out, in the end, as a disease.
Another assumption that attaches itself to forgiveness is that to be able to forgive them, you have to like them. That is not so in the least.
Even if you despise the person (the human being and his or her personality etc.), you can still forgive them. That’s because the process of forgiving is not about the other person. It’s about you. You do the forgiveness for you.
This happens in spite of your own very human and justifiable feelings of disdain. In the end, it comes down to whether you have the capacity to see beneath the unlikeable, despicable character manifesting in front of you and recognize the divinity in him or her.
This is not easy and that’s why we have created tools, like the Radical Acceptance of Another Worksheet, to help us shift our perception of the person so we can understand that he or she is the way he or she is because that’s exactly how he or she is meant to be.
As I wrote in my first book, Radical Forgiveness: “There are no exceptions. If you can’t forgive Hitler, you can’t really forgive anyone.”
Just as you don’t need to like them to forgive, neither do you need to stay around them if they remain emotionally or physically toxic to you. While you need to move away from them (and in Hitler’s case, wage war on him), it doesn’t stop you doing the Radical Forgiveness work on them.
Like all the worksheets, it asks that you be honest. Begin where you are and accept how you feel about the person. In other words, accept your humanness. Even if you don’t end up liking the person one bit better after having done the worksheet, the work will have been done at the energetic level anyway. You may find yourself feeling a little differently about them – neutral, perhaps, with very little energy left one way or the other.
Because the real goal of Radical Forgiveness is all about healing the illusion of separation, you might also consider the possibility that the other person is offering you the opportunity to heal that myth of separation, both within yourself, between you and him/her, and between the world of spirit and the world of humanity.
By recognizing the divinity in the other person, no matter the horrible things he or she may have done, you are connecting more deeply to the Love that is behind everything.
P.S. The Radical Acceptance of Another Worksheet mentioned in this blog are available in PDF form when you sign up for Free Stuff at RadicalForgiveness.com. If you have past and present relationships to heal, or want to prepare for a new one, take a look at our new Expanding in Love Online Workshop, and choose a free bonus gift for a limited time.
I love that line: I’m not OK, you’re not OK; but that’s OK! It captures the truth about who we are and the fact that we were never meant to be perfect. If we were, there would be no one to create opportunities for us to experience forgiveness. Our perfection lies in our imperfection.
I also love the following definition of Radical Forgiveness, which is along the same lines: It is the unconditional acceptance of what is, as is, because that’s how it is meant to be.
Putting the two together then, we can say Radical Self-Forgiveness is accepting the consequences of being ourselves, just as we are. Period.
It is so simple, but our own self-hatred is so deep, it is very hard to rise above it and touch the essence of who we are, which is Love. (The definition of Love is the same as Radical Forgiveness: Unconditional acceptance of what is, as is. Think about it!)
We’ve already covered a lot of what causes this: mainly parents and adults who shamed us into believing that we are no good. And so our core toxic beliefs about ourselves took root. Religious dogma that insisted we were sinners with no inherent divinity contributed its share. These and other influences gave permission to our inner judge and inner critic to make us wrong at every opportunity.
The book, A Course in Miracles, takes this much further by saying all our self-hatred comes from our overwhelming guilt over having defied God by choosing to separate from Him. i.e. the original sin. We are terrified that God will punish us so we project our guilt onto everyone else hoping to avoid the punishment.
I don’t buy that for one minute. My assumption is that we are here with God’s blessing, facilitating his/her/its expansion of consciousness. Hence the term Expanding into Love – expanding into God consciousness.
The difficulty with resolving our unconscious self-hatred caused by core-negative beliefs anchored in our subconscious minds is that they are mostly unconscious. Nevertheless, they are acting like little internal gyroscopes determining our lives and causing us a lot of distress.
So the first step is to find out what these core-negative beliefs are. The way to do this is to look at what keeps showing up in your life, and then you can deduce what the belief must be that creates those circumstances. Your beliefs create your reality out there in the world.
People also energetically pick up on your beliefs about yourself and subconsciously treat you according to how you are projecting the energy around the belief. So if you believe you are not worthy, people will pick up on that and make sure you don’t get what you desire.
The trick is to recognize that this person is subconsciously providing you with an opportunity to heal the misperception that you are unworthy. So you do a Radical Forgiveness worksheet on that person and that takes care of it. You might also do a Radical Self-Forgiveness/Self-Acceptance worksheet on yourself for holding that false belief.
Once you have completed your list of “likely” beliefs, look through to see which have the most resonance. The next step is to love those beliefs into healing. . . yes, lovethem as part of who you have been up until now, and remain open to the possibility they have served you. Love them for what they have done for you, even if you can’t see it.
Expanding into Love is not simply about increasing romantic love; it is about increasing your CAPACITY to love, albeit in a very different way. It means developing the ability to accept people the way they are and seeing the divinity in them. . . no matter what.
In the early phase of our lives, before we have awakened to the truth that we are all one, romantic love tends to involve control, demands, domination, expectations and even exploitation of the other. It is a highly conditional kind of love.
(It is also what makes relationships perfect as a way to experience the pain of separation, that being the purpose of coming here in the first place.)
In the second phase of our lives, after we have awakened, it is our task to expand beyond that kind of love into a love that offers freedom, mutual respect, equality and honoring of differences.
By the way, this does not just apply to our romantic relationships, but to all relationships. (What if everyone did this? There would be no more wars.)
That said, however, this is no easy task. Old habits die hard. Our old ways of relating are unconscious and seem perfectly natural. Expanding into this new way of relating takes conscious effort and is really nothing less than advanced spiritual practice.
Incidentally, it is obviously best if both partners engage in this expansion of consciousness within the relationship. But it is not essential. When you do it on your own, it may pull your partner along anyway, almost without him or her knowing it.
But if he or she is totally resistant, then this becomes an even more of a spiritual challenge for you to find acceptance of him or her just the way he/she is. On the other hand, if the resistance is such that no progress can be made, then leaving the relationship might be the best option.
Assuming both are engaged in the process, the next step is to renegotiate the relationship in the direction suggested above. I suggest doing this in 4 stages:
1. Assess where things stand today, looking at how things have progressed since the beginning right up to present day. Obviously, both parties need to be brutally honest and accepting of the other’s assessment. 2. Look at your spoken (and unspoken) assumptions and expectations, demands and manipulations, and to see how they have worked out. Reflect on how you have given yourself away, compromised or sold out to get what you thought you wanted. Then, how much love do you have now and what kind of love has it become? Discuss where practical and/or structural changes might be made and what might need to be done to shift the energy between you.
Almost certainly, there will be some Radical Forgiveness and Self-Forgiveness to do at this stage. Make a list of all grievances, regrets, disappointments and guilt trips, and then do the forgiveness work. You really want to start with a clean slate before moving on to the next stage, which is where you begin to consciously renegotiate the relationship in very stark terms.
3. Establish the core values on which your future behavior in the relationship will be based, irrespective of how it had been in the past, requiring them to be respected and honored at all times henceforth. 4. Establish and declare your boundaries and whatever else you consider to be the conditional factors in deciding whether or not the relationship continues.
If you are looking for a clear and focused way to do this work, I suggest you look at our brand new Expanding in Love Online Workshop. It includes the Assessing My Relationship online worksheet, which enables you to look at how things have progressed since the beginning right up to the present day. It takes you through all 4 stages, just as if you were attending a live workshop. . . and for a limited time, select a free bonus gift when you sign up.
Time to Assess the Relationship? In my book Expanding into Love, I make the point that in the first half of our incarnation, prior to our awakening at about mid-life, the purpose of relationship is to create opportunities to feel the pain of separation, that being the very thing we came in to experience. We wanted that so we could learn that separation is an illusion, and that in reality there is only Love and Oneness. The purpose of relationships in this first phase, therefore, is about experiencing ways of feeling separate and alone. Of course, that’s not the image we are told to expect from being in relationship. We are told it will make us whole, and we will live happily ever after. It’s a lie, of course. That’s OK though. We have to play the separation game without any awareness of the real reason for the difficulties, otherwise we would get no value from them. Relationships in that phase, then, tend to be about domination, control, demand, and expectation. This leads to things like infidelity, betrayal, abandonment etc., all good ways to experience the pain of separation. Once we begin to awaken, however, the purpose of relationship shifts dramatically. It now becomes about healing the separation, forgiving the past and practicing coming together as equals, allowing freedom, giving respect and seeing the other as perfect the way they are, demanding nothing and being free of expectation. We call this the Expanding into Love Phase, because it is about increasing our CAPACITY to love, which means being able to accept people as they are and seeing the divinity in them no matter what. Obviously, this is not an easy transition to make. Old habits die hard. It is even more difficult if one partner is not awake and sees no need to make the shift. This is not necessarily a reason to leave the marriage, however. In fact, it may offer a great opportunity to learn unconditional acceptance. A lot of people have a tendency at this time to jump ship too early and miss the growth opportunities inherent in the process of making this shift with the person you know best. That said, no matter how the relationship looks now that awakening has occurred, whether it has happened for both of you or not, it is time to make a realistic assessment of the relationship, and to begin a process of re-negotiating it based on an agreed set of values, boundaries and requests. Only then will you be in a position to decide if it is worth going on with it or not. Blessings, Colin P.S. If this article really resonates with you, check out our brand new Expanding in Love Online Program, it’s an invaluable aid to the process of re-evaluating and re-negotiating your primary partnership.
In the wake of Robin Williams successful but tragic suicide, the topic of depression has once again come to the fore.
Unfortunately, the coverage of the death of Lauren Bacall the very next day provided a diversion and an excuse to turn away from the topic of depression and the uncomfortable truth that 1 in 6, and in some places 1 in 5, people are on anti-depressants.
People who have severe clinical depression because of a real chemical imbalance in their brains need medication like this, of course, and thank God it’s available to them. It works wonders for that kind of thing.
However, the vast majority of those 1 in 5 being prescribed anti-depressants are surely not clinically depressed. If they are, then something very serious is happening to us en masse.
But, I don’t think that’s the case. People are just generally pissed off and don’t really know why, or don’t know what to do about it. But given our present approach to the treatment of depression, the 1 in 5 are numbed out with medication.
In the discussions I heard on UK radio and television these last few days, I have heard a lot about the effects of depression, one of which is suicide, but almost nothing about the cause. Just declaring it an illness, like it is something that just happens for no apparent reason is no help at all. There must be a cause.
Depression is not an emotion. It is a coping mechanism. It’s a way to avoid dealing with the emotional pain that is just under the surface, turned inwards and manifesting as feelings of unworthiness, self hatred and utter futility.
It has been my observation over the last 20 years working with basically well people in my practice, that this kind of depression is simply a mask. Underneath that depression is repressed rage, fear, resentment, shame and guilt – you name it. And most of it has its origins in unresolved childhood wounds.
Nine times out of ten, once you deal with those wounds and the repressed hurt and pain associated with them, the depression lifts. The need for the coping mechanism goes away.
A member of my own extended family had suffered serious bouts of depression. After some discussion we discovered his pain related not to the fact he was adopted but that his own birth mother had abandoned him. Deep down he felt he was not wanted and not worthy to be alive. I helped deal with that. He is now functioning extremely well, albeit with some medication at a relatively low dose.
I have had great success with this over the years using the Radical Forgiveness methodology. This has proven to be a very successful way of healing childhood wounds and restoring the person’s self-worth.
On the BBC today, a psychiatrist made the point that the earlier you can catch it, the better. I agree – but please not just with a pill that will only numb the pain again. If, instead, we give them a way to heal those wounds, their symptomology wouldn’t develop into full blown clinical depression that might then, at that point, need medication.
I doubt it would surprise you to learn that, just as issues in your family of origin cause us problems in our everyday lives in general, and in romantic relationships in particular, they get acted out in the workplace as well. That fact is we bring more than our lunch to work with us each day. We bring many generations of our family with us. The way we deal with conflict, how we talk to and engage co-workers, how we manage our employees and our bosses, is a direct reflection of what we have buried in our subconscious minds. I have coined a word for this emotional baggage we have stuffed down and tried to forget. It is HUMENERGY. What we have shoved down deep is not inert. I believe we have an innate desire to heal that humenergy, and we are always looking for an opportunity to heal it. The work environment is the perfect playing field for healing all our unresolved issues. For example, if we have unhealed issues with our mother, we will attract someone just like her at work with whom to work out those issues. If we had a very authoritarian father, we will create a situation where we have a boss who is a bully just like him. We will then work out our issues with him. This is good for the individual at the spiritual level, but might be terrible from a career point of view. More often than not, it is disastrous for the company. Suppose, for instance, that your father always said you will never amount to anything, and that became a subconscious belief. Then, when you got a good promotion, guess what? It didn’t fit your belief system, so you began to sabotage yourself and everyone around you so you could be right. The result is disaster. With co-workers, we may act out our past relationships with siblings; with bosses; our past relationships with our parents; and so on. The answer of course, is to recognize that “we are never upset for the reason we think.” So whenever a conflict arises at work, you know it is triggering something that needs to be healed. So you do a worksheet on the person with whom you are upset. That not only dissolves the upset with him or her, but heals the underlying issue in you that was being activated. It really is that simple. We have a slightly modified Radical Forgiveness worksheet for the corporate environment. It is called The Balancing Humenergy Worksheet. Using this and other tools has an effect beyond just you. It shifts the energy in the workplace around you, and it is catching. (Love, which is the energy behind forgiveness is infectious.) Co-workers become more cooperative and more productive. When owners and managers use the Radical Forgiveness tools themselves and show others how to use them, it raises the vibration of the company. The benefits of that is increased productivity, higher morale, less attrition and higher profits. Blessings, Colin P.S. Radical Self-Forgiveness is an important tool for healing your workplace regrets, join me next Thursday, August 21, at 1:30 pm for a FREE webinar on the Radical Self-Forgiveness Worksheet. Even if you can’t join me at that time, registering guarantees you’ll be invited to the 72 hour replay, so you can listen at your convenience.
Make Peace with Your Family
Break the Cycle with Radical Forgiveness
If you were to observe the dramas and issues you have been challenged with all through your adult life, you are likely to find that most of them have their origin in childhood within the family unit. You might notice they fall into two categories:
1. Intentional or (mostly) unintentional woundings by your parents that you have repeatedly acted out in a variety of ways over the years. 2. Your having taken on the pain and wounds of your parents and generations past and acted those out as if they were your own.
In both cases, your reactions to the traumas and pain you experienced in those early years would have caused you to form specific beliefs about yourself and the world that reflected your experiences.
These, in turn, became like internal gyroscopes that created your life in line with those beliefs. A very typical one is where you, say, felt abandoned at some time in your childhood and then created a pattern of abandonment in your adult life.
In fact, here’s one way to find out what those beliefs were: Just look at what is showing up in your life. Your life continually reflects your consciousness.
The remedy is to forgive your parents for creating the negative beliefs that you have been acting out and then ditch the belief.
To download a free Radical Forgiveness worksheet, click here. (This will take you to the Free Stuff page of Colin’s Cafe. If you have not registered before, click the link to open a free account and you will have access to all of the material on the Free Stuff page of the Cafe.)
Most people are aware of this dynamic, but generational pain is not so well understood. It means that people are carrying pain that is not necessarily theirs and acting it out as if it were their own.
They have identified with the pain of their parents, and their parents’ parents, and so on, back through time, and then have owned it.
Part of it, I think, is an inner desire to heal that pain on their behalf. In fact, they may have chosen to come in through their particular parents for that purpose.
But if we have no awareness of that, it just becomes part of the generational pattern and gets handed on down to the next generation. That is, unless we heal it – using Radical Forgiveness, of course.
There is new evidence showing that unreleased emotional pain is carried forward in the genes from generation to generation. This proves that the origin of your pain may well go back countless generations!
Look what is happening in Gaza right now. As I wrote in my Saturday blog, the war going on there is about healing the victim consciousness that has accumulated over the centuries, generation after generation. It has to stop somewhere.
And guess what? Because you and I and everyone else who is awake and are able to see beyond the drama that is happening out there, we are the ones who can stop it using Radical Forgiveness… in cases like Gaza, by using the Radical Transformation Worksheet I spoke about last Saturday.
To download a free Radical Transformation Worksheet, click here.
But, that said, we are also called to help break the cycle that may exist in our own families.
Ask yourself: Are you carrying your mother’s pain, your father’s pain or grandparent’s pain? Does the pain go back even further?
If you see that you are, you need to forgive yourself for stealing their pain and acting it out for them. You have no right to do that. It’s not your pain. They chose it, so they have to heal it.
To download a free Radical Self-Forgiveness worksheet, click here.
Like most people, you’ve probably come to this awareness at mid-life, probably after you have raised your children, so it’s going to take some Radical Self-Forgiveness to release yourself from how you might have continued the cycle. But as you let go of the pain that is not yours, your children will too. Only then will the cycle cease. So, do it now, if only for their sake!
P.S. For step-by-step instructions on using the Radical Self-Forgiveness worksheet, join me on August 21 at 1:30 pm Eastern time for a free webinar. If you can’t come at that time, signing up will guarantee you get invited to the 72-hour replay, so register now!
I have to admit to having been a bit reluctant to wade into the swamp that is now the Gaza situation, but I feel the need to do so now.
That’s because it’s a prime example of where we can make a real difference by using one of the tools associated with one our Radical Living Strategies – the Radical Transformation Worksheet.
This ‘Tipping Method’ worksheet empowers us to begin transforming the energy of any world event out there that seems to us to be tragic or disastrous. And this thing between Hamas and Israel certainly qualifies as being that and more.
Although it seems on the surface to be about rockets, tunnels and the blockade of Gaza by Israel, we know that what really fuels the conflict is a deeply ingrained victim consciousness on both sides.
Unless and until that is changed, no amount of political pressure, diplomacy or military intervention will have any effect whatsoever.
Any Jew will tell you that the Jewish race carries the victim identity like no other. It has acted it out over centuries to perfection and is continuing to do so today, even while it learns now what it is like to be the persecutor of another race.
The Palestinian history, too, is one that is characterized by persecution and displacement, so you’d think each race might understand each other’s pain and generate some empathy between them.
But each have their own victim identity and see the other as their victimizer. It is the classic attack and defense cycle that has served to keep human beings separate from each other for eons.
But we each have to admit we do exactly the same. We all create separation in all sorts of unpleasant and sometimes violent ways and justify it with a strong sense of righteousness.
No wonder this war is making us feel so uncomfortable. It is mirroring for all of us how capable we all are of creating separation just for the sake of it.
Herein lies the potential of the Radical Transformation worksheet. Through its use, we can transform the energy in Gaza and Israel if we first forgive ourselves for creating separation, forgive them for doing the same and then try to see the perfection in the situation.
We will shift the energy in a very powerful way if we hold it that there is a purpose in each of the protagonists battling it out to the point of exhaustion and that the people who are dying and wounded are souls that have volunteered to act this drama out in that way for all of us, so we can heal.
(Brokering a cease-fire is a knee-jerk reaction and will not change anything. It is just a symptom of our own discomfort as we look in the mirror.)
Breakthrough comes AFTER breakdown; not before.
As the breakthrough occurs for them, they would see themselves in the mirror and wake up to the fact that separation is an illusion. It might even dawn on them that we are all one and that they are simply fighting themselves.
If both sides (and us too) are able to use the war in this way to raise our vibration, it might be a catalyst for the massive shift in consciousness we are all hoping for.
If you get this and feel inclined to take a few moments to help bring the two sides to the point of breakthrough through projecting healing energy into the situation, download a Radical Transformation Worksheet now and know that by filling it out, you will be making a significant difference. All mass healing starts with the individual.
P.S. This video was passed to me today. You might like to watch it. The title is Forgiveness is at the Heart of Human Greatness. It actually inspired me to write this blog.
Over the last several weeks, I’ve been writing about overcoming addiction, perfectionism, past trauma, and anger. I want to share this video, it has, in the past generated a lot of discussion, and I hope it will be a good reminder for you to watch out for the ways we cover up our pain. Which ones reflect your avoidance strategies?