The Liberating and Empowering Effect of Radical Forgiveness

Submitted by Open on Sun, 08/18/2013 - 06:05


What does it really mean to forgive?
On our course The Transfiguration, we speak about the importance of not apportioning blame and instead taking full responsibility for the lives we're creating. One vital aspect of this approach is that of forgiveness: realising 'the other person' is not to blame and therefore being able to forgive them. In my experience, this is one of the most liberating and empowering things we can do. But if EVERY situation is purposefully designed by benevolence for us to self-realise, then what really is true forgiveness and how should we really forgive?...

Taking responsibility

This is an important realisation in the book 5GATEWAYS: that to blame another is to disempower ourselves because basically we're saying...

    "something outside of myself,
    over which I have no control,
    is the cause of my beingness"

Why would we allow that to happen? How can it possibly serve us? When this realisation first dawns, and we give it breathing space, it is then that the next realisation might dawn: that we're creating every experience anyway by what we're being within. Then an even deeper realisation might occur...

    When we look back through our lives with profound self honesty,
    and looking at every situation from the perspective of "what was I being invited to realise?", then we'll surely see, how synchronistic patterning guided EXACTLY those situations and circumstances to us. It's as if every person who comes into our lives, helping us self-realise in this way, has a "sacred agreement" to help us evolve.

Finding the blessing

So if this is the case, then it begs the question, if every person who 'commits a crime against me' has a sacred agreement to help me evolve, then what is there to forgive? If in these circumstances we're being offered a priceless gift of self-realisation, isn't that gift something we should be grateful for?

Consider the biblical story of Jesus and his reported relationship with Judas (it matters not whether you believe the story to be true, it's the story itself that reveals important realisations). Of course many have castigated Judas as a 'traitor' in the story, taking his thirty pieces of silver to identify Jesus to the Romans. To me, the crucifixion was a metaphoric example that helped Jesus move beyond his own shadow identity ("why have you forsaken me father?"); in that was caused to realise that he and the father are one (just as we all are), that he could never be abandoned even in the midst of total violation. That it was his own shadow identity seeing itself as separate from the all that is. The crucifixion was Jesus' Enlightenment, perhaps in the story this is what was meant by the statement "it is accomplished" directly before he expired.

So then, if my take on the story bears water, Judas was actually performing an invaluable service not a 'sin' - yes he certainly had his own distortions, but the engagement was created in order for the various parties to expose their own shadows - including his own and that of the other protagonists in the drama. The story itself offers the most incredible self-realisation opportunity for all those who engage with it. As I explained in 5GATEWAYS, I believe the story itself to be a powerful gift to humanity - it reveals the path of Ascension inviting mankind forwards.

Radical forgiveness

So how might the story be relevant and helpful in daily life? Well I invite everyone reading this to deeply contemplate those events where another has 'sinned against us'; to see the possibility for deeper self realisation that was presenting itself; remembering of course that reality is but an ilusion, and to truly know ourselves is to have the opportunity to rise above that illusion - to become complete and whole through the illusion.

This invites something some call 'radical forgiveness'...

    It's not simply about forgiving someone for what they're perpetrated against you, because when you think about it, if you truly feel the need to forgive them, then you're still essentially judging them for their 'original sin' - rather than considering you co-created the situation to reveal your own limitation. True forgiveness then is actually to become awesomely okay with what took place, finding peace within your heart, seeing the blessing within the event, taking ownership of the gifts of beingness offered, and then finally, when all judgment has dissolved, forgiving the other person. In a way, it becomes a blessing.

On our Transfiguration course, we guide people through radical forgiveness meditations. People always find them exceptionally liberating. So here below is a forgiveness meditation from the 5GATEWAYS book that you might like to try.

With love and blessings to all

(article updated 24/05/14)

    Forgiving another meditation
    - Create a loving, warm and protected space with incense, candles and soft music. Relax deeply using deep breathing and visualisation.
    - Allow an experience to arise in the past where you have suffered or were abused at the hands of someone else.
    - Contemplate deeply the situation where you suffered, visualising what you would have seen, hearing the sounds and feeling the feelings.
    - What thoughts and emotions are arising for you? Watch them, feel them.
    - Go deeper into the situation and contemplate the main perpetrator/s. What was it that caused you to suffer? What were you attached to? How were you forgetting this is all an illusion?
    - Now contemplate what was the blessing? What was the lesson? What were you being invited to realise?
    - Can you now let go of the suffering and pain?
    - When you know you are ready, feel the darkness gathering into a heavy, dense ball in your right hand and then next see the ball dissolving into light.
    - Now visualise the perpetrator. Connect with the soul in them. See firstly their perfected light.
    - Can you now let go of your resentment, fear or hate? Can you release yourself from judgment?
    - Keep working at it until you can let go of all such negativity.

NB: important note - We understand "Radical Forgiveness" is a trade-marked approach to spiritual healing which we have no connection to and do not represent. We have simply used the title here in this article because it came to mind and seemed appropriate. If you're interested in finding out more about Radical Forgivess (the practice), here is a link to the website...

Great article! Thanks for posting it.
It reminded me of this
“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain

I dont understand how being molested by my father was something I invited to happen, or how forgiving him or be thankful for the lesson it gave me it taught me nothing but to fear life itself, and consequently to marry an abusive man, why would I be thankful for that lesson.

Hi Jubillee,

Yes I know, it's not an easy one to see in the beginning. I greatly empathise with you - my heart goes out to you and all the people we've encountered through our work who have been abused as you have. It's quite a frequent occurance.

So where is the lesson? Where is the gift? We change our lives only when we make a conscious inner choice to do something different. We are the creators of our experience. Everything that happens in our lives is shaped by our inner configuration of consciousness. Whatever we hold within - our karma for example - shapes the lives we then live.

It's especially clear to see in the patterns that happen in our lives. So clearly you've manifested a pattern in your life of being controlled and abused by dominating men. The point is, you would not have drawn these men to you if you didn't have the consciousness of the victim within.

I know it's so hard. I've encountered it many times through the one-on-one work we do. As a child, we will naturally seek protective parents, people to watch over us and look up to. But when one of them mistreats us, then as a child, it is so hard to understand why? It's typical we might blame ourselves, thinking it's our fault and then bottling that up inside.

The child seeks loving attention, but that love is then wrapped up with the energy of pain. This is the very consciousness that then manifests outside ourselves through our lives. It's like programmed loop of activity on a computer. The victim program within needs the controller program to fullfil itself - to give it reason. So that program then operates in all the relationships we now have.

The point is though, once we see it and embrace the truth in it, offers the chance to be liberated from that pattern - to discover new aspects of beingness about ourselves. (I see from your other post that you were on the verge of breaking that old pattern when a different kind of man with a more caring energy appeared on your landscape - clearly though you still need to break the pattern before you'll fully realise that softer caring energy in your life through the appropriate mirroring partner).

So there's an invitation to now realise the inner gift of wholeness and completeness, that you don't need a strong paternal man to look after you. A partnership might be great yes, but on equal terms where there is wholeness and completeness for both individuals. It's moving beyond the place where the other partner is needed to make us feel complete.

I'd say you've clearly manifested this situation from a past life, the energy of which is now held as your karma. If I'm right, then it will be one of the key reasons you reincarnated in this lifetime. It will have brought you back into incarnation to work through.

Since that may well be a key purpose of your incarnation - to let go of this disempowering attachment - then the gift is being offered to you to work through the attachments and let them go. It is the gift of self completeness which is being offered - but you have to physically choose that in the moments where you feel victimised or disempowered.

With love and empathy

I would like to talk about my experience of forgiveness.
I had a very controlling father and mother, in different ways. I grew up feeling like I was constantly walking on eggs shells, my father was a bully - making me feel very small, stupid and weak, mixed in with occasional verbal and physical abuse. My Mother could also be very volatile and I felt that I lacked the support and nurturing during my childhood that I so much longed for.

I left home at 16 - I can't remember actually planning it at all - just felt a strong urge to be free, to make my own decisions and free myself from the suffocating control of my parents. Sadly my older brother had learned much from their behaviour, so he intinctively bullied me alongside them.

I packed my suitcase one day and took it to college where I was studying for my A'Levels, at the end of the day I sat on that suitcase in the car park - no where to go, no money, no job and no one to talk to about it. I just knew that I couldnt go back home.

From that moment my life (retrospectively) became magical - a friend offered me somewhere to stay, then another friend, I lived with a vicar and his wife in their home for a while - the lady cooked me mash and sausages and we sat down and watched the television together in the evenings, we didnt exchange many words as their unspoken support was all I needed to gather the courage to carry on with my journey. From there I rented a small box room in a shared house and carried on with my study as best I could.

I didnt see my parents for 5 years - they didnt try to contact me and I stayed away from them - I needed rest bite from living on egg shells for so many years - some time to recover and try to understand my childhood. Although I can remember feeling very numb during this time, to young to really understand - the numbness served as a survival mechanism so that I could focus on providing for myself, food, shelter and an income of sorts.

It wasnt really until my early - mid twenties that I began searching my soul for the answers to my experience. I felt alot of anger towards them although at the time it came out in my relationships with men. I tended to attract controlling men who were emotionally unavaliable - as my parents had been. This caused me great pain but it was exactly the lesson that I need inorder to begin looking within. I had began on a spiritual path at 21, reading books and hanging around with people also interested in spirituality. I came across inner child teachings and slowly began to form a picture of why I was the way I was (very shy, introspective and sometimes aloof).

I began looking at my parents upbringing and could clearly see why they were the way they were, my father grew up in a welsh mining community with strict parents as my mother had. They were unhappy in their marriage together which coloured their experience of everything. I began to see that they were just very sad and bitter at the way their lives had turned out, they hadnt moved past the limitations and control that they themselves had beed subjected to - they didnt mean to impart this upon me - they just didnt know anything other than that.


So with this new knowledge began the path to radical forgiveness. I saw that it was not MY fault that I had been treated this way (I had blamed myself and thought myself unworthy for many years). But it wasnt THEIR fault either - they were just running old programmes of conditioning learned from childhood patterns - just as I was.

With this came the realisation that I wasnt responsible for my past experiences but I WAS responsible for how my life turned out from this moment. I had a choice - to stop being the victim of circumstances or to move past all of this, turn inwards and work on myself. My parents were unable to break this pattern - but I could, with this came empowerment.

I had entered a abusive marriage at 26 - it even became so extreme that on occasion he tried to strangle me. I lived with this for quite a few months until I began to put my knowledge into practice - this is where the real shifts began - I knew I had a choice! I could stay with him and continue to ALLOW MYSELF to be controlled and abused - or I could stop being a victim and break free. It was up to me.

I was living in South Africa with him at this time, his home country - I used my credit card to buy a ticket back to the UK - got on that flight and came home. I ended the marriage and for the first time in my 27 years I had taken my power back. This felt like a real Gateway 2 experience to me, although I am not completely sure that it was Gateway 2.

Again I had no money and no where to live - and divorced at 27 - there I was with just one suitcase again with no support from family. But I had for the the first time in my live taken full responsibility for myself and the choices I made.

It took many years of soul searching to bring me this to this point of liberation - it was not an easy journey at all - I had to forgive myself time and time again for the choices I had made and it took some time to summon the courage to follow my heart and take full responsibility for myself and my life in this way.

After all - I could blame my ex husband - but just the same as my parents he was running old patterns of conditioning from his childhood - it wasnt his fault. I had a choice and with that choice I realised that it didnt matter what anyone 'did' to me - I had the choice in each and every moment how to respond to life.

And now at 32 I can see clearly how I attracted exactly the right experiences and people into my life that allowed me to turn inwards and evolve through the pain to the emormous gift that lies beyond all of the drama.

And I can truly say with all of my heart that I wouldnt change a single thing - as I wouldnt be the person I am today without this lessons and the knowledge gained from them.

So there really is no one to forgive anymore - all that fills that space is profound self honesty and liberation from within. And a huge amount of gratitue to the universe as I understood how Gaia supported me in each moment (although not always in a way that I wanted or expected it to).

From this experience I came to understand the true meaning of this quote - and it always makes me smile.

"Between stimulus and response there is a space...
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

Viktor Frankl

Much Love


What a powerful story. Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. I imagine it will touch the hearts and resonate with many reading. When we share stories - truth - like this, it helps others see the way forwards. It us realise that we really do create the experiences we have and this empowers us to become the masters of circumstance not the victims of it.

Much love to you

Even though my journey was totally different on the external, but I went through similar realizations: letting go being a victim, taking responsibility, seeing how I recreate the experiences/situations, determination to 'break the pattern', stand on my feet' and take care of myself, forgiving others (but not myself yet) and feeling this acceptance and gratitude, just as Harmony said:

"I wouldnt change a single thing - as I wouldnt be the person I am today without this lessons and the knowledge gained from them."

For me too the path to forgiveness was through understanding that they couldn't really be other that what they were, and while they ARE responsible for what happened, they are not to blame, they are also victims of their own life 'circumstances' just as I were in that situation. I could really feel them back then, how they felt, and I found myself empathizing. This broke all the hard feelings I had towards them, only 'trauma' itself remained, cleared form the blame.

So the question is, do we now roll generations after generations of 'victims'? or do we break the cycle, get up on our feet, take responsibility and learn to love, ourselves and consequently others?

Does it really serve to hold the blame and the grudge? Does it make us more soft, more open, free, joyous? more loving and lovable? or more stiff, tight, hostile, on alert, with the defenses on and unhappy? Does it really feel right to feel this way?

It doesn't mean I will want to be around these people, or let them do whatever they want, or say that it was ok what they did. But I CAN understand, forgive and love them and then do what feels right for ME, freed from rejecting, avoiding or fighting them (in everyday life, in the feeling or imagination). This is when I really get the choice, when I am free form these emotions and past imprints.

I do allow myself to feel the sadness or anger coming from the past, but I own these feelings, take the who did what and the blame out of it. It is MY feeling and I now decide what to do with it. Keep it or let it go.

With love,

My childhood was very similar to yours, compressing neg vibes infused relentlessly at very deep levels, at a very young age... I think Jubillee that people like you and I are targeted at a very early age almost at the beginning of it all, as there is an awareness that notices our POWERFUL GIFTS OF LOVE and then does what it can to give us even more opportunity to become aware of it. Think of the SPECIAL POWER OF LOVE YOU HAVE, you must be filled with love to go through all that and to still open and trust and try and try again, I know sometimes it seems impossible, I have thrown myself in the direction of giving up many times, but at the last second I just couldnt leave the possibility of finding ALL THE LOVE IVE FELT, well guess what I found iTS IN ME AND IN YOU.. You wouldnt feel your love it if it wasnt there. TRUST YOUR LOVE, Stop and realize, dont you see YOU HAVE SO MUCH STRENGTH IN LOVE to still be searching, that is the most powerful aspect of your being that I think your overlooking, dont blame yourself or others but SEE YOUR LOVE STILL STANDING knowing that part of you is timeless,immortal,it cant be squashed by anything, only made stronger... You will find your love and much much more, Im sure of it...Finding Openhand is proof of that... with love

If anyone out there is trying to align their LOVE, then may I suggest going to a farm or somewhere where you might spend some time with some baby chicks (chickens) they will come to you and give you their trusting love.. love attracts them like a magnet... they will offer their love despite who you are, despite the unfamiliarity, spend some time with them as much as you need, and FEEL their precious loving innocent beauty... SEE that they have no defenses in any way and yet they move forward towards you with COMPLETE TRUST opening themselves to the sharing of the moment. Is this not WHAT WE ARE HERE FOR.. IS THIS NOT WHAT ALLLIFE IS ABOUT... FEEL your connection to the universe... and know who and what you are... love

In reply to by Bill (not verified)

I was checking my email and have never opened any of these messages, today I did, I was very touched by your response, I do believe I was targeted at an early age by my father because I was so full of love for him, but maybe I was a victim then as well, I know child molesters target the weaker ones the ones that wont tell , and then I attracted my husband who verbally abused me for years and also cheated on me, I don't know if I am full of love yet but still searching for it that's for sure , I have been diagnosed with ptsd and I think it has been the hardest battle for me, I guess Istayed around to long with the abuse my brain will not shut off now and sleep is almost impossible, I have pulled away from life I feel the safest when I am alone, yet I am so lonely, I don't trust anyone anymore and thinking of putting myself out there causes me a lot of anxiety. I enjoy walking my dog for hours in the woods, that is where I find my quiet and joy. I am still with my husband and I am opening up to loving him again, as he is doing with me, I guess maybe we were put together to teach each other that love is what matters, I will try and do what you said about trusting in love again, I do see myself standing in love sometimes when I go for my walks, I also see jesus beside me often, when Im quiet its who I see, he is always walking beside me, we are on a beach and I have been different ages with him, maybe I manifest this to feel safe but all I know is hes always there, for years I also had a garden in my mind that I would go to, beautiful garden the problem was nobody was in there with me, and I wouldn't let anyone in either, I always saw my husband sitting on a bench outside the garden but he wasn't allowed in, now I can see him there, I will take with me the comment you made about don't you see you have so much strength in love to be still searching, I guess I did overlook that, and your right it cannot be squashed by anything only made stronger , thank you so much for your words of inspiration it has made me have a better outlook starting today, god bless you . Julie.

In reply to by Open

wow , what a wonderful read, you sure did open my eyes to the idea that I am being given the gift of letting go of those attachments so I can find self completeness, I have started to realize that there were a lot of people around me that were mean, I have since pulled away from people like that, I have taken back my power, I am very leary of people all together now, I was diagnosed with ptsd about a year ago, I think I stayed around the abuse to long, my doctor says its like a full drawer and it will all have to be dealt with, I chose not to talk about it with her because then I have terrible nightmares and relive to much, you are right about the parental thing that is exactly what my husband was he was just like my father, he was always absent and then he cheated on me , exactly what I saw my mother go through, I wanted to tell you that the other person I was attracted to that was kinder ended up being abusive to me as well, go figure, he was addicted to sex and wanted to do some weird things, I couldn't believe it, he had kept that from me, but it was easy for me to detach from him I saw clearly how I was manipulated again and was made to feel the victim just for love, I did pull away from him for good, and now realize that I attracted that kind of person so I could heal the molesting part, I know he was god sent, I actually thanked him for doing that to me , because I learned so much about what I would tolerate for love, so I guess I found my power a little then, I am realizing everyday that love is all that matters and am trying really hard to see life like that again, I am stronger and I know I will no longer tolerate any kind of abuse from anyone, I do want to leave this world whole so no one reincarnates again with this kind of karma, and I know that is what I am being taught by the universe, it is still hard some days, to trust , but I am getting better, I go for long walks with my dog and I can feel god with me, and I know it is what he is trying to do for me, he lets me know that I am not alone and that he is always beside me, I don't know if you find that odd but I do see him all the time when I am quiet inside, he has often told me what to do and what direction to take, and he is never wrong, I am starting to fall in love with my husband again, and he with me, he also had a bad karma that needed to be healed and I believe I was the only one who could help him heal, he is slowly becoming a softer more loving person, a little at a time, we both are, I think we are both realizing that being in love is a wonderful feeling and worth so much more than money, he stillt tries to parent me , or take care of me but I try to not let him do that to much, anyway its been quite a journey and I know its not over but at least I can see a light now. thank you so much for what you said, I loved it, and I will have a much better day today because of it, with the kindest regards Julie.

I can only liken OH to Benevolent Consciousness speaking to me directly. This article and all the postings are very open, supportive and well ...inspiring - I could go on. Open thank you.

I am going through some pretty horrendous stuff at the moment, which has also dragged up stuff from the past, which I thought I had dealt with but obviously not. I really didn't know how to cope or what the way forward would be. I thought I would just go on line and see if OH something to help and hey presto there is the exact thing I needed to read.

From parents to husband to boyfriends and now family - a trail of negative experiences and having learnt a little from each but not really letting go of blame and fear - And like someone said they are responsible but not to blame. I seem to remember you saying Open something about if their is still silt (negativity/trauma) the light will seek it out and bring it to the surface.

It is this victim consciousness showing itself to me yet again. Only this time I am more aware what is happening. And its not going to win this time! Its not going to be easy but I am determined - to shine my light into those dark corners.

Many many thanks guys.

With much love and hugs Myra x

That's brilliant Myra.

It's clear to me there's been a general misconception in spiritual circles around what 'dropping attachment' really means - so it's understandable really. And the same can be said for a lot of healing practices - taking the pain away but before the attachment has really been processed. So with many, there's only an intellect level letting go - a kind of fail safe trip switch has been inadvertently installed inside. So there's still nuggets of soul gold buried in the sediment - it's this that the light keeps returning to in order to uncover and retrieve them.

The only way out is through. We have to allow the soul to guide us into our inner darkness, not resist, placate, deny or distract. We have to allow ourselves to experience the fullness of the pain and feel through it. Only then can we really - and permanently - process the attachment. We become self realised through the situation. The lost nuggets of soul gold are retrieved. This is true healing.

Great that you're finding the path through that Myra.



Hi I am reading this book and trying to apply this to my situation. I am wondering though, are we suppose to forgive someone who cheats and keeps doing it? I know I am suppose to believe there is a greater lesson in this. Also am I not suppose to check on him now knowing he cheated and just let it happen and unfold in its own way?

Forgiveness is a choice. You can't forgive someone unless you feel it deep within. Otherwise it's just a superficial, surface-level forgiveness. True forgiveness is a life changing experience when we truly embrace that everything in the outside world is a reflection of what is inside.

Forgiveness doesn't equate to having to tolerate bull-shit either. That's your choice.

True forgiveness is realising that it is a reflection of your own inner darkness. You have drawn it to yourself to self-realise.

What greater lesson? Why have you drawn the situation to yourself. Dig deeper and ask what the situation reveals to you about yourself? Where do you give away your own power? What expectations do you have? What needs do you have?

If you have truly forgiven another person, and the situation still persists, then perhaps that situation/relationship doesn't serve you any more. Often though, there is more to unravel first.

Yes if your mind/ego don't get involved and you just be, then what is there to forgive?

It's like if you are aware of something done to you that is wrong, you can just be mindful of that and just BE. Another great opportunity to evolve and grow.

Just one caveat though, it must be very difficult in certain situations to come to this conclusion, in the most extreme situation - for example the murder of a child or any other extremely negative situation.

Jesus teaches Humilty(turn the other cheek) and Buddah taught mindfulness and awareness. Your article feels like you are referring to this.

Joy to you all.


Jubillee I read your sharing and Personally I cannot resonate with it as I have not experienced anything of the sort but I was touched by your sharing's and sense your strength within :) as Bill expressed and shared you being on this site is great stride and I wish you both much internal shifts of Consciousness and discoveries :) Open and Openhand definitely make us do this if we leave an Open space to them :).

After re-reading this article and reading the Posts some major deep seated internal shifts have risen, sending me on a path to regress and look deeper internally on a very sensitive past experience.

Thank-you to everyone for sharing in this article and to Open for the response on the openhand Fb page.

Namaste to Everyone