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Excerpted from Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping. Copyright 1997 by Colin Tipping. Excerpted by permission of Global Thirteen Publishing.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"Tentatively, I said, 'Jill, are you willing to look at this situation differently?'"

Colin Tipping, Radical Forgiveness, Part 3

However, after the second day of verbally going round and round about Jill's problem, I decided the time was near for me to try the Radical Forgiveness approach. This required my sister opening to the possibility that something beyond the obvious was happening -- something purposeful, divinely guided and intended for her highest good. Yet, since she was so committed to being the "victim" in the situation, I was not sure I could get her to hear an interpretation of Jeff's behavior that would take her out of that role.

Just as my sister began yet another repetition of what she had said the day before, I intervened. Tentatively, I said, "Jill, are you willing to look at this situation differently? Would you consider letting go of how you are thinking for just a few hours and trying on a completely different way of looking at this situation?"

She looked at me quizzically, as if she were wondering, "How can there possibly be another interpretation? It is how it is!" However, I have a certain track record with Jill; I helped her solve a previous relationship problem. This had developed in her enough trust that she now replied, "Well, yes. I guess so. What do you have in mind?"

I had my opening. "What I'm going to say may sound strange, but try not to question it until I have finished. Just stay open to the possibility that what I am saying is true, and see whether or not my words make sense to you in any way at all."

Until this time, John had done his best to stay attentive to Jill, but the constant repetitive conversation about Jeff had begun to bore him tremendously. In fact, he had largely tuned her out. However, I was acutely aware that my interjection caused John to perk up and begin listening again.

"What you have described to us, Jill, certainly represents the truth as you see it," I began. "I have not the slightest doubt about the veracity of everything you have said. In case you ever doubted your own memory, or the inaccuracy of Jeff's belief that the whole situation is 'all in your mind,' John also has witnessed much of the situation over the last three weeks and confirms your story. Right, John?" I queried and turned toward my brother.

"Absolutely," he confirmed. "I saw it going on a lot, just as Jill says. I thought it was pretty strange and, quite honestly, much of the time I felt awkward being there."

"I'm not surprised," I said. "So, I want you to know that nothing I am going to say negates what you have said or invalidates your story. I totally believe that it happened the way you said it happened. I want, however, to give you a hint of what might be going on underneath this situation."

"What do you mean, 'underneath the situation,'" Jill asked, eyeing me suspiciously.

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