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Reblogged:Is 'Radical Forgiveness' Another 'Nonviolent Communication?'

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A few days ago, I ran across an article at NPR titled, "Why Forgiving Someone Else Is Really About You." Intrigued, I read through it and learned that much of what it discussed came from a book called Radical Forgiveness, by Colin Tipping. (The piece links to a 21-minute show and a worksheet. I have not had a chance to look at either.)

I found two interrelated things within the article interesting: (1) Some of the advice it discusses sounds like it could be good; and (2) the title of the book reminds me of a book, Nonviolent Communication that I read some time back, and found to contain very good advice despite its awful (and arguably misleading) title.

Here is an example of some of the potentially good advice:

Image by Lina Trochez, via Unsplash, license.
Contrary to popular opinion, the practice of forgiveness is not about condoning or making excuses for unfair treatment and other hurtful behaviors. It's not about getting an apology or a show of remorse from the offending party. And despite what's portrayed in films, novels, poems and love songs, it's not necessarily about reconciliation. Granted, reconnecting with loved ones can be a wonderful byproduct of forgiveness, but it's not a requirement or even a goal in some cases -- especially if doing so would subject you to more harm.

"The expanded version of forgiveness that I love to teach is a deep, soul-level letting-go of our pain, our sorrow, our suffering," Holub says. "And we do that because we want to be free. We do that because we want to be healthy and we want to have peace of mind."
The gist of the process, from what I can tell from the article, is to get the negative emotions from past events out of one's system; and then consider the facts of the troubling episode objectively with the aid of one's greater knowledge and experience.

This sounds like a great idea, whether I am interpreting correctly or not. But it does also remind me of something I recall saying about Nonviolent Communication:
The influence of altruism on [Marshall] Rosenberg's thinking was so pervasive that at every level, it was often necessary to think carefully about what made a given point good or bad. This is on top of the fact that the author never defines what he regards as "violent": The closest he ever got was, towards the end of the book, was when he referred to the way most people communicate as, "life-alienating communication" (loc. 3646). So communication is supposed to further "life", but since Rosenberg is an altruist, he skirts around lots of points that would really hit home if expressed in egoistic terms. (Instead, he either misses or evades lots of connections that someone familiar with Ayn Rand's ideas will often make without much effort.) It is somewhat fitting, then, that the author also misses out on a positive title, which might have been something like, Mutually Beneficial Communication.
So I may have stumbled across another Nonviolent Communication. Or not. At a better time, I plan to look into the matter and decide for myself.

In the meantime, if any passer-by is familiar with Radical Forgiveness, I'd be grateful for your thoughts.

-- CAV

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