A painting done on canvas stretched over a wooden frame is one thing. But, as soon as you put a nice frame around it, something happens. The painting itself is transformed. Change the frame once more and you change it again. The frame creates a context for the picture and the two together all of a sudden become a singularity.
Taking your story as it was when you first began this program, it already had a frame around it, even though it was totally invisible to you. So what was that frame?
All the ideas, attitudes beliefs, preferences, and prejudices, etc., which you hold about life, in general, frame your story and give it its context.
There was a lot more, for what is also true about your frame is that it comprises the values of the entire society you live in, as well as those that are personal to you. One of those values is a commitment to victim consciousness.
No doubt victim consciousness was a predominant part of your frame, and it is obvious that it is rife in our society as well. This means that you are not the only one with a stake in this frame. Society at large feels it has at least part ownership in it, so if you try to change it in any significant way, you will run into trouble. They will hate you for changing it because it will represent a threat to their value system and their world view.
So, what we get to understand here is that what sustained your story was the consciousness that framed it. Change the consciousness (the frame) and you change how you are obliged to perceive the story. It can only be that one’s perception of what happened to you was bad, wrong, unfortunate, unlucky, etc., and that you were victimized, injured, wronged and damaged by someone who should have known better.
You were clearly the injured party, the victim while the other person is seen to be the villain. We think we are getting this directly from your story, but in reality we are projecting the frame (our values), onto the story and seeing it through that particular lens.
Since traditional forgiveness makes no attempt to change the frame, holding tight to the idea that you were victimized, you can understand why it takes a very long time to forgive using that kind of forgiveness. The influence of the frame is simply too strong.
So what changes does Radical Forgiveness make to the frame? What kind of belief system would constitute a Radical Forgiveness frame to go around your story? Let me refer you back to preparation module #3 in which I took you through the basic assumptions of Radical Forgiveness. Those assumptions would constitute the new frame — the new paradigm if you will. Here are some them:
So basically what we are doing when do a reframe is to strip away the old victim-oriented frame and replace it with this new one. It really is that simple.
It is the same thing as turning the tapestry over. Remember that analogy in Module #2? Doing this reframe is like turning the tapestry over. The victim story was on the back. Then we turned it over and saw the same story in a completely new light. The story did not change; only our perception of it changed.
What if those assumptions seem too crazy and unbelievable? Suppose you don’t believe them? What then? How can the reframe work if you have not got those assumptions anchored into your mind and body?
Well, just for a moment, let’s go back to the painting I mentioned right at the beginning. Each time you changed the frame, it automatically changed your perception of the picture, didn’t it? It is like you could not help but see it differently. You didn’t need to think about it or have a belief about the frame itself, did you? It was simply a matter of whether it was there or not there or replaced by a different frame.
So, the fact is that belief is not necessary for the reframe to work. The new Radical Forgiveness frame just needs to be there at least for the amount of time that it takes for your new perception to register it.
It works, I believe, because it is probably very close to the truth if not THE truth. It is just that our rational minds are not up to it yet. However, our Spiritual Intelligence is, and it registers the reframe immediately. So it sticks. That is why the strategy of faking it till we make it works.
So when we come to do the reframe, we write it up as if we truly believe it, even though we probably don’t. In two days time, I will ask you to do the reframe by writing the third and final letter. I will coach you on it, but first let me run something by you that you might never have considered and might even be shocking to you.
You do not have to accept it, of course, but it is an interesting idea that, if included in the reframe, makes it even more transformational. What I am alluding to is the idea that prior to your incarnation, you made an arrangement with this person. It was that he or she come into your life and victimize you in this way to provide the very experiences that you had decided were to be part of your curriculum here on planet Earth. That he/she would provide the lessons you needed for your soul’s growth.
Now, if this idea is new to you and it seems preposterous, that is fine. There may be no truth to it at all. However, there may be — who knows? So, why not let yourself hang out in the idea, even if just for today. Consider it a possibility at least and allow yourself to sleep on it. And, again, just like with all those other assumptions you might be going to use in the reframe, belief in it is not necessary. So, even if you do not want to believe it, you might still choose to include it in your reframe letter.
Perhaps you will allow me to push this idea a little further. As the back of the tapestry, life appears to be random and chaotic, but maybe it is not as random and accidental as we think. I think that a lot of pre-planning goes into how your life turns out and what happens is exactly what we want to experience. It also seems reasonable to suppose that we might have gotten together with a number of other souls — a soul group, if you like — and set up a whole series of agreements to do certain things for each other that would give us the experiences that we each wanted.
What kind of experiences and why would we want them? Here’s what I think. Going right back now to why we even come here at all, I make it up that we come to this world of duality to expand our sense of Oneness (that is, our connectedness to God and all things), by arranging to have lots of experiences that contain the opposite of it — separation or disconnection. It is like you cannot know what light is until you have experienced darkness. So, it is the same with oneness. You cannot appreciate it unless you have experienced separation. Moreover, you have to admit, we all have been very good at creating the pain of separation. No one seems to get away without it in their lives in some way or another. It comes in all sorts of different forms: physical abuse, withdrawal of love, abandonment, rejection, betrayal and so on.
So I make it up that we begged God to give us the opportunity to incarnate so that we could learn this particular spiritual lesson. That is what I think is meant by the statement, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” It was our choice to come here, and we are here with God’s blessing.
It is also part of the plan that we forget this. Spiritual amnesia, as I call it, is necessary. Otherwise, we would not feel the pain associated with each separation that, after all, is the whole point of the exercise. However, at a certain point in our lives, when we have experienced the amount of separation pain we signed up for, we begin to awaken.
We start to investigate things of a spiritual nature and begin to open up to the idea of there being this other reality. You must be either just entering that phase or have already started the awakening process. Otherwise, you would not be doing this program. Of that I am certain. People who have not yet reached that point would not be attracted to Radical Forgiveness.
There are few people in one’s life to whom you make yourself so vulnerable as a life partner, parents, siblings or your kids. When that relationship is violated in any way, the sense of separation is acute. So, if you wanted to pack a lot of separation into your life right from the start, doesn’t it make sense that you would choose someone with whom, on the one hand, you would have this incredible connection but who would nevertheless create the most painful kinds of disconnects between you and him or her? Doesn’t that make sense?
Let’s do a little visualization here. Imagine yourself as a soul planning to be born as a human being and you have around you a bunch of souls who are also planning a similar journey of their own. Now imagine yourself asking one of the other souls if he or she will play this role for you.
He or she asks in return what will you need him or her to do for you? Your reply is what has now become your victim story. You chose that particular soul because you knew that it would be a tough assignment, requiring that soul to bear a lot of negative judgment for what he or she has to do in service to you, but you knew he or she had enough love to be able to carry the assignment through. By way of return, you agree to do something for one of the other souls in the group at some time during their lifetime experience. (You might think of someone you might have harmed in some way. Could this have been you playing out the soul contract for that person?)
Well, there’s a lot of food for thought here, isn’t there? I hope you have found it stimulating, though. As I keep on saying, you do not have to believe any of it, just so long as you stay open to it as a possibility or see it as one of many possibilities.
I will add some more on this general theme tomorrow. There’re a couple more things to do yet before doing the reframe letter, so don’t start it yet. I will want to coach you on how to write it once we get to that point.
Thanks for hanging in there with me on this.