Forgive for Good—A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness by Fred Luskin
Review by Kendy Anderson, Take Courage Coaching® Coach and Coach Trainer
Tired of renting space in your head to past grievances? Fred Luskin, Ph.D. offers a roadmap to implementing forgiveness as part of your journey to a more peaceful life. The author starts out by saying, “There is great danger in giving people, without your best interests in mind, power over you. There is great danger in giving people who have hurt you power over the way you feel.” Too often, he points out, the only one suffering from our grievances are not those who hurt us in the past, but our friends and family today.
Forgiveness is always a choice and it becomes a decision to stop the suffering and move on from the past and stop blaming your feelings on the offender.
“While you did not cause these things to happen, you are responsible for how you think, behave, and feel since those experiences occurred. It is your life, and they are your reactions and emotions to manage.”
Luskin points out that forgiveness is not about letting people off the hook; it’s about not blaming them for how you feel. It’s not about condoning unkindness or being a doormat. It’s more about taking responsibility for our emotions and realizing people are not perfect. “As a forgiving person, you become resistant to taking offense. Your skin becomes tougher. You take less personal offense, you are convinced that you are responsible for how you feel, and you tell stories that show you and other people in the light of your positive intention.”
The author shares doable steps to implement forgiveness—providing a clear process and what forgiveness techniques look like. The reader will not miss the many practical solutions presented. It seems a bit repetitive at times but maybe the author’s goal is reinforcement.
“When each of these steps has been completed—knowing what your feelings are, being clear about the wrong, and sharing your experience with one or two trusted people—you are ready to forgive.”
One practical step the author provides is to “change the channel” on our grievances. He challenges the concept that our experience of hurt is more real than our experiences of beauty or love, and by focusing on things like gratitude or nature we empower our thoughts in a more peaceful path instead of reinforcing our suffering.
Anyone looking to reduce the suffering and pain in their life would benefit from not only reading this book, but implementing the strategies outlined.
Fred Luskin, Ph.D., the author of Forgive for Good is one of the world's leading researchers and teachers on the subject of forgiveness. He is the director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, a series of research projects that investigate forgiveness methods. He holds an appointment at the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation as a senior fellow and is an associate professor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
Learn more: learningtoforgive.com