Learn: Forgiveness
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After I posted Learn: Forgiveness, the topic of forgiveness kept popping up at me. These resources offer expert information about forgiveness.

 

A Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) article too-old-to-link-to (September 2007) led me to this web site, which discusses the stress-busting healing powers and medical benefits of forgiveness. The site includes a list of nine steps to take toward forgiveness and points to research conducted by Dr. Frederic Luskin and his colleagues with the Stanford Forgiveness Projects. Results of the studies show that forgiveness can reduce feelings of anger, depression and stress and can foster feelings of hope, peace, compassion and self-confidence. Luskin has published a few books, including Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness.

The BHG article reminded of a tweet I saw last week about a StoryCorps interview featuring Mary Johnson, a woman who has not only forgiven but befriended her son’s killer. Johnson has also created an organization that promotes forgiveness and supports women whose children have been murdered.

A similar story, of a father who nurtured a healing friendship with his daughter’s killer, appears in Marc Ian Barash’s book Field Notes on the Compassionate Life. Barash explores real-life forgiveness in his chapter “The Elixir of Forgiveness.”

In my further research, I didn’t find any tips specifically outlined to describe how to forgive a person who has died. When reconciliation isn't an option, Katherine Piderman, Ph.D. suggests working on your grudge in partnership with a wise and compassionate person—maybe a clergy person, a therapist or a trusted friend. Other suggestions are to write a letter to the deceased or to work on forgiveness through journal writing.

 

Check out these links to explore forgiveness even further:

The Power of Forgiveness is a documentary film that examines forgiveness research through stories and interviews. The film also looks at how forgiveness plays a role in different faiths traditions. The film's web site also includes a forgiveness quiz!

The Fetzer Institute's Campaign for Love & Forgiveness encourages people to engage in bringing love and forgiveness into their individual lives and communities.

This Emotional Life is a three-part PBS series that explores improving social relationships, coping with depression and anxiety, and becoming more positive and resilient.

Now is the time to take back your energy, your power, and your peace.

—Debbie Ford

 

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