Monday, December 23, 2013

Forgive for Good by Dr. Fred Luskin

Our friend  and my husband's mentor, Jeff, joined us for dinner in early December. He and I were exchanging books we had gleaned insight. One i had recently read was Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal by Rachel Naomi Remen.
Knowing how so many of the people in our lives are the homeless and/or in prison (as well as people in general after reading it) could benefit from this, Jeff recommended Forgive for Good by Fred Luskin. He said it was the best book he had ever read on forgiveness, strangely it had no religious "take". It is about how forgiveness heals oneself and grievance harms oneself. Fred has used this approach with many people groups including those who have had loved ones murdered in Northern Ireland years ago.

According to Fred these are the three thought processes that create grievance (things that need to be forgiven)
To form a grievance one
1. took an offense too personally
2. blamed the offender for how you feel
3. created a grievance story

I love how he states that with grievance we "rent too much space in your mind" to hurt and anger. He talks about unenforceable rules and how this disappointment leads to grievances. He also states that we should turn our mind channel from the grievance channel to the channels of gratitude, beauty, forgiveness, and love.

To forgive for good one must
1. take a hurt less personally
2. take responsibility for how you feel
3. become a hero instead of a victim in the story you tell

He uses the the PERT (positive emotional refocusing technique) and the HEAL (hope, educate, affirm, long-term)  methods

The last chapter is about forgiving yourself and how to use these methods yourself.

Fred Luskin's website is

Thanks Jeff, this has been an amazing book!!! I would highly recommend this book for everyone, small grievances to large.
Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal is also a wonderful book and also recommend it.

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