Nine Steps to Forgiveness

By Luskin, Frederic | Aging Today, July/August 2004 | Go to article overview

Nine Steps to Forgiveness


Luskin, Frederic, Aging Today


Research conducted by the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, which I direct, enabled us to distill nine steps people can take to forgiveness. The following steps appear in my book Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness (New York City: HarperCollins, 2003):

Know exactly how you feel about what happened, and be able to articulate what about the situation is not okay. Then, tell a couple of trusted people about your experience.

Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and not for anyone else. No one else even has to know about your decision.

Understand your goal. Forgiveness docs nol necessarily mean reconciling with people who upset you or condoning their action. What you are after is peace. Forgiveness can be defined as the peace and understanding that can come from blaming less that which has hurt you, taking the experience less personally and changing the story of your grievance.

Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress comes from the hurt feelings, thoughts and physical upset you are suffering now, not what offended you or hurt you two minutes-or 10 years-ago. …

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