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Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness Paperback – January 21, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting, insists Fred Luskin in Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness, nor does it mean condoning bad behavior. What it does mean is that you "take your hurt less personally, take responsibility for how you feel, and become a hero instead of a victim in the story you tell." Luskin, a practicing psychologist and cofounder of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, shows why forgiveness is important for mental and physical health, explains how to form a grievance and suggests practical steps for healing. He uses examples from his clinical practice including instances of broader cultural grievances like those between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland in this solidly researched and convincing guide.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
To forgive may be divine, according to Alexander Pope, but it is hardly easy. How do you forgive a hit-and-run driver, a boss who makes life unbearable, or a cheating spouse? Luskin says not only can you forgive such people but that for your own good mental and physical health, you must. The author is careful to make the distinction between forgiveness and condoning actions, forgetting them, or reconciling with the offender, all or some of which may not be possible. He says that over time we build up "grievances" against others on which we obsess and that make it impossible to get on with our lives. It is only through forgiveness that we can let go of the grievance, stop playing the role of victim, and move on. Through case studies, he indicates how we build up grievances and how they can block our happiness. He then describes the HEAL method of forgiveness, which stands for Hope, Educate, Affirm, and Long-term. Good practical advice for a very difficult task. Marlene Chamberlain
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
I've been mad at my boyfriend for sleeping with another woman, and abandoning me to be on my own in a hospital after I took a bunch of pills when I found that out. The whole year passed, and all I could do was run this "movie" in my head what an "injustice" he did to me every day first thing when I woke up and every time I was falling asleep.
I was suffocated with those thoughts and they didn't let me live the full life, or have an enthusiasm to meet or get to know someone else, and this is while being attractive young woman. I realized I needed something to be changed about this, otherwise it was just impossible to live like that.
Dr. Luskin, like gentle father, took me by hand and showed step by step, how I am stuck in the miry swamp of my own grievance.As turns out, it's us and only us who's responsible for how we feel and only we can control whether we are going to let our past dictate and poison our present and our happiness, or can we just accept that whatever happened is in the past, and the grievance in the present will not bring us any use but harm. What s amazing, harm to our health first of all. If you are ready for brighter present and future and ready to let go of your past offenses and be happy - let Dr. Luskin show you how. He did it for me, for which I am very thankful. And I can enjoy life again :)
The downside: the book is a little repetitive, and a little dry, but if you get through the whole thing, it really changes your attitude to how you react to unpleasant events, learn not to take it personally, learn to be the boss of how you feel and don't let wrongdoings of some bad people be the dictator of your happiness and piece of mind
I also ordered his other book, "Forgive for Love" and currently reading it now
As a side-product it also helps the reader gain greater self-discipline and regain control of his/her life. My only criticism is that the two metaphors used in the book that are referred to again and again aren't the best for illustrating the ideas expressed. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book for those wanting to overcome hurts from the past and who wish to get on with their lives.
However, the book does miss a few things. For example, often a step to forgiving others is the ability to forgive yourself in the first place. I do believe that forgiveness often starts at home, rather with the other person. People blame others when they often can't forgive themselves.
The other problem is setting up realistic rules and expectations for yourself and others--I don't mean unenforceable rules, I mean if you are with an alcoholic, then what is a realistic expectation for yourself and others in the current time and situation.
He doesn't really talk about when the hurt is on-going in the present, he often talks about when the hurt has finished or is past. "It happened 10 years ago..." "It happened last month" But what about the instances where the person keeps hurting them in the present? What are reasonable expectations?
He also uses stories of reconciliation to argue for forgiveness which is odd. Reconciliation and forgiveness are not the same thing. One should not argue for forgiveness using reconciliation.
He also had a logic flaw on the story about "Linda" and how her husband shouldn't be a liar. To me, people shout things at other people, but it's not the same as what they are feeling, but that's a nitpick. Definitely her rule was to get more affection from her husband, not that he should not lie.
He also doesn't do much about the process of denial...
So overall, this book is good for those whose hurts have ended. They are not good for hurts that are currently on-going--as in the person keeps hurting you as you interact with them. It does not tell how to set yourself up so there is a more positive outcome in the future--most of his stories say that his clients did this, however, he doesn't go into the process of it, just marking that forgiveness gave them the ability, but not seeing how to learn from those mistakes.
He doesn't really go into how to set a reasonable limitation versus an unenforceable rule.
For these faults, the book is fine for most things, but it does not really urge me to really want to suggest it or not suggest it to anyone. What do you do about a person who is not aware that they constantly hurt you in the here and now and you make it apparent to them, but they do nothing or can do nothing about it and don't make efforts towards it? This book isn't good for that sort of thing. If you want that, then look elsewhere.