Book Review: Forgive for Good

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.

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About the Author: Kendy Anderson

Kendy lives in northern California with her husband and daughters. The mother of six children—some grown, twin daughters still at home—and a grandmother to five, she raises poultry, enjoys scrapbooking, sewing and gardening, and loves to read. She lives with several pain-producing conditions but hates to miss out because of pain, so she loves coping strategies—choices she makes daily that have her back to “doing life,” rather than being a spectator or withdrawing completely. After being coached for her own pain, she made the decision to take coach training. As a TCC®U- and Nationally-certified coach, she helps clients learn pain management skills and return to happy and productive lives. She wholeheartedly believes it is possible to change your perception about pain.

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