"What beautiful work. . .
clearheaded, generous, and profound
in its lush simplicity"
— WALLY LAMB, novelist, author of She's Come Undone,
I Know This Much Is True and We Are Water
"a little book" grows up...
THE FORGIVENESS BOOK: healing the hurts we don't deserve first appeared in 1994 as “A Little Book of Forgiveness” (Viking) and has since changed the lives of many thousands of readers. The current edition, released in 2017 from Hampton Roads Publishing, features revised material throughout, including expanded instructions for the classic “Seven Steps of Forgiveness” devised by author D. Patrick Miller, based on more than two decades of studying and practicing the principles of forgiveness in his own life.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR
THE FORGIVENESS BOOK
by Frederic Luskin, Ph.D.
Seven Steps of
Where Forgiveness Leads
It might seem a lot easier to forgive someone if only he or she would show signs of changing. The paradox is that we are unlikely to see signs of change in others until we have forgiven them. This is true for two reasons: First, resentment is blinding. It limits our perception of what is real (or changing) in the present, and shuts down our capacity to envision a happier future. Second, a subtle but crucial function of forgiveness is that it tacitly gives others permission to change...
When you are trying to decide whether someone deserves your forgiveness, you are asking the wrong question. Ask instead whether you deserve to become someone who consistently forgives.
Sweet revenge is junk food for the soul. The brief rush that revenge provides will always be followed by the degradation of ones character. There is a real joy to be found in setting things right, but that always involves changing oneself for the better first.
Forgiving your flaws and failures does not mean looking away from them or lying about them. Look at them as a string of pitiful or menacing hitchhikers whom you cant afford not to pick up on your journey to a changed life. Each one of them has a piece of the map you need hidden in its shabby clothing...
Forgiveness is a long night walk by the ocean at ebb tide, with the surf only murmuring.
Forgiveness replaces the need to anticipate fearfully with the capacity to accept gracefully and improvise brilliantly. It does not argue with fate, but recognizes the opportunities latent within it. If necessity is the mother of invention, forgiveness is the midwife of genius.
Forgiveness is not mere sympathy, nor condescension, nor forced generosity. It is the ultimate declaration of equality, founded on the recognition that all crimes are the same crime, every failing the human failing, and every insult a cry for help.
Forgiveness is the science of the heart: a discipline of discovering all the ways of being that will extend your love to the world, and discarding all the ways that do not.
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