Steps to Forgiveness
By Frederic Luskin, Ph.D.
After completing a series of forgiveness studies
at Stanford University, expert Dr. Frederic Luskin
has compiled the following steps for learning
1. Know exactly how you feel about what happened
and be able to articulate what about the situation
is not OK. Then tell a trusted couple of people
about your experience.
2. Make a commitment to yourself to do what you
have to do to feel better. Forgiveness is for
you and not for anyone else.
3. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation
with the person that upset you, or condoning of
their action. What you are after is to find peace.
Forgiveness can be defined as the “peace
and understanding that come from blaming that
which has hurt you less, taking the life experience
less personally and changing your grievance story.”
4. Get the right perspective on what is happening.
Recognize that your primary distress is coming
from the hurt feelings, thoughts and physical
upset you are suffering now, not what offended
you or hurt you two minutes – or ten years
5. At the moment you feel upset, practice a simple
stress management technique to soothe your body’s
flight or fight response.
6. Give up expecting things from other people
or your life that they do not choose to give you.
Recognize the “unenforceable rules”
you have for your health or how you or other people
must behave. Remind yourself that you can hope
for health, love, friendship and prosperity and
work hard to get them.
7. Put your energy into looking for another way
to get your positive goals met than through the
experience that has hurt you. Instead of mentally
replaying your hurt, seek out new ways to get
what you want.
8. Remember that a life well-lived is your best
revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings,
and thereby giving the person who caused you pain
power over you, learn to look for the love, beauty
and kindness around you.
9. Amend your grievance story to remind you of
the heroic choice to forgive.
Dr. Frederic Luskin holds a Ph.D. in Counseling
and Health Psychology from Stanford University.
Dr. Luskin presents lectures, workshops, seminars
and trainings throughout the United States on
the importance, health benefits and training of