Nine 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 to forgive:

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 ago.

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 forgiveness.




Learning to Forgive
Dr. Luskin’s official website.

Power of Forgiving
Studies, conferences and tips on how to forgive.


Forgive for Good
By Frederic Luskin

Forgiveness is a Choice
By Robert D. Enright, PhD

Art of Forgiving
By Lewis B. Smedes

How to Forgive When You Can't Forget: Healing Our Personal Relationships
By Charles Klein