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“The process of making peace is forgiveness. It’s perfectly ok to be angry, and it’s perfectly helpful to become bitter, protective, and even depressed for a bit, because we’re overwhelmed and we can’t take in this information.” – Dr. Fred Luskin
Forgiving others is not easy to do, and forgiveness is often misunderstood as letting those who have wronged us off the hook without any consequences. But on today’s Finding Brave show, our guest explains why we need to forgive others, and how we can learn to do it, in order to free ourselves from the fear, shame and lack of confidence that so many of us continue to experience when we cannot forgive. It’s all about healing and empowering ourselves to release our experience as “victim” and finally becoming freer to create life as we truly want it, rather than staying stuck in a prison of long-held grudges and desperately-wanted retribution.
A top expert on forgiveness, Dr. Fred Luskin is the director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects, a senior consultant in wellness and health promotion at Stanford University, and a professor at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, as well as an affiliate faculty member of the Greater Good Science Center.
He serves as department chair of the PsyD program at Sofia University and is the author of the bestselling titles Forgive for Good, and Forgive for Love. His research interests are in stress management, emotional intelligence, positive psychology, forgiveness and wellness.e, career and relationships, both at work and at home.
In this episode, Fred looks at the most common things that hold us back from the act and process of forgiving, as well as provides powerful strategies and tips to help us forgive what we may have previously found “unforgivable.” As he shares, when you learn to forgive for good, it changes you for good (and for the better).
Highlights from this Episode:
- How letting go of certain emotions can lead to a more forgiving relationship with ourselves [6:28]
- The internal process that we go through when discovering that the perceptions and expectations we have are wrong [9:21]
- How Fred defines forgiveness [14:38]
- Why the ability to not take things personally is key to protecting your wellbeing [16:13]
- His process and steps for learning how to forgive others [22:31]
- What living in a place of compassion, for yourself and people as a whole, will lead to [26:48]
- Why we often protect ourselves with our emotions [28:46]
- How to change your story so that you no longer see yourself as a victim [29:21]
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Other resources mentioned:
Untangling the Mind: Why We Behave the Way We Do by David Theodore George
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“Forgiveness is letting go of that perspective that makes you be tense, hostile, and not accepting of your own life.” [6:28]
“It is very destabilizing and scary to find out that the perceptions and expectations we have are wrong.” [9:31]
“You forgive the people [who have wronged you] for being their unattractive selves, and you forgive yourself for not having the best skills to handle it. [15:21]
“When you over-personalize something, you create a very powerful adrenalized response that amplifies your fear.” [20:24]
“Life has given me so much that I can handle the things that life threw at me that weren’t so nice.” [25:35]
“Our simplest definition of forgiveness is making peace with the word ‘no’.” [28:26]
Watch video versions of my interviews on Finding Brave!
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