Forgiveness is an important action that can lead to a place of greater healing and peace. Forgiving, and letting go of anger and resentment, has even shown to benefit a person’s physical health. Studies show that forgiveness can bring about lower stress hormones, strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, and reduce gastrointestinal and other body pains. However, as we all know, forgiveness doesn’t come easily. Frederic Luskin, PhD, director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, has outlined 9 steps to take when embarking on a path to forgiveness. While difficult, taking these steps promise to bring about greater understanding, awareness, and can equip an individual with the tools necessary to forgive and move on.
9 Steps to Forgiveness
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.
3. Forgiveness is for you and not for anyone else. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person that hurt 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.”