Excerpts from the book, “Forgive for Good” by a Stanford University professor:
“Anger during a situation, or anger at a situation is fine; hanging on to that anger after the situation is long over, isn’t.”
The thing about long-term or unresolved anger, is we’ve seen it resets the internal thermostat. When you get used to a high level of anger all the time, you don’t recognize what’s normal. It creates a kind of adrenaline rush that people get used to. It burns out the body and makes it difficult to think clearly—making the situation worse.” — Dr. Fred Luskin
More excerpts from the same book by Dr Luskin:
9 Steps to Forgiveness:
1. Identify your feelings and emotions about the hurtful event and try articulating what about the situation that is not OK. Then, share the experience with trusted friends.
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 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.”
The practice of forgiveness has been shown to reduce anger, hurt, depression, and stress and leads to greater feelings of hope, peace, compassion, and self-confidence.
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. Forgiveness helps to heal those hurt feelings.
5. Whenever 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, peace, 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. Forgiveness is about personal power.
9. Amend your grievance story to remind you of the heroic choice to forgive.
The practice of forgiveness has been shown to reduce anger, hurt, depression, and stress and leads to greater feelings of hope, peace, compassion, and self-confidence. Practicing forgiveness leads to healthy relationships as well as physical health. It also influences our attitude which opens the heart to kindness, beauty, and love.
“It is not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.” —Tyler Perry
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” —Ephesians 4:26-27
“I think the first step is to understand that forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the victim. It’s a gift you give to yourself.” —T. D. Jakes
Fred Tokè aka Dr. Tokèmon