Frederic Luskin 9 steps to Forgiveness

Pain is all about protection and often ‘just in case’. When we have an injury, pain is a vital survival mechanism that motivates action to promote healing. However, pain is poorly related to the amount of tissue damage, instead representing a body or whole person state of protection. It changes the way we think, feel and act.  In many people, despite the healing, the protective state continues to kick in as the body systems detect possible danger, based on learning or what has happened before. Pain itself become the problem.

Who or what we attribute the blame for your pain then becomes the subject of our forgiveness. Here are Luskin’s 9 steps:

  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 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.”
  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. 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, 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


Finding peace is a real skill. There are many reasons why our  lives are crazy and nuts. Choose to create  conditions for peace by being aware of your habits. Together with the skills of wellbeing, such as acts of generosity, noticing positive emotions as they arise, learning to pay attention, and resilience to name a few, this forms a healthy way onward. We can enjoy the good times, appreciate each moment and face the inevitable challenges in life with insight, knowing that time will always pass like the water of a river. Forgiving is a way of finding peace by letting go. As Always it is your choice


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