Archive for December, 2013
To grow in any virtue is similar to building muscle in the gym through persistent hard work. We surely do not want to overdo anything, including the pursuit of fitness. Yet, we must avoid underdoing it, too, if we are to continue to grow. It is the same with forgiveness. We need to be persistently developing our forgiveness muscles as we become forgivingly fit. This opportunity is now laid out before you. What will you choose? Will you choose a life of diversion, comfort, and pleasure, or the more exciting life of risking love, challenging yourself to forgive, and helping others in their forgiveness fitness?
Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 5359-5360). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.
If you want your holidays to be happier, Dr. Robert Enright suggests giving the gift of forgiveness. While it is helpful any time of the year, it can be especially welcome during the holidays.
“All the past pains can come tumbling down during the holidays,” Enright says.
“It’s not just a time for being with family but for reflecting back. It can be very painful.”
Enright, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, pioneered the scientific study of forgiveness–a field that now claims more than 1,000 researchers worldwide. He has spent more than 25 years researching the power of forgiveness and letting go of anger.
Enright’s research has shown that practicing forgiveness can reduce depression and anxiety and has also helped cardiac patients have better functioning hearts.
“Simply put, forgiveness is good for you,” Enright says.
This excerpt is from a UW-Madison News story on the university’s website. Read the full article: “Forgiveness perfect gift for the holidays.” The article outlines the four steps in what Dr. Enright calls “the journey of forgiveness” which he detailed in the self-help book, “Forgiveness is a Choice: A Step-by-Step Process for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope.” In another of the five books he has written, “The Forgiving Life: A Pathway to Overcoming Resentment and Creating a Legacy of Love,” Dr. Enright’s guidance does more than prepare you for a single act of forgiveness–it explains how you can live the forgiving life.
WWAY News Channel 3, Wilmington, NC – Nineteen-year-old Joshua Proutey was leaving the Hannah Block Community Arts Center when he was shot in the head and killed on Dec. 13, 2012. Investigators say the killer and three others who robbed Proutey made off with $10, a cell phone and a sandwich.
Detectives eventually captured the gunman, Quintel Grady, who avoided the death penalty the state was seeking by pleading guilty to first-degree murder. His three accomplices still face charges in the case including murder and robbery.
Proutey’s mother says that in the year since her son was shot and killed, she has struggled to find the will to live. But as Grady pleaded guilty this week, she found the will to forgive the man who took her son’s life.
“This young man touched a lot of lives,” District Attorney Ben David said of Proutey. “He knew no hate and his mother’s willingness to forgive his killer is beyond admirable.”
Read the full story and watch the newscast: “Victim’s mom offers forgiveness as son’s killer pleads guilty.”
Inez: Reconciliation cannot be the same as forgiveness because reconciliation is not a moral virtue. It does not originate within a person, but is a set of behaviors between people.
Sophia: Well said.
Inez: You mentioned trust in the context of reconciliation, but you have not mentioned that word in the context of forgiveness. Can I forgive and not trust the person?
Sophia: What do you think? How do you read this?
Inez: I suppose that if someone were a compulsive gambler, I could forgive that person and then not trust him with the checkbook.
Sophia: Right. You would not trust him in that one area, but this is not an excuse to write the person off as having no possibility of being trusted in anything at all.
Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 1752-1761). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.
My husband is really “into” forgiveness, reading lots of books and viewing documentaries. He has had a big problem with his mother since he was young. He now says that he forgives her completely but I can sense the anger deep in him. His pride, I think, is keeping him from the truth that he still needs work on forgiving. What do you suggest?
Denial of anger, especially toward a parent, is not uncommon. There is a little test of forgiveness, the Personal Forgiveness Scale, in Appendix C of the book, The Forgiving Life. You might want to ask your husband to fill this out first on his employer (as a warm-up to familiarize himself with the scale). Then ask him to fill it out toward his mother as he thinks of one incident that he deems as unfair from the past. The explanation of the scores is in Chapter 9, starting on page 156. If he scores between 18 and 63, he likely has some forgiveness work to do. He should then consider doing some of the work in Chapter 10 of that book.