Author Archive: directorifi

I saw on your Facebook page, International Forgiveness Institute, a post on how humility plays a part in forgiveness. I am somewhat confused about that. I have been taught that humility is to lower yourself below other people. Why would you want that for people who forgive?

Humility is not the false belief that you are lower than or worse than other people.  It is the correct thought that you are equal to other people, not worse than or better than them in your essence.  This, of course, does not mean that one denies the reality that one might be, for example, a better tennis player or a worse singer than others.  Our roles do not determine who we are as persons and so we can make distinctions among persons with regard to skills or accomplishments, but not among persons with regard to inherent worth.

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Thanks for all you do, Dr. Forgiveness. What do you think are the differences between these terms? Mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion, and love.

Grace makes possible love (agape love or service love).  Mercy flows from love.  Love makes possible mercy, or the willingness to give people even more than what they deserve in a justice-sense. Love and mercy make compassion possible, which is the decision and feeling of suffering along with those who suffer.  Grace, love, mercy, and compassion make possible forgiveness which is to love and have mercy and compassion on those who are not having love and mercy and compassion on you.

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Some Advice on the 20-Step Process Model of Forgiveness

Please keep in mind that this is not some kind of neat-and-tidy process through which you will be progressing in a steplike fashion. Forgiveness is not that predictable. You may find yourself going back to parts of the process you thought you had conquered long ago. For example, you may be near the end of the process and discover that you still harbor considerable anger toward the person (anger comes near the beginning of the entire forgiveness process). You then may cycle back to the beginning, do some work on your anger , and jump back to the end of the process. Be ready to go backward and forward in the forgiveness process, depending on your particular needs with a particular person whom you are currently forgiving. 

Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 834-839). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition. 

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Mother Forgives Woman Who Kidnapped Her Daughter 17 Years Ago

WOG Blog, Women of – A mother who was reunited with her daughter more than 17 years after the 3-day-old baby was snatched from her arms, has forgiven the kidnapper and thanked the woman “for giving her a good life.”

Celeste Nurse was only 20-years-old when she delivered a baby daughter by Caesarean section in a Cape Town, South Africa hospital back in 1997. Two days later, as she was holding the baby in her arms, Celeste dozed off. When she woke up, she learned that her daughter–whom Celeste and her husband Morne had named Zephany–had been kidnapped by a woman disguised as a nurse.


Celeste and Morne never saw their daughter again until earlier this year when their 13-year-old daughter Cassidy started high school and began to talk about an older girl she’d met ‘who looks like us’ and, despite the age difference, had become a very close friend. After some investigating by Morne and local police, a DNA test confirmed that the girl ‘who looks like us’ was indeed Zephany Nurse.

Zephany’s now-50-year-old kidnapper is due to appear in court next week. The woman told authorities that she had suffered a stillbirth shortly before snatching Zephany, whom she was able to breastfeed and pass off as her own, never confessing the truth to a soul–not even her own husband.

Even though the woman who kidnapped Zephany denied the Nurse family the joy of raising their child, Celeste says she has forgiven her.

“What she did was very wrong, they’ve been living a lie for the last 17 years, but I forgave her some time ago,” Celeste says. “Undoubtedly we will meet, and I will thank her for taking care of my daughter. Zephany has had a good life with her – my daughter is beautiful, inside and out, she’s kind and clever – they did a great job.”

Read the full story:
1) Need a Happy Ending? Read This! (Women of
2) Mother reunited with daughter nearly 18 years after newborn was snatched from her arms in hospital incredibly THANKS the woman who stole her ‘for giving her a good life’ (Daily Mail, London)

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I am doing a project on the psychological and physiological effects of forgiveness and would love to know if you know testimonies of people who have physically become healthier as a result of forgiveness?

There are a good number of such testimonials available by searching the Internet for websites like ours:

For example, on the Why Forgive page of our website, you’ll find an article and a link to a short video about the amazing power forgiveness has had on one woman’s life and her battle with cancer. “If I hadn’t learned to forgive,” Jayne Valseca says, “I may not even be alive today.” Watch the video here.

On the “Forgiveness News” page of this website you’ll find a post entitled: “Forgiveness Saved My Life” says World War II Army Veteran Louis Zamperini who was Immortalized in the book and movie ‘Unbroken’.

In an interview following the release of his book, he said: Well, when you hate somebody, you don’t hurt them in the least. All you’re doing is hurting yourself. But if you can forgive—and if it’s true—you’ll feel good. It’s chemical. White corpuscles flood your immune system, and that’s a secret to good health.” Click on either of the two links above to read more.

Finally, I refer you to one of the many scientific studies Dr. Enright has conducted; this one published in the journal Psychology and Health: “The effects of a forgiveness intervention on patients with coronary artery disease.” The study results demonstrate and document that forgiveness intervention was an effective means of reducing anger-induced myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease.

All Dr. Enright’s Peer-Reviewed Empirical Studies, with links to each of the full study reports, are also available on this website, at either of these links.

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