Author Archive: directorifi

8 Keys to Forgiveness: Dr. Enright’s New Book Unlocks the Forgiveness Process

While it may seem like a simple enough act, forgiveness is a difficult, delicate process that, if executed correctly, can be a profoundly moving and deep learning experience. Whatever the scenario may be—whether you need to make peace with a certain situation, with a loved one or 8 Keys to Forgivenessfriend, or with a total stranger—the process of forgiveness is an art and a science.

8 Keys to Forgiveness is a how-to guide by the man Time magazine has called “the forgiveness trailblazer”—Dr. Robert Enright, who has researched, developed and implemented forgiveness education programs for the past 30 years.

This hands-on guide walks readers through the process in 8 key steps. How can we become forgivingly “fit”? How can we identify the source of our pain and inner turmoil? How can we find meaning in what we have suffered, or learn to forgive ourselves? What should we do when forgiveness feels particularly hard? All these questions and more are answered here, leading us to become more tolerant, compassionate, and hopeful human beings.

“This book has the potential to enrich and improve more lives than any psychology book in decades,” according to Frank Farley, Ph.D., former President of the American Psychological Association. “Robert Enright is the pioneer of the psychology of forgiveness, and his great wisdom, experience, and very practical advice are all compiled in this highly readable guide. Don’t give up on forgiveness in your life until you read this book and try its proven strategies.” (Read more reviews and endorsements here.)

Dr. Enright’s latest book is officially publishing September 28 but will be available directly from W. W. Norton & Company for mid-June delivery at the W.W. Norton & Company website.

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Does the one who is forgiven owe anything to the one who was hurt and who forgave?

If the one who is forgiven knows that he or she has done wrong, then yes, the one who offended can try to make amends.  An apology and an attempt to make right that which went wrong can open the door to reconciliation.

At times, the one who is forgiven sees no harm in the behavior and concludes that the forgiver is over-reacting.  If this is the case, the one forgiven still might say, “I am sorry that my actions hurt you,” as a gesture of good will without admitting guilt which is not there.
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Checking in Again Regarding Your Unfolding Love Story

In March of 2014, we posted a reflection here in which we encouraged you to grow in love as your legacy of 2014.

The challenge was this: Give love away as your legacy of 2014.

Our challenge to you now is this: Give love away as your legacy of 2015.

One way to start is by looking backward at one incident of 2015 so far. Please think of one incident with one person in which you were loved unconditionally, perhaps even surprised by a partner or a parent or a caring colleague.

Think of your reaction when you felt love coming from the other and you felt love in your heart and the other saw it in your eyes. What was said? How were you affirmed for whom you are, not necessarily for something you did? What was the other’s heart like, and yours?

Can you list some specific, concrete ways in which you have chosen love over indifference? Love over annoyance? If so, what are those specifics and how are they loving? We ask because 2015 will be 50% over as we move through June. Have you engaged in 50% of all the loving responses that you will leave in this world this year?

Tempus fugit. If you have not yet deliberately left love in the world this year, there is time…..and the clock is ticking.


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Parents of slain state trooper forgive accused killer

Reuters, Mount Pocono, PA – “It doesn’t do you any good to hate somebody for whatever they have done to you, because all it does is eat you up. And in the end, what does it do for you? Absolutely nothing.” 

Those are the words of Bryon Dickson, father of a slain Pennsylvania State Police trooper who said Sunday that he and his wife have forgiven their son’s alleged killer. Bryon and Darla Dickson said forgiveness has helped them move on and avoid becoming bitter.

Police Corporal Bryon Dickson II was killed by a sniper outside his barracks last fall. The defendant, Eric Frien, is a survivalist now awaiting trial on murder charges that carry a possible death sentence.

“Justice lays behind (us), where Eric Frein must be held accountable for what he did to our son,” Darla said. “Forgiveness, however, lays before us. It is our hope. We know as Christians we will see Bryon again.”

The Dicksons spoke about the death of their son and the healing power of forgiveness during three “Blue Sunday” services honoring law enforcement at the Community Church in Mount Pocono, about 110 miles north of Philadelphia.

“The only alternative is bitterness,” the church pastor, David Crosby Jr., added. “Forgiveness is the difference between becoming bitter and getting better.” Darla and Bryon Dickson nodded in agreement.

Read more:
Parents of slain Pennsylvania trooper forgive accused killer, Business Insider (Reuters – US Edition).

Forgiveness ahead for Trooper Dickson’s parents, The Standard Speaker, Hazleton, PA.  

Parents of slain trooper declare forgiveness for man awaiting trial, Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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Hello, and thank you for this wonderful site! I’m writing an article about forgiveness, focusing on people who do the unimaginable: They forgive someone who murdered their child or loved one. In many months of interviewing these remarkable people, I’ve found that most of them are able to forgive because of an abiding religious faith. In many cases they are devout Christians, and they find enormous solace and healing through prayer, Scripture, and devotion. As one woman told me: “I never could have forgiven the killer without God.” Which leads me to wonder …. Is there a way to reach this place of forgiveness if you’re an atheist or an agnostic? I know the answer has to be yes! But am I right in thinking that the majority of forgiveness work does have a spiritual component? Thank you so much for your guidance. I’m very grateful for any perspective you might give.

You are right in that the majority of case studies, reported in the media, of people forgiving offenders for extreme cases of injustice seem to possess a deep faith.  If you look at the News items on this website, you will see many such cases.  Not all are Christian as seen, for example, in Eva Moses Kor’s forgiveness of Nazis who imprisoned her and her twin sister at Auschwitz. Mrs. Kor is Jewish.

Aristotle taught over 2,000 years ago that there are developmental movements in forgiveness from superficial to deep and profound.  Most people can forgive others for small issues and we have worked with people from various belief systems (and no belief at all) to forgive significant injustices.  Yet, the extreme injustices, again as reported in the media, do point to the theme of transcendence.  By “transcendence” I mean going beyond the material, the concrete, what can be sensed in this world, to something more—something bigger.  I think this theme of transcendence is important and worth taking seriously with regard to your question.  Those who see that there is more to the body, more to this life seem to have the capacity to transcend resentment in a way that, as you suggest, is surprising.

I am not implying that atheists or agnostics cannot or will not transcend in their forgiving.  I am saying that it may—it may—be harder for them to do so because materialistic philosophies do not assume that there is more beyond the physical bases of existence.

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