It is pretty hard to go through life and not have someone hurt you. For that matter, it is hard to go through life and not hurt someone else. This is not always intentional, but it does not make it any easier.
This is where forgiveness comes in. We must forgive others, and ourselves to move on and bring peace to ourselves. But what exactly is forgiveness? What does it mean and how do you do it?
The word forgive means to stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offense, flaw or mistake. So, the act of forgiveness really is about dealing with your own emotions. It is about you moving past it. Nothing in the definition requires the other person for forgiveness to happen.
This is not an easy task. Working through our own emotions and coming to peace with how we feel without the other person involved is hard. Even if the other person is involved and said sorry, that does not always make forgiveness easier.
Luckily there are several books that can help you learn how to forgive better. Here are some great ones to get you started.
This is by far my personal favorite book on forgiveness. You need to keep an open mind as you read this, as it takes a non-traditional approach to forgiveness.
Forgiveness in this book is approached from why you had this experience and what was it meant to teach you.
My favorite part of this book is that he provides worksheets for you to work through specific issues that you need to forgive someone about.
These are very beneficial when you are stuck and not sure how to even start forgiving someone.
This book draws from A Course in Miracles and The Gnostic Gospels. Gray shares many stories that better help illustrates his points.
The main basis of the book is how to use angels to help you forgive and move on.
This book is a nice easy read. While it is set up as a 21-day program, I just read it straight through and adapted what worked for me into my existing forgiveness work.
The author includes not only advice but the tools to work through your emotions and to release them.
My two favorite ways to heal were included – journaling and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or tapping.)
While this is not specifically a forgiveness book, there is a direct connection with judgment and forgiveness.
I found this book especially helpful in working on self-forgiveness. This is one area that is not talked about very much but can be the blocking point on you forgiving everyone else.
It is hard to forgive someone when you can’t even forgive yourself for your mistakes.
This book helps you see how judgment may be blocking your emotions and releasing them.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has firsthand knowledge and experience with people need to forgive major wrongdoings. He was the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after apartheid in South Africa.
In this book he, covers the four steps for healing, giving you tips on how to forgive. But more than that he goes into understanding what forgiveness is and why it is needed.
This book looks at forgiveness from a biblical perspective. It is another book that has tips that you can apply to the process, versus just a theoretical approach to forgiveness.
It is a shorter read, so this can be a great book to get started on if you are feeling the pain of hurt. Then you can move on to longer books while beginning your healing work.
Another one that is not specifically a forgiveness book but has great lessons that help you in forgiveness. Specifically, the agreement on not taking things personally.
This can help you understand that even though the pain that you felt was towards you, it had nothing to do with you. This helps you do the all-important part of detaching and moving on from what happened.
Originally this book started out as a documentary. And while the focus is on healing the body, it goes into the physical impact that our emotions can have on our bodies. The longer we hold those toxic feelings inside us, the sicker we become.
This book/documentary helps us to understand the importance of letting those emotions that are bad for us.
There are a few tips on how to release the emotions also, including tapping, sound therapy and counseling.
This is another book looking at forgiveness from a biblical perspective.
This time using the Lord’s prayer as a foundation for forgiveness. He uses real-life examples to explain his points and help the reader begin to forgive.