Did you ever see the Oprah about the young man who attempts to rob a check cashing store in Indiana but winds up praying with his victim and then turning himself in? This is an incredible story. It is all about second chances and personal responsibility. It is all about how making one (or 2 or 267) mistakes does not mean that you cannot get up the next morning and make another choice. It’s all about the power of forgiveness in the personal development of both the forgiver as well as the forgiven.
I once went to seminar by Dr. Fredric Luskin, a leading researcher and practitioner on forgiveness. Before I went, I honestly didn’t know that I had a lot to learn about forgiveness. But I did. I do. We all do. Luskin said that the practice (yes, it’s ongoing) of forgiveness is learning how to bounce back when things don’t go the way you wanted them to. How many times does this happen to us…that things don’t turn out the way we hoped? How often does it happen in our girls’ lives? What can we learn for ourselves and our children if we really practice forgiveness regularly? What can we learn if we stop blaming others or ourselves for all the things that happened before and ask ourselves instead, “What am I going to do about it now?”
The woman, the victim in the above-mentioned news story was on Oprah and had the opportunity to look the young man who had put a gun to her head in his crying and remorseful eyes and say, “I forgive you. You know that you did wrong and that you have to pay the price for that. But, don’t let what you did get in the way of what you can do in the future.” If she can do that, how can we support our girls to forgive the folks who do them wrong in their lives?
Luskin breaks it down into 9 Steps. It’s a great list. Print it out and put it on your fridge. Here’s a bit more from Fred Luskin:
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