Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a
victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. -wiki

“Forgiveness is one of the most
metabolically powerful acts we can do.”
-Marc David

Our spiritual evolution has a
major impact on the body

“The quality of human life on the planet is nothing more than the sum total of
our daily interactions. Forgiveness is the way we mend tears in the social
fabric. It is the way we stop our human community from unraveling.”
- Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu—The Book of Forgiving

Archbishop DESMOND M. TUTU won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and the Templeton Prize in 2013
and was the founding chair of The Elders* from 2007 to 2013. In 20009 he received the Presidential
Medal of Freedom. In 1994, Tutu was appointed chair of South
Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where he
pioneered a new way for countries to move forward after
experiencing civil conflict and oppression.
The Reverend MPHO A. TUTU is currently the executive director of
the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. **
*The Elders are an independent group of global leaders working together for
peace and human rights.
**The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, established in Cape Town,
South Africa, harnesses, consolidates, preserves and propagates the values,
principles and mission of its founders to contribute sustainably to the creation of
a more compassionate world.

It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only
to futility and unhappiness. -Big Book pg 66

“Without forgiveness we remain tethered to the person who harmed us.”
-Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, The Book of Forgiving

“In careful scientific studies, forgiveness training has been shown to reduce depression,
increase hopefulness, decrease anger, improve spiritual connection, (and) increase
emotional self-confidence.”
-Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good

“Medical and psychological studies have also shown that a person holding on to anger
and resentment is at an increased risk for anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and is more
likely to suffer from high blood pressure, ulcers, migraines, backaches, heart attack, and
even cancer.”
-Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, The Book of Forgiving

“Resentment that is long held can eat away at the body and become the dis-ease we call
cancer…. I have found that forgiving and releasing resentment will dissolve even cancer.
While this may sound simplistic, I have seen and experienced it working.”
-Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life
“Our biology evolves as our soul evolves. As you learn your soul lessons your biology
changes accordingly. You become more free. You have more circulation. You have more
relaxation response.”
-Marc David
“In this world you are given as you give. And you are forgiven as you forgive. While you go
your way through each lovely day, you create your future as you live.”
-Peace Pilgrim
“Ultimately, forgiveness is a choice we make, and the ability to forgive others comes from
the recognition that we are all flawed and all human. We all have made mistakes and
harmed others. We will again. We find it easier to practice forgiveness when we can
recognize that the roles could have been reversed. Each of us could have been the
perpetrator rather than the victim. Each of us has the capacity to commit the wrongs
against others that were committed against us.”
-Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, The Book of Forgiving

“To err is human, to forgive divine.” -Alexander Pope

Is there anyone who doesn’t deserve forgiveness?
“Let us condemn ghastly acts, but let us never relinquish the hope that
the doers of the most heinous deeds can and may change.”
-Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, The Book of Forgiving

“Forgiveness does not erase accountability. It is not about turning a blind
eye or even turning the other cheek. It is not about letting someone off
the hook or saying it is okay to do something monstrous. Forgiveness is
simply about understanding that every one of us is both inherently good
and inherently flawed. Within every hopeless situation and every
seemingly hopeless person lies the possibility of transformation.”
-Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, The Book of Forgiving

People we may want to forgive:



Spouses (or former spouses)







Anyone who done you wrong


It starts with a willingness to start the

“Part of the cure is the willingness
to heal.”-Seneca

What Forgiveness is NOT
 It’s not easy– it requires hard work and a consistent
 Forgiveness is not weakness—it requires courage and
 Forgiveness does not subvert justice—it creates
space for justice to be enacted with a purity of
purpose that does not include revenge.
 Forgiveness is not forgetting—it requires a fearless
remembering of hurt.
 Forgiveness is not quick—it can take several journeys
through the cycles of remembering and grief before
one can truly forgive and be free.
-Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, The Book of Forgiving

I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.
I love you.

The Fourfold Path
1.Telling the Story
2. Naming the Hurt
3. Granting Forgiveness
4.Renewing or Releasing the relationship
-The Book of Forgiving

9 Steps to Forgiveness
1. Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate what about the situation is
not OK. Then, tell a trusted couple of people about your experience.
2. Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and not
for anyone else.
3. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation with the person that hurt you, or condoning of
their action. What you are after is to find peace. Forgiveness can be defined as the “peace and
understanding that come from blaming that which has hurt you less, taking the life experience less
personally, and changing your grievance story.”
4. Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the
hurt feelings, thoughts and physical upset you are suffering now, not what offended you or hurt you two
minutes – or ten years – ago. Forgiveness helps to heal those hurt feelings.
5. At the moment you feel upset practice a simple stress management technique to soothe your body’s
flight or fight response.
6. Give up expecting things from other people, or your life, that they do not choose to give you.
Recognize the “unenforceable rules” you have for your health or how you or other people must
behave. Remind yourself that you can hope for health, love, peace and prosperity and work hard to
get them.
7. Put your energy into looking for another way to get your positive goals met than through the
experience that has hurt you. Instead of mentally replaying your hurt seek out new ways to get what
you want.
8. Remember that a life well lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and
thereby giving the person who caused you pain power over you, learn to look for the love, beauty and
kindness around you. Forgiveness is about personal power.
9. Amend your grievance story to remind you of the heroic choice to forgive.

Dr. Fred Luskin—Forgive for Good

12-Step process
Talk to a safe person about working the
steps around forgiveness (aka Resentment)
Resentment (also called ranklement or bitterness), not classified among Paul Ekman's six basic
emotions of surprise, disgust, happiness, sadness, anger, and fear, is the foundation of hatred.
Resentment comprises the three basic emotions of disgust, sadness and surprise -the perception
of injustice. Resentment is a mixture of disappointment, anger, and fear. As the surprise of
injustice becomes less frequent, so too does anger and fear fade -leaving disappointment as the
predominant emotion. So, to the extent perceived disgust and sadness remain, so too does the
level of disappointment remain. - Wiki

Louise Hay Meditations
You can Heal Your Life, page 90-93


We become imprisoned in the past when we do not forgive ourselves
for past mistakes.

If you have not sought forgiveness from your victim, do so.

Forgiving yourself will be easier after you have sought forgiveness from
your victim.

We do not heal in isolation. Connecting with others is how we develop
compassion for others and for ourselves.
-Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, The Book of Forgiving

“Forgiveness is the most powerful thing that you can do for your physiology and your
spirituality. Yet, it remains one of the least attractive things to us, largely because
our egos rule so unequivocally. To forgive is somehow associated with saying that it
is all right, that we accept the evil deed. But this is not forgiveness. Forgiveness
means that you fill yourself with love and you radiate that love outward and refuse to
hang onto the venom or hatred that was engendered by the behaviors that caused the
wounds.” ~ Wayne Dyer

1. Think of the things that you must give up or let go of
in order to forgive. This could include things like the right to revenge or the
expectation of an apology or the idea of perfection from yourself (and others)

2. Write the Story of how you were wronged

Forgiveness Story Websites

3. Name the Hurt. Write the feelings and emotions that
you experienced… (keep experiencing?)

4. Moving from Victim to Hero… Can you find ways this
experience has made you stronger? Made you grow?
Given you compassion for others? Write your story
again as the Hero.

Renewing or Releasing the Relationship

The preference is always to renew unless there is a question of safety.

Ask for what you need from the perpetrator in order to renew or
release the relationship.

You may need an apology, an explanation, a tangible object or to
never see that person again.

Look at your part in any conflict.

When you renew a relationship, it is stronger for what you have been
through, but it is always different.

By renewing or releasing a relationship you free yourself from
victimhood and trauma.
-Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, The Book of Forgiving

“Ubuntu says that we all have a part in creating a society that creates a
perpetrator; therefore, I have a part not only in every conflict I may find
myself in personally, but in every conflict happening right now in my
family, in my community, in my nation, and around the globe. This
thought may seem overwhelming. The gift hidden in the challenge of
Ubuntu is that we don’t need to walk the corridors of power to build
peace. Each of us can create a more peaceful world from wherever in
the world we each stand. “
-Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, The Book of Forgiving

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”
~ Maya Angelou