This factual book is different from others on forgiveness. It focuses on the health benefitsboth physical and spiritualfor the one who forgives. The author, director of pastoral care at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, recounts stories of five cancer patients and how forgiving dramatically changed their lives. In addition, he offers scientific information and numerous quotes from pertinent material to support his observation of the healing power of forgiveness. He also discounts misconceptions on the topic. The honest, easy-to-read style allows anyone access to this subject, which is so needed in our hurting world. I recommend it to everyone, not only those dealing with cancer. I received this book through the BookClub Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
The Forgiveness Project shows us how modern medicine and ancient wisdom can come together to heal body, mind and spirit. Just as a cancerous tumor suddenly disappears in a spontaneous remission, God can change a human heart in an instant.
The author, Michael S. Barry, is the Director of Pastoral Care at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia. As such, he has seen the devastating effects of unforgiveness and the burden-lifting effects of forgiveness firsthand. Body and mind and soul are connected. This book is a look into the Forgiveness Project started at the centers and how to benefit from it.
This book is insightful for all but especially valuable to those who may be struggling with the process of forgiving and want to find peace and relief from hate.
There are five personal stories in the book before Dr. Barry gets into the science behind the healing through forgiveness. This makes for a very readable book.
I received a free copy of the book from the Book Club Network at www.bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.
Is there a relationship between cancer and hatred and unforgiveness? Barry believes there is.
Barry is part of the pastoral care department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia. He shares what they do there and why. He believes, The stress of unforgiveness negatively affects the immune system. (14) Forgiveness, on the other hand, has a wholesome effect with long term health benefits.
He tells several stories, relating individual experiences with forgiveness and cancer. He also looks at studies investigating the relationship of stress to health. While it cannot be said that unforgiveness causes cancer, it does seem to create a state in the body that is more susceptible to the disease. Cancer is a complex disease and Barry suggests a holistic approach to treatment, including forgiveness.
Forgiveness is also a complex issue. It is not just saying it. It requires a heartfelt change through which the anger and hatred are transformed into feelings of peaceful indifference or neutrality. (149) It doesn't necessarily mean reconciliation or justice. Barry gives good insights into the process of forgiveness. There cannot just be certain steps suggested because the process is different for every person. It may require help from others in the form of counseling and support. Motivation is essential, he says.
Barry says it is reasonable to conclude that, to the extent forgiveness creates psychological stress, the immune system is compromised. That sets the stage for health problems, including cancer.
With that conclusion in mind, I recommend this book. While Barry is a Christian, this book is worth reading by those of other religions and the nonreligious too. As he points out, the concept of forgiveness is not limited to Christianity. It is a concept that those who desire wholeness and living well should practice. This book is a good primer.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.