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Number of Pages: 240
|Publication Date: 2013|
How to Forgive Ourselves--Totally: Begin Again by Breaking Free from Past MistakesR.T. KendallCharisma House / 2007 / Trade Paperback$10.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 5 Reviews
$14.99Save 27% ($4.00)
A Just Forgiveness: Responsible Healing Without Excusing InjusticeEverett L. Worthington Jr.InterVarsity Press / 2009 / Trade Paperback$18.90 Retail:
$21.00Save 10% ($2.10)
Dr. Worthington provides a path to freedom, from self-condemnation to self-acceptance, and to the life that Christ promises in Moving Forward.
The partial truth about us is hard to accept: We hurt those we love. We fail to step in when others need us most. We do wrongand we need forgiveness. From others and from God, but also from ourselves.
But the full truth about us is liberating and freeing: while we are more deeply flawed than we can imagine, we also are far more valuable and cherished than we can comprehend. To reach the place of self-forgiveness, we must embrace this truth. The gift of Gods acceptance frees us from self-blame, guilt, and shame.
In this practical, inspiring book, Dr. Everett Worthington identifies six steps to forgiving yourself:
· Receive Gods forgiveness
· Repair relationships
· Rethink ruminations
· REACH emotional self-forgiveness
· Rebuild self-acceptance
· Resolve to live virtuously
Weaving the story of his brothers suicide and his overwhelming feelings of regret together with psychological insight, scientific research, and biblical truth, Dr. Worthington opens a clear path to obtaining a full, meaningful life through Christ.
EVERETT L. WORTHINGTON, JR, holds a PhD from the University of Missouri. He is professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and a licensed clinical psychologist. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, and The 700 Club and has been featured in award-winning documentaries on forgiveness. He has published more than thirty books on topics he has studied scientifically and clinically. Visit his website at www.forgiveself.com.
This guide is designed to help you continue your journey of forgiving yourself. Keep a notepad nearby so you can write down your thoughts, plans, questions, and next steps.
1. Everett L. Worthington Jr., writes that it is more difficult to forgive yourself than to forgive others. How do you feel about his
2. The author shares in detail his deepest regrets over his relationship with his late brother. How important is it to be this transparent about your failures? Would you agree this is a necessary step in the process of self-forgiveness?
3. It is natural to condemn yourself for your words and actions that hurt others. In your struggle with self-condemnation, has God appeared to be more often a helper and comforter or a judge? Do you believe God can help you change self-condemning patterns? What assumptions and habits have you identified that prevent God from helping you let go of self-condemnation?
4. You begin to forgive yourself when you make a firm decision to do so. Write down your commitment to do this, then tell someone you trust about your decision. (This person can serve as an accountability partner.) It also helps to write your decision on a card and post it where you will see it regularly. Are you ready to take this step?
5. Clear away major obstacles by first seeking divine forgiveness. List the ways in which you have wronged others, yourself, and God. Also include things you should have done but failed to do. Next, pray to God, seeking Gods forgiveness for each of the things you have written down.
6. If you have confessed to God the words and actions that give rise to your self-condemnation, as well as the failures to act, consider 1 John 1:9. If you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive your sins and to purify you. Can you accept Gods forgiveness? If not, why not?
7. After you have received Gods forgiveness, consider whether to go to those you have wronged, if that is possible and if it would not lead to further harm. Choose one wrong you are dealing with. Write a good confession and practice saying it aloud. (However, if making this confession to the wronged party would harm that person further, you need to confess to God alone or to a trusted person such as a pastor or your spouse. The same is true if the person is no longer living, cannot be located, or has refused to listen to you.) Do you want to confess to the person?
8. If you decide to confess to the person you harmed, are you ready to do so? If not, why not?
9. Is restitution appropriate? Think of reasons it would be helpful to make amends to the wronged party for what you did or said that was harmful. If its possible and appropriate, what would be meaningful restitution in this instance? It might be best to ask directly, "What can I do to make up for what I have done?"
10. If you have made things right with God and have done what is possible, advisable, and safe to make things right with others, you can forgive yourself. If you have made that decision, write it down. This is what the author calls "decisional self-forgiveness." It is an essential step toward finding peace. (To experience complete emotional self-forgiveness, continue to work through the following questions. It is possible to replace negative emotions toward yourself with positive emotions.)
11. You can replace negative, unforgiving emotions with empathy, compassion, and love. This is not easy, as you already know. You are the offending party, so you are doing this work to forgive a wrongdoeryourself. To help you succeed, seek the help of people who know you well and who love you. Write down the names of three close friends or trusted advisors who will help you. (To work fully through the five steps of emotional selfforgiveness captured in the acronym REACH, go to chapter 16
of this book.)
12. Which is stronger, your sinfulness or Gods grace? Write a brief description of a time you experienced the impact of Gods grace through your entire being. How can you rely on the power of Gods grace in times when you realize you are slipping back into patterns of self-blame, condemnation, and lack of self-acceptance?
13. The author says that self-acceptance can be harder than forgiving yourself. Is this in line with your experience? Can you accept yourself as deeply flawed in a fundamental way and yet know that God loves you very much and thinks you are precious?
14. Because God loves you, you might want to try to be even more dedicated to honoring God through virtuous behavior. Would you like to dedicate yourself to some specific virtue right now? You can write yourself a commitment just below.
15. Has God set you free from the prison of some of your past as you worked through these six steps to self-forgiveness? If so, have you expressed your gratitude?
"Why do we see the need to forgive others while overlooking the importance of forgiving ourselves? Everett Worthington knows from hard experience that both are necessary, but neither is easy. Now you can benefit from his years of researchas well as life-tested applicationin taking the only path that will free you from shame and self-condemnation." - DR. TIM CLINTON, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors, executive director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University
"Researcher-clinician Everett Worthington, the world's leading expert on the science and practice of forgiveness, now points the way to self-forgiveness. For those of us who are painfully aware of our flawsand that's most of usthis grace-filled book shows how to lighten the burden of self-blame and guilt, how to discover and embrace God's love, and how to experience healing." - DAVID G. MYERS, Hope College social psychologist, author of A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists
"Who doesn't know the feeling of being stuck in a rut or weighed down with self-condemnation? This book is for all of us who are honest enough to confess our need to make peace with ourselves. Dr. Worthington has suffered through darkness and now uses the story of his personal pain to light the way for all of us. Read Moving Forward and join him on the inspiring journey of self-forgiveness and true peace." LES PARROTT, PHD, author of Shoulda Coulda Woulda
"A compassionate and very personal examination of the hows and whys of self-forgiveness. Blending the sensitivity of a counselor with the rigor of a scientist is no easy accomplishment, and that is what has made Everett Worthington the most sought-after expert on forgiveness for nearly two decades. Read this book and learn how to move forward in your own journey of self-forgiveness."
Robert Emmons, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology, author of Gratitude Works! and Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier
"Why do we see the need to forgive others while overlooking the importance of forgiving ourselves? Everett Worthington knows from hard experience that both are necessary, but neither is easy. Now you can benefit from his years of researchas well as life-tested applicationin taking the only path that will free you from shame and self-condemnation."
Dr. Tim Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors, executive director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University
"Researcher-clinician Everett Worthington, the worlds leading expert on the science and practice of forgiveness, now points the way to self-forgiveness. For those of us who are painfully aware of our flawsand thats most of usthis grace-filled book shows how to lighten the burden of self-blame and guilt, how to discover and embrace Gods love, and how to experience healing."
David G. Myers, Hope College social psychologist, author of A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists
"Who doesnt know the feeling of being stuck in a rut or weighed down with self-condemnation? This book is for all of us who are honest enough to confess our need to make peace with ourselves. Dr. Worthington has suffered through darkness and now uses the story of his personal pain to light the way for all of us. Read Moving Forward and join him on the inspiring journey of self-forgiveness and true peace."
Les Parrott, PhD, author of Shoulda Coulda Woulda
Sonora MamaAge: 35-44Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5If You Like Step-by-Step Programs...January 14, 2014Sonora MamaAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3Moving Forward takes the reader through six steps to forgiving yourself and breaking free from the past. The steps (not necessarily in order) are:
1. Receive God's Forgiveness - letting go of shame
2. Repair Relationships - confess and try to make amends
3. Rethink Ruminations - considering your internal dialogue
4. REACH Emotional Self-Forgiveness (this is actually 5 more steps in the author's forgiveness approach)
5. Rebuild Self-Acceptance
6. Resolve to Live Virtuously
I'll admit that I balk a bit at any "step program", no matter how many steps there are. It seems so formulaic, when something as profoundly emotional as self-forgiveness requires a major heart change, and realization of God's grace that a formula cannot easily provide. It took me quite a while to get through this book for this reason. The author had some good points to ponder and Biblical reminders about sin, repentance, and forgiveness. I would have preferred more drenching in the Word of God and less of the author's personal struggle to forgive himself. I didn't even think he did anything that warranted forgiveness, so perhaps that is why I shrugged off some of his suggestions. Maybe if he had "sins like mine" it would have been more impactful for me. I think I wanted to see more of myself in the book.
I would recommend this book for people who like step-by-step instructions and who don't know where to start in terms of letting go of the past.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Scotty3 Stars Out Of 5"Moving Forward" moves forward clumsily ...October 24, 2013ScottyQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2One of the worst places to be is stuck in your past, wallowing in guilt and unable to forgive yourself. Any helpful guidance in moving forward from the ugly past is usually welcome, and for that reason there's a new book out that you might gain some benefit from.
"Moving Foward: Six Steps to Forgiving Yourself and Breaking Free from the Past" is the latest book by professor and psychologist Dr. Everett Worthington, Jr. (published by WaterBrook Press). Because Worthington is a leading researcher on the topic of forgiveness, the six steps to "breaking free from your past" that he expounds on can be helpful to those who need to move forward in their lives.
But because he is a leading researcher on forgiveness --- and because I've read some of his other writings --- I expected something better from Worthington. At least, as far as the writing style is concerned.
The greatest weakness I found with the book is a lack of conciseness. Worthington tries to illuminate what he has to share by telling a personal story of struggling with forgiving himself during a difficult time in his life. The problem is that, instead of telling his story, he stretches it throughout the entire book. That story is woven in with the six steps he tries to teach, while also pointing out various research studies, and tossing in a Bible verse here and there.
The result is an odd mix that made the points of his writing less concise. He would tell a snippet of his story, bring up some research findings, mention something from scripture, and still try to explain a point. The outcome was the writing was too busy. Just make the point!
I was surprised at what seemed to be an excessive desire to mention research findings, even when the research was not very significant, which made the exercise of raising the research seem irrelevant. It was almost as though Worthington didn't feel comfortable making a point without establishing some clinical evidence for it. But not everything of value has to have clinical validation, especially if the Word of God establishes a truth.
Regardless of the clumsy style, there are points made in this book that are of value. If you're struggling with how to move forward from your past, you could gain some benefit from this book. But because of its clumsiness, it's not the first book I would recommend on the topic of learning to forgive yourself.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
GHayesOregonAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Six steps worth learningOctober 23, 2013GHayesOregonAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Moving Forward- Six Steps to Forgiving Yourself and Breaking Free from the Past", by Everett L. Worthington Jr., is one of the best self help books I've read in quite some time. I believe it safe to say the message and lessons of this book apply to all human beings; I don't think it possible we can get through life without making some mistakes.
The author begins by sharing with the reader a personal story of a tragic event which causes him to feel immense guilt and self regret. He then shares his experience as he learned the process of self forgiveness. He details the process in six steps: 1) receive God's forgiveness, 2) repair relationships, 3) rethink ruminations, 4)reach emotional self-forgiveness, 5) rebuild self acceptance, 6) resolve to live virtuously.
Each chapter begins with a thought provoking quote, each by a different author. Throughout the book there are many applicable Biblical quotes.
The author wraps it all up in closing by sharing important lessons on the road to self forgiveness which are: self forgiveness is a doorway, not a destination; you cannot conquer trauma; look for spiritual connections in unlikely places; stay in contact with God and with others; God is always available; defeat can help you--if you let it; and the big lesson: God is in control.
Moving Forward contains six steps worth learning and applying. I highly recommend this book.
Liz KUKAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Really got me thinkingOctober 3, 2013Liz KUKAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Worthington wrote this book after overcoming the guilt of feeling he hadn't done enough to prevent his brother's suicide. I liked the way in which Worthington weaved his own story alongside the advice and technical explanations. I greatly respected and was grateful for how he was willing to be so open about his own struggles.
I found a great deal of very helpful points in the first few chapters of the book. I liked this summary from the prologue:
Ã¢â¬ËThe truth about you (and all of us) is hard to accept, but it's powerful and life changing when you do face it and engage with it. The truth is this: you are more flawed than you can imagine. But, miraculously, you also are more valuable and more cherished than you can imagine.'
The following passage gave me hope that there might be something helpful in the book for me, as someone who is plagued with feelings of guilt over the same issues from time to time.
Ã¢â¬ËIf you struggle with self-blame resulting from something you did or should have done but didn't, or if you feel that you have not lived up to your expectations, I hope you'll break free from that guilt and self-blame.'
I don't really relate personally to the need to Ã¢â¬Ëforgive myself'. I do certainly feel a need to be free from guilt and condemnation. I could relate to the experience of knowing in my head that God has forgiven me, but still being emotionally affected by feelings of guilt.
Maybe if I was feeling guilty about something that had led to a loss in my own life, then I would feel this need for Ã¢â¬Ëself-forgiveness' more, as I would have been the one to cause the situation that affected me personally.
Generally, I would rather strive to completely accept and believe God's complete forgiveness and acceptance of me than strive to forgive myself. He is the one with the power to forgive sins, and whose standards for holiness are the highest.
Even though I'm not sure about the concept of forgiving myself, there were still plenty of points in the book that I found helpful in considering how to break free from feelings of guilt. This was a good reminder:
Ã¢â¬ËConviction for our sin is not intended to torture us with guilt and shame. Jesus wants us to bring our sin to him so that we can be cleansed.'
I thought this was also a very good point:
Ã¢â¬ËWhen we embrace self-blame rather than coming to God for help, we are denying God's desire to set us free (see Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18).'
I found the chapter on taking responsibility and making restitution interesting. I'd never really thought too much before about making restitution. I was a bit nervous about the idea of making restitution in order to help myself feel better (rather than because it's the right thing to do), as it could lead to the thinking that I am capable of making up for and cancelling out my own wrongdoing, rather than being totally dependent on God's grace (though I don't actually think Worthington was trying to claim this).
I also struggled with this quote:
Ã¢â¬ËOur responsible, restorative moral action will narrow our own injustice gap and help restore our sense of self as a moral person.'
It could be that I didn't completely understand what Worthington was getting at, but my thinking was that I don't want to see myself as a moral person. I want to see myself as someone who is deeply loved by God, even though I know I will never reach a point in this life when my thoughts, words and actions are always moral and right. I need to know that I'm free from guilt only because of God's grace; I wasn't comfortable with the idea of trying to make it easier to forgive myself by making restitution and so making the sin not seem so bad. At the same time though, I can see how Worthington's suggestions would help me to feel better.
Here's another quote from the book:
Ã¢â¬ËWe are hard on ourselves. We expect ourselves to be better and stronger than we are. We enforce standards on ourselves that we would never apply to others - because somehow we feel we should always rise to the challenges'
When I first read this, I thought Ã¢â¬Ëwell, aren't we supposed to aim for perfection?'. But I've realised that although yes, I should be aiming for moral perfection, I still need to accept that I'm a human, and that I have physical, mental and emotional limitations that I should be realistic about. This concept was quite an eye-opener for me.
I liked how Worthington looked at Peter and others in the Bible whose words and actions were not always commendable:
Ã¢â¬ËWe see a similar pattern in the words and lives of those God called to important service to him and to the world: tremendous faith and courage, followed by incredibly weak, stupid, unfaithful words and actions. Life with the Lord is not a steady spiritual peak experience. We do not reach progressively higher levels of maturity and righteousness. Instead, life and faith are a journey to a higher place that passes through many low valleys of sin and discouragement as well as through high mountains of faith and exuberance.'
I wasn't too sure about the following quote (though again I realise it's possible that I didn't fully understand the intended meaning):
Ã¢â¬ËAccepting ourselves means we understand that we are people who have followed life paths and those paths got us to the point where we are now. Acceptance is about being good enough - although we aspire to be better'
For me, accepting myself is nothing to do with being Ã¢â¬Ëgood enough'. It's about knowing that I'm accepted as a child of God and that he sees me as perfect because of Jesus' death, even though I'm still a work in progress (the last part of the sentence being my very loose paraphrase of Hebrews 10:14).
Although I didn't find every part of the book helpful, I'm definitely glad that I read it. It has strengthened my understanding of concepts that I already knew something about, caused me to reflect on ideas that I hadn't thought about before, and forced me to look more deeply at what I believe about Ã¢â¬Ëself-forgiveness' and freedom from guilt.
I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, in return for my honest review.
Dr JSKAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5September 19, 2013Dr JSKAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Moving Forward: Six Steps To Forgiving Yourself And Breaking Free From The Past, written by Everett L. Worthington Jr. is a book centered around the difficulties of forgiveness.
When you find yourself in need of a book dealing with forgiveness, you will notice a market flooded with options, but they pale in comparison to this publication by Dr. Worthington.
Dr. Worthington identifies six steps to forgiving, forgiving ourselves:
Receive God's Forgiveness
Reach Emotional Self-forgiveness
Resolve To live Virtuously
In utilizing these six steps and demonstrating the manner in which we are to move into and through forgiveness, Dr. Worthington cites the personal struggles he had as he weaved his way through dealing with the death of his mother and later his brother's suicide. Dr. Worthington, through his words within this publication, will touch your heart and guide you into the power of forgiveness.
Because of the clear path within this publication, the path that demonstrates how to move from self-condemnation to self-acceptance, this book is highly recommended for anyone, anyone who is struggling or has ever struggled with forgiveness.
Dr. Jeff Krupinski
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