About This Book

Forgiveness frees us to get on with our lives! We can all benefit from letting go of our anger. Whether it's forgiving a major wrong or a minor blunder, forgiving someone is healing and frees you to move on with your life. You don't have to forget or condone what happened, but letting go of your anger improves your wellbeing and repairs relationships. You will be inspired to change your life through the power of forgiveness as you read the 101 stories in this book about forgiving others, changing your attitude, healing and compassion.

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Five questions to ask yourself to unlock the power of forgiveness
Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Forgiveness by Amy Newmark and Anthony Anderson

Forgiveness frees us to get on with our lives, and we can all benefit from letting go of our anger. The life-changing collection of stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Forgiveness will inspire you to look beyond the hurt and use the power of forgiveness to move forward with your life. You'll read about the freedom that comes from leaving resentments behind. Here are five questions you should ask yourself when the power of forgiveness might change everything for you.

  1. Are you only hurting yourself by being angry? When Joe Rector resigned as coach of his son's baseball team (because some dads complained about their boys not getting extra game time), the father who replaced him exacted revenge by benching Joe's son for the rest of the season. Joe remained angry for years! "I couldn't even think of John Stern without becoming so angry that my blood pressure spiked," Joe writes. Then a conversation with his son made Joe realize he was only hurting himself with his anger. His son had moved on long ago. "The time had long since come and gone for me to let it go. I did," Joe writes. "Almost immediately, I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders."

  2. Is holding onto the past preventing you from moving forward? When Karen Todd Scarpulla's ex-husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she moved herself and their teenage kids back in with him to care for him. The stress of living together, though, took a toll on her. "Each day his actions and behavior brought up old hurts and wounds," Karen shares. She kept reliving their painful past, and it physically affected her. "I knew I must do something to break the cycle." Karen did that by separating herself from his behavior, accepting the person he was and forgiving him. "I was finally at peace with our past," she writes. "It was time to let go of our history, so we could both move on."

  3. Are you blaming yourself for something out of your control? Over the years, Mark Rickerby had tried to help his drug-addicted brother and steer him off his destructive path, but he never changed. When his brother died, Mark says, "I felt guilty for two reasons—I never forgave him for the pain he caused my parents and me, and I couldn't forgive myself for not being there for him at the end." Then one night, in a dream, Mark's brother appeared and assured him that he hadn't done anything wrong. And Mark forgave him too. When he woke up, he says he was "heartbroken that it was just a dream" but also says that he had "a heart lighter than it had been since he died."

  4. Is hatred holding you captive? During the Rwandan Genocide, survivor Immaculée Ilibagiza felt revenge and hatred for the killers consume her. "I did not want to survive the slaughter if it meant living with a spiteful heart incapable of love," she writes. Through prayer and forgiveness, she let go of that hatred. But it threatened to reemerge when she learned her entire family, save for a brother studying abroad, was killed. When she faced her family's murderer in a local jail, she said, '"I forgive you,'" shocking the jailer. But Immaculée explained: "Hatred has taken everything I ever loved from me. Forgiveness is all I have left to offer." She walked out of that prison free of anger and hatred and says she has lived as a free woman ever since.

  5. What is behind the other person's anger? When Marya Morin moved into a new home, it seemed that her elderly neighbor was determined to make Marya's family miserable, complaining about any noise the young family made, even if they were just laughing. Then one day, while Marya was hosting a barbecue for friends and neighbors, she had an epiphany. She invited her crabby neighbor to join them, and discovered that she was just a lonely old woman who was being mistreated by her own grown son. After that barbecue, Marya reports, "We never heard a harsh word from her again. In fact, we became close friends, forgiving and forgetting our rocky beginning, and embracing our friendship instead."

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