Chicken Soup for the Soul shows how in 101 compelling true stories
COS COB, Conn. – Lynn Sunday complained about her ex-husband so much that her best friend said, “You might as well still be married to the man. You take him with you wherever you go.” That’s when Lynn realized she was living in a prison of her own making through her anger. She decided to forgive the father of her sons. She says, “I felt light and buoyant, as though an emotional weight had been lifted off me.”
Chicken Soup for the Soul’s editor-in-chief Amy Newmark explains how this works: “I always think of those resentments and disappointments that we carry in our hearts as if they were sewn onto a heavy cloak, pressing down on our shoulders as we try to move through life. Now imagine that we’ve shrugged off that cloak. It’s lying on the ground behind us, with all those bad things attached to it, and we’re light and free, walking away from that heavy garment. We’ve left the past in the past—where it belongs—and now we have a bright, warm, welcoming road ahead of us.”
Lynn’s story and 100 others fill the pages of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Forgiveness Fix (November 5, 2019, 978-1611599947, $14.95). These personal, revealing stories lay out steps for how to analyze a situation, come to grips with what happened, and then use the power of forgiveness to move forward.
Paul Lyons, for example, had always thought that his demanding father was criticizing him. But as an adult, Paul realized that his father was merely trying to give him the best possible guidance. He forgave his father and says, “I began seeing past the slights I kept collecting to realize that this man… was my biggest ally. Dad was never against me; the world was not against me. My world was dark because I kept turning out the light.”
As Amy Newmark says in the introduction to the book, “Basically, if you stay angry you create more anger, and you carry it with you. Imagine walking around with that little bit of anger inside you at all times. Isn’t it obvious that bit of anger would color all your experiences?”
Giving each other the benefit of the doubt is a key theme in the book. So many disputes can be avoided when we don’t expect each other to be perfect, and when we don’t hold onto the past. The stories in this collection go deep inside the lives of people who came back from everyday disputes, disappointing family relationships, and terrible transgressions—abuse, deliberate malfeasance, and even murder. They describe how they were able to put even the worst experiences behind them so they could climb out of their dark holes, shed those heavy cloaks of anger and resentment, and stride forward unencumbered on the road to a bright future.
ABOUT CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL
Chicken Soup for the Soul publishes the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. With well over 100 million books sold to date in the U.S. and Canada, more than 250 titles, and translations into more than 40 languages, the phrase “chicken soup for the soul” is known worldwide and is regularly referenced in pop culture. Today, 26 years after it first began sharing happiness, inspiration and hope through its books, this socially conscious company continues to publish a new title a month. It has also evolved beyond the bookstore, with a podcast, education programs, dog and cat food, licensed products, and video, television and movies through its subsidiary, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.
For a review copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Forgiveness Fix or an interview with Amy Newmark or one of the contributors: