Philip Friedman has been practicing psychotherapy and healing for more than 30 years. He is the executive director of the Foundation for Well-Being and can be reached through his website www.philipfriedman.com. In this practice rich paperback, Friedman makes it clear that the anger and resentment that fuels unforgiveness causes other emotional and psychological problems including depression, anxiety, and prolonged sadness. The core solution is forgiveness, a spiritual practice that can lead, as he notes in his subtitle, to true happiness, abundant love, and inner peace.
What makes this book special is the emphasis given to exercises and processes that encourage forgiveness, including journaling, affirmations, imagery, relaxation/meditation, and spiritual healing. This multidimensional approach to this complex subject is impressive and very practical. The end result is a whole-body emphasis based on Friedman's knowledge of a wide-range of therapy methods and ideas including cognitive behavior therapy, psychospiritual therapy, attitudinal healing, energy therapy, and others.
After presenting a series of questions designed to help you ascertain where you are in relation to the practice of forgiveness, the author states: "Forgiveness allows you to release the past and to cross the bridge from the path of fear and negativity to the positive path of light and love." He covers the challenges of choosing love over fear; seeing beyond judgment and blame; discovering what you don't want and what you do; and knowing when to let go. These steps are them amplified by exercises and practices to do in relation to firming up your capacity for forgiveness. Other added value material are "Twelve Frequently Asked Questions about Forgiveness" and an extensive bibliography. Here is a sampler of some affirmations that can be used in support of forgiveness:
• "Inherent in every grievance, judgment, and attack thought is the seed of the opportunity for practicing forgiveness. I will look for that seed and nurture it."
• "Forgiveness is my key to freedom and release."
• "Under all circumstances, I can learn to appreciate rather than judge."
• "More miracles come from forgiveness and gratitude than anything else."
• "My forgiveness brings me happiness, peace, joy, blessings, and love."