“I can never forgive myself,” she said. “Every time I think about it, I get sick to my stomach.”
I knew that feeling. I had felt it due to my own failures and shortcomings. I also knew I could help her, because I know that sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself.
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 wrong—and 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 God’s acceptance frees us from self-blame, guilt, and shame.
In this practical, inspiring book, Dr. Everett Worthington identifies six steps to forgiving yourself:
· Receive God’s forgiveness
· Repair relationships
· Rethink ruminations
· REACH emotional self-forgiveness
· Rebuild self-acceptance
· Resolve to live virtuously
Weaving his own story of struggling with his brother’s suicide and his overwhelming feelings of regret, together with psychological insight, scientific research, and biblical truth, Dr. Worthington opens a clear path to freedom from self-condemnation to self-acceptance and most importantly, to the full life that Christ promises.
About the Author
Everett L. Worthington Jr. (Ph.D., University of Missouri) is professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and former executive director of the Templeton Foundation's A Campaign for Forgiveness Research. Worthington has studied forgiveness since the 1980s and has published more than 200 articles and papers on forgiveness, marriage and family, psychotherapy and virtue in a wide variety of journals and magazines. He was the founding editor of Marriage and Family: A Christian Journal and sits on the editorial boards of several professional journals. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, The 700 Club and been featured in award-winning documentary movies on forgiveness such as The Power of Forgiveness and The Big Question. He is the author of seventeen books including Handbook of Forgiveness, Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling and Forgiving and Reconciling.
Praise for Moving Forward
“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 research—as well as life-tested application—in 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 flaws—and that’s most of us—this 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