"My mom explained that everyone makes mistakes and that we have to learn to forgive our friends. So that’s exactly what I did…I went to school the next day and told my friend that I forgave her. She said she was sorry and we hugged and made up. Years later, I came to learn that was, in fact, not forgiveness.”
I’m Mark Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt uses this quote to begin an exploration of a subject that touches all of us in her book The Gift of Forgiveness; Inspiring Stories from Those who have Overcome the Unforgiveable.
This little book is made up of horrible, heart wrenching stories and those who have forgiven. We hear from a kidnapping and rape victim, from the mother of a child killed in a mass school shooting, from the son of a Columbian drug lord, from a man tortured by al-Qaeda in Iraq, and other stories filled with impactful emotions.
We find forgiveness is deeper and much more complicated than what we learned as children, but at the heart of true deep forgiveness is a deliberate choice by the one who has been hurt not to carry the anger and resentment any longer.
Pratt writes, “If I have learned one thing from writing this book, it is that forgiveness is deep, challenging, complex, and unique to everyone, but when it is done—truly and completely—forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give to others and to yourself. When we are able to forgive, our lives change for the better, and we are set free.”
If you are struggling with, or have struggled, with forgiving someone, you must read Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt’s book The Gift of Forgiveness.