Use the Power of Forgiveness to Change Your Life

Forgiveness is one of the best tools we have at our disposal to create a better life for ourselves. It really is an amazing tool... you can transform your life in just one one second — just by deciding to put the past in the past, where it belongs!

In our new book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Forgiveness Fix we have a collection of stories that show you how to look beyond the hurt and use the power of forgiveness to move forward.

Here are previews of two of my favorite stories from the book that show how you can use forgiveness to create a better life for yourself:

Let family back in
In "There for Each Other" Lauren Magliaro describes how her father and his younger brother were estranged for many years, not even talking to each other when they attended family functions. But when Lauren’s father was hospitalized with a life-threatening brain aneurysm, his brother showed up to help the family, and whatever had transpired between them was put in the past. Lauren’s father recovered, and the two brothers enjoyed twenty more years together until Lauren’s uncle tragically died at age 58. Lauren says, “Though devastated at the loss of his brother, my dad was there for my uncle’s wife and three grown sons, the same way my uncle had been there for me and my mom two decades earlier. I miss my uncle every day, especially seeing him and my father together. They always reminded me of the importance of forgiveness, and that all things are possible with love.”

Make sure you understand what lay behind a hurtful action.
One of the best ways to find forgiveness is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to understand his or her motivation and circumstances. It took years, but in her story, "No Fault," Christy Heitger-Ewing eventually got over her feeling of abandonment after her mother’s suicide—by recognizing her mother’s mental illness. She began attending a support group and came to realize that her mother was in agonizing emotional pain and that it wasn’t her fault that she died. As Christy sees it, “She didn’t choose to become inflicted by a chemical imbalance that messed up her brain any more than a cancer patient signs on to have cancer cells ravage her body.” Christy was able to stop feeling hurt and instead feel gratitude for the forty-six years that she had with her mother.


Chicken Soup for the Soul has been “changing lives one story at a time”® since 1993 with more than 250 books that provide hope, inspiration, and tips for a better life. Virtually every title becomes a self-help bestseller. Each book contains 101 true, personal stories submitted by ordinary people with extraordinary experiences to share. The topics are wide-ranging, but always inspirational and entertaining, covering everything from faith and spirituality to family, marriage, pets, and overcoming challenges of all kinds. Life values such as gratitude, forgiveness, mindfulness, positive thinking, and giving back are a big part of the series, with specific self-help books that help readers of all ages, from children to the elderly.