Forgiveness is about more than just letting go. It’s about healing wounds and wiping away scars. It’s about feeling better—physically and emotionally. It’s about living your life with purpose and truly moving forward.
In Unconditional Forgiveness, Mary Hayes Grieco offers the Eight Steps to Freedom, a simple, effective eight-step program that teaches readers how to completely forgive in order to achieve both emotional and physical well-being. This step-by-step method incorporates emotional, energetic, and spiritual components that are accessible to everyone and offer lasting success. The Eight Steps to Freedom are:
Step One: Use Your Will Declare your intention through the power of will to begin the process of forgiveness.
Step Two: Express Your Emotional Pain You are given complete freedom to express your honest emotions without judgment or fear.
Step Three: Release Expectations from Your Mind Identify and let go of the expectations you had surrounding the person or situation that you are forgiving.
Step Four: Restore Your Boundaries Firmly separate yourself from the harmful actions and attitudes of the other person or situation.
Step Five: Open Up to Getting Your Needs Met in a Different Way Emotions have been released, expectations have been let go, and you no longer demand anything from the person or situation that you are forgiving.
Step 6: Receive Healing Energy from Spirit Reach to a higher level, bringing unconditional love and light into your being.
Step Seven: Send Unconditional Love to the Other Person or Situation and Release Unconditional love and light is freely given to the person or situation you are forgiving.
Step Eight: See the Good in the Person or Situation Now that you are free from the past pain and grievance, recognize the good that can be taken from the person or situation.
Grieco walks the reader through each step and addresses the entire spectrum of painful issues, from the everyday mundane to the most difficult, as well as providing a way to forgive one’s self, when necessary. The how to appendix provides a perennial, off-the-shelf reference to swiftly guide readers through the process whenever the need arises. With Grieco’s in-depth yet simple program, your healing can be as swift as it is lasting.
Mary Hayes Grieco is the director and lead trainer of The Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training and has served on staff at the Hazelden Treatment Center for more than sixteen years. Grieco has offered workshops on her method of forgiveness in the United States, Ireland, and Germany, and she spoke at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in 2005. She lives in Minneapolis.
"For forgiveness workshop instructor Grieco, forgiveness is an activity that goes beyond letting go of resentments. It is an act of universal harmony. Guided by the belief that 'there is nothing that is unforgivable,' the author spends much of this book outlining her Eight Steps to Freedom. Part therapy and part ritual, the Eight Steps begin with expressing feelings and a desire to change, and proceed through restoring boundaries, opening up to the universe, sending unconditional love to the offending party, and finding the greater good. It is a unique approach that incorporates Western therapeutic practices with Eastern concepts such as chakras. Along with these steps, Grieco shares personal stories of her own stresses and sufferings and relates many success stories of her clients’ forgiveness breakthroughs. Her writing is serious when it should be, but also humorous and accessible. While the universal spirituality–meets–therapy session approach to forgiveness makes this somewhat of a niche book, it may speak to seekers who are struggling with unresolved personal or spiritual grievances." (Dec.) Reviewed on: 11/11/2011 Publishers Weekly
“Of all the factors that foreshorten our lives and erode its quality, emotional stress increasingly emerges as the biggest culprit. Mary Hayes Grieco’s book offers us engaging, story-driven science and a straightforward approach to relieving emotional pain—something from which we all suffer from time to time. It’s a must-have manual for anyone interested in living a longer, better life.” —Dan Buettner, author of New York Times bestseller The Blue Zones
“I love her work, wisdom, and humor.” —Ann LaMott, author of Traveling Mercies and Plan B
“Mary teaches a forgiveness process that is simple yet powerful in healing long-standing hurts and resentments. I recommend this forgiveness process to anyone who wants to lead a more loving life.” —Rev. Ann Romanczuk, Unitarian Universalist Minister and Chaplain
"This beautiful book details just how the Eight Steps of Forgiveness can support any Twelve Step program of recovery. Mary Hayes Grieco is a wise, accessible guide through this powerful model of emotional healing.” —JoAnn Campbell-Rice, spiritual care coordinator at the Hazelden’s Dan Anderson Renewal Center
“This forgiveness process is the most effective tool I have to use in my psycho therapy practice. For many of my patients this process has healed wounds they felt couldn’t be healed—they are amazed by the results.” —Mary Conner, MA, LP
"A simple way to make important changes! I have worked for so many years in the field of recovery, trying to help people with forgiveness, and indeed apply it to my own life. Mary’s training gave me new tools and fresh ideas that I had not experienced before." —Sr. Eileen Fahey, founder and former CEO of Aiseiri Treatment Center, Tipperary, Republic of Ireland
"When it comes to teaching people how to forgive, Mary Hayes Grieco is the master! With her depth and breadth of insight into this difficult topic, and her warm, creative teaching style, I have witnessed Mary successfully lead group after group of individuals from their starting point of pain and limitation into the new territory and the wider vista that opens up with the liberating experience of forgiveness." —Sue Paisley, training department, HealthEast Care System, St Pau lMN
“This is a beautiful and wise book about one of the greatest and most challenging spiritual paths: the practice of forgiveness. This clear and gentle guide offers the promise of release from wounds both small and large, the creation of genuine emotional freedom, and the opening of the heart to be able to give and receive love. Who would not want that?” —Dr. Henry Emmons, author of The Chemistry of Joy
“A book on the art of forgiving might not sound like a snappy read, but you would be wrong. Mary Hayes Grieco's writing is fresh, forthright, and user-friendly. Having experienced the efficacy of this work from the inside out, I can tell you its truth rolls over you in ever-bigger waves.” —Mike Finley, forgiveness workshop participant
“Mary… is a giftedand inspiring presenter with a wealth of knowledge. In the training she presented for the European Branch of the American Counseling Association, our members gained valuable skills to use in their counseling practices. It was a very enriching experience, personally and professionally, and I am using my new knowledge already.” —Frankie Nielsen, EdD, former president of EB-ACA
“Forgiveness can feel so foreign. Even though we sense deep inside that freedom lies on the otherside of forgiveness, we can’t quite seem to get there on our own. In Unconditional Forgiveness, Mary Hayes Grieco takes us gently by the hand, never leaving our side, as we walk through the eight-step process that has healed thousands. As we close the book, we are, at long last, free, healthy, and whole. And life can begin afresh. I highly recommend this important book.” —Janet Conner, author of Writing Down Your Soul and My Soul Pages
"If you have even a shred of unforgiveness in you toward anyone or anything, do yourself a favor and get a copy of this book. Then use it and feel the release and relief that comes from truly being able to forgive." —New Spirit Journal
"[Unconditional Forgiveness] provides the tools needed to let go of the past and move forward with a light heart, and blends humor with insights and real-world applications of techniques. The step-by-step approach makes it easy to follow!" —California Bookwatch
"With Grieco's in-depth yet simple program, your healing can be as swift as it is lasting." —AZnet