Recognizing Bad Beliefs

In July 2007, Police Officer Christopher Dorner and his partner were called to a public disturbance where a disorderly, mentally challenged man was creating a nuisance. Dorner later reported to department officials that his partner had used excessive force during the arrest, kicking the man in the face while he was handcuffed.  The department investigated the incident and decided that Dorner’s claim was not true. They fired him in 2008 for making a false report.

He chargBAD BELIEFS Image outlineed racism and appealed his case for job reinstatement. He exhausted every level of the police department’s appeals process to no avail. He went on to file a wrongful termination lawsuit through local and state courts; they upheld the department’s decision.

In February 2013, consumed with rage, Dorner decided his only option was to retaliate. He went on a shooting spree from February 2 through February 12 against specific officers and their families. He killed four people, including three police officers, and wounded four other officers. He became the subject of the largest manhunt in the history of the police department. Acting on a tip, the police finally tracked him to a cabin in the mountains. He died there on February 12, 2013, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head during a standoff with the police. He was 33 years old.

In reading Dorner’s manifesto which he had mailed to the media before starting his shooting spree,  I observed five toxic, erroneous, and overall “bad beliefs” that ultimately derailed his destiny and caused untold heartache for his family and the families of his victims. The truth is that any of us could fall prey to these beliefs. We all behave according to what we believe. Thus, it pays to “audit” our beliefs often to know what is motivating our behavior.

The Physical Rewards of Forgiving

GIVING-TO-OTHERS-WHAT-GOD-GIVES-TO-METhe act of forgiveness can literally take a load off your chest. So says Dr. Fred Luskin, director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project. In his bestselling book, Forgive for Good, A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness, he reports that several research studies found that just the mere idea of forgiving someone allowed some people to feel better. On the other hand, if the participants in the study imagined themselves as unforgiving, they had negative reactions, such as high blood pressure. Throughout the book, he explains that people who are more forgiving report fewer symptoms of stress and health problems. Failure to forgive may be more significant than hostility as a risk factor for heart disease.

We can go a long way in promoting our general health just by choosing to forgive. Unforgiving people keep themselves in a constant state of tension by thinking often about the situation and people involved in a transgression. Such chronic tension can lead to depression and hopelessness. I know because I’ve seen it manifest in my family and several close acquaintances. Their bitterness and resentment have impacted every corner of their lives.

Why allow offenders to rent free space in our heads and control the quality of our lives by focusing on them? We can choose to avoid the stress and tension associated with reliving the hurtful situation—when we choose to forgive. Decide to disconnect that ball and chain today. Don’t worry about letting the perpetrator off the hook; you will only be disconnecting YOURSELF from the hook. You can do this.  LEARN FROM THE BURN, BUT FORGIVE TO LIVE.

“Forgive, Let Go, and Live” ….Coming August 1, 2015

To “Look Inside” the book , go to, cut and paste this link:

Here is what’s waiting:

25  Real Stories of  the Tragedy of Revenge and the Triumph of Forgiveness

 6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Contemplating Revenge

 5 Things to Consider Before Restoring a Relationship

 10 Signs That It’s Time to Let Go of a Hurtful Relationship

 12-Step Mini Program for Forgiveness

 5 Rewards of Letting Go of an Offense

 9 Essential Acts When Seeking Forgiveness from Another

 20 Scripture-based Prayers to Release Specific Hurts and Offenses