The Power Of Forgiveness: Why Emily Hooks Chose To Forgive Her Kidnappers

TCAS 13 | Forgiveness


Emily Hooks is the author of ‘The Power of Forgiveness: A Guide to Healing and Wholeness’. How does one forgive their kidnapper? It’s a journey of immense healing. I was there when we re-kidnapped her. She is my niece.

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The Power Of Forgiveness: Why Emily Hooks Chose To Forgive Her Kidnappers

Beautiful day, beautiful souls. I’m so grateful to have you with us. I’m Charla Anderson, host of The Charla Anderson Show, collector and connector of fascinating people, and everyone is fascinating, especially YOU. I’m so grateful to have you here. We’re on Win Win Women, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Podetize. I’m so grateful that you would take the time to read this. I’m going to do the little breathing exercise that I do at the beginning of every show. After that, I’m going to introduce you to one of the most incredible people in my personal life, my beautiful niece, Emily Hooks.

Both of us were there when she was kidnapped. We’re going to come back in and share some of that story and the story of redemption around all that. First, we’re going to start with our little breathing exercise. It’s a 22-second mini-vacation or mini-meditation. We’re going to breathe in for seven seconds. Calmness. Calm. We’re going to hold for 4 seconds and then breathe out gratitude for 11 seconds. Join me with that, and then we will get on with our show. Here we go. Breathe in. Calm. Hold. Breathe out gratitude. Release. Thank you. I hope that is a reminder to you and all of us that we can use a little centering or grounding, get off our devices for a minute, and be reconnected to ourselves. That’s why I do that.

This is an incredible honor for me. I have known this person her whole life. My niece, Emily Hooks, has an incredible story. We said, “Throw it out there.” She was kidnapped when she was seven years old. We went and re-kidnapped her when she was eleven three years later, give or take. That story sent her a little bit after a while down a path of destruction and then back to redemption and forgiveness. Emily, I love you. I’m so grateful that you’re here. Tell us a speck of who you are and what you’re doing in this world.

I’m doing in the world. My name is Emily Hooks. I am her niece, her sister’s daughter. I’m a writer. I wrote and published a book called The Power of Forgiveness: A Guide to Healing and Wholeness in 2017. I’m working on another book now on self-forgiveness. That is much more difficult to write if I’m being honest, but as the universe is apt to do anything I didn’t know, I’ve been learning.

You said self-forgiveness.


TCAS 13 | Forgiveness


It’s interesting in the first book, I said that there were a few distinctions between the two. Those were not incorrect distinctions, but there were quite a few differences that I didn’t highlight in that book. I’m eager to set the record straight and share this book with the world hopefully in 2024.

I was going to say timeframe. It’s a process.

Somebody needs to put me on the hook. I was on the hook.

TCAS 13 | Forgiveness
The Power of Forgiveness: A Guide to Healing and Wholeness

I’ll get my watch. We’re counting down. Let’s get her done. The story is such a needed topic. I believe gratitude and forgiveness are probably the two keys to everything if you want to live in peace and freedom. That’s it. Everything else goes under that. When we say forgiveness, we’re talking about forgiving God or your creator. You’re forgiving yourself and then others. It almost has to go in that order, but you’re the expert on that. Is that your finding too?

If that’s what’s true for you and anybody who’s engaging in the healing process, then that’s a great way to approach it. I don’t think it’s inherently true that the creator, one’s creator, one’s God, the universe, or whatever you believe in needs to intervene. That’s an important thing to say because people spend lifetimes waiting for divine intervention. That’s a real sacrifice to make. We get to choose how we’re going to live our lives. While it is significantly more difficult to engage in the healing process without that, it’s still possible.



The model that I said at first was now I’ve come to know that we are the creator of our lives. That’s part of self-forgiveness. It’s what I’m going to perhaps put out there. Who knows? That seems like a new thought for me. That’s amazing.

That is the primary focus of this next book. In some ways, a lot of what I’m saying is counter to the modern ethos around mind over matter. It has been interesting to explore what my personal experience has been and what the research shows the independence of that overlay about, “Follow your bliss. The universe has your back,” and all of those things. They sound beautiful, and I want them to be true, but if in practice that’s not your experience, it’s important to know that you still have a valid experience. You’re not doing it wrong. It’s not possible to do life wrong. It’s possible that you’re not doing it in a way that’s creating joy and happiness.

Don’t we want that? Many people want it and are clueless about what that means and how to do that. You were born soulful. You’re probably one of the most soulful and deep thinkers. You’re an old soul from your youth. You have a son like that as well, Zach, who we love so much. We have a story to tell. What would most people are going to be most interested in here is let’s tell this story. You were beautiful. You were raised in a small town.

My sister or your mom, Shirley, had Cathy, your sister, and then you. She had a nice life in Grandbury, Texas doing real estate back in the ’70s and ’80s. Something happened. One day, you didn’t come home. When you don’t come home at seven years old, there’s a gap or huge missing piece in your life. Our lives. Our focus for a lot of years then was trying to figure out where you were and how you were and making sure you were okay. Do you want to tell a little bit about that piece? As you know, time goes fast.

I do want to reframe a little bit before we get started and say that even more so than from my experience. We can get to the chaos that I reaped later in my life after we tell this part of the story, but that chaos wasn’t reaped solely because of this event. The familial trauma or the experience that you all had of me not coming home was more singular, but my trauma is much more complex than the two events that we’re going to talk about. That’s important to acknowledge.

I was seven years old. My dad who was British and who has since passed was living in Boston. He called Mom and asked if he could take me for the Easter vacation. It was April 10th or 11th 1979. She agreed. He flew down to Texas, picked me up, and took me to Boston. He subsequently took me out of the country, called my mom’s house in our small town, and left a message for her saying that she would never see me again and that if she tried to find us, he would tell me that she was dead.

Knowing that little piece is important to a window into understanding the mental illness and twisted way of seeing the world that my father experienced. That’s real. In some ways, he was an important part of my development in a positive way, believe it or not, but he was also a very unwell human being. He created chaos for my mom, which is the most heartbreaking part of the story.

He took me out of the country. I don’t remember how we got out of the country. Subsequently, Mom started contacting the FBI. I don’t know if you want me to keep moving forward in this story, but one thing that’s interesting as I do some research on exactly what happened is there wasn’t any recourse that Mom could take when it initially happened, but something interesting happened during the period I was gone, which was from ’79 to ’82.

The Hague Convention was signed. The Hague Convention is an international treaty that says that custody agreements in countries that were signed into the treaty have to honor the other members of custody agreements. Prior to the United States in 1980 signing that, and they didn’t start utilizing it until 1981, there was no recourse that my mother could take because they didn’t believe I was in the country. It’s interesting to tap into that historical piece of it.

That’s a piece that was out of my realm. I wasn’t paying attention to that as much. We were all desperate looking for you. Another thing to think about that was an issue was, “What if we got you back?” This was a little bit later on when we found out that you were out of the country. When we got you back, you didn’t have a passport. There were a lot of things that were having to go on. We were writing letters. There was Jim Wright, the speaker of the house. There were so many people looking for you and assisting in that process. You’re a mother. I’m a mother. I can’t fathom having my child disappear and then being told she was dead. That manipulation or that horrific overcurrent of all of it is devastating. You ended up in a boarding school in England. It’s what I understand.

Toward the end of my tenure there, I was in a boarding school. I went to five different schools while I was there. At the time, I wasn’t understanding why that was, but retrospectively, he was trying to hide me. He didn’t know what was happening on your side of the world as far as looking for me and being active in the country over there, but I did end up on the Welsh border in a small boarding school.

I’m your aunt. We were in Houston, and your mom was in a small town in North Texas. It was not in my face every day, but it was in my heart. I ran across a book and got very spiritually minded at the beginning of 1982. I was a flight attendant. I was traveling back and forth, but I ran across a tiny book and looked for it. I was hoping I could find it. It’s The Power of Positive Praying by John Bisagno. That little book gave me a different perspective on praying in that we already know God’s will in most things. Pray what you know instead of, “We knew. I knew.”

In that process, I found this book. I was like, “I know for a fact it’s God’s will, or it is important that you know we are looking for you and we love you. I knew for a fact it was important that we knew you were okay.” I didn’t know if it was better for you where you were or where we were. I didn’t go there. That wasn’t part of my equation, but I started this thought and this prayer that you have to know that we love you and we have to know you’re okay.

You get words. Sometimes you get an answer. You get an insight sometimes. I got this word that we’re going to have you back by your birthday. I didn’t have the guts to say that out loud. I had the guts to say to your mom, “I believe we will hear from her by her birthday.” On your birthday, we found out what country you were in, and that you were in England. I was like, “If I had the faith to speak what I had heard, we had you back somehow by then.” I don’t know, but it’s the way it worked out.

Immediately, we went into action on our part. As a flight attendant, I was able to travel with your mom easier than a lot of other people could have. We ended up flying over to England. We had another guy with us, an investigator. We had two cars. We were trading cars. We were in trench coats. It was this spy novel thing in a way. It was bizarre. We didn’t know where you were, but we ultimately got hints and somehow figured out that you were up near the Wales border.

We went and stole an old phone book. It wasn’t that thick. We tore it in thirds and had a phone number. We started looking for phone numbers, looking for a phone number, and looking for that phone number. I believe it was your mom that saw it first. It got interesting because we kidnapped you back and knocked on the door. You were at a friend’s house. We kidnapped you back.

Your mom went to the door and grabbed you. You were in your nightgown. I don’t think you had anything else. We threw you in the car. I was at the hotel with the other car. We traded cars, went down, got pulled over, and got caught by the police. Here we are in England. We didn’t get arrested, but we got detained and went to jail. They gave us the grace to have a hotel room with a guard outside of it, the little bobbies with their hats, and stuff like that. If I’m not mistaken, that was July 4th, 1982.

We went to court on July 5th and flew back to Houston on July 6th.

That was in miracle in and of itself because the court docket said we don’t have anything for six weeks. Surely, you were going to have to wait there. He cleared that docket and got it. He was so furious with that.

If you know my mother, you know why he cleared the docket. She was talking all about the Hague Convention.

It was a miracle. It was beautiful and amazing. You were in your nightgown. They gave us the grace to go and buy you some clothes. You sent that picture. We were walking down the street with a little bobby walking along with us. It’s an amazing and miraculous story. We got you home. You had turned twelve on that birthday that we should have had you by. For three full years, you were gone. The beauty of seeing you and having you back was unbelievable.

Mom says I didn’t grow an inch while I was gone. She said when I ran down the stairs at Elaine’s house, I looked the same as the last time she saw me.

You didn’t in three years, and then you made up for it. I called you a waif. You looked so small and frail in a way. You were 7 to 11. Those are very formative years. You were okay. You were living your life. You didn’t know what else was going on. You didn’t know all this drama was going on, but we figured it out. It was beautiful having you get back and come to the United States. You had your little British accent. It was so cute.

Thank you for your contribution to my rescue. It means a lot.

At the time, I was three months pregnant. It was a crazy month for me in that regard, but one of the highlights of my life was to be able to hold you again.

That’s very sweet.

Much has happened since then. In that timeframe, is there anything you feel compelled to add to that story of missing your sister and not knowing? One little thing that I’m remembering is that you complained to your dad one time that your sister got some new shoes and you hadn’t. He took that as you were not being treated fairly, or you took that as that. It’s just kids. There was no preferential treatment over one or the other. It was something small, but it seemed to be something that made a difference for him.

I’ve thought a lot about those stories. Our disposition and our personalities are interesting. I didn’t know that story about the shoes, but it does sound like something I would have said. What I do remember doing and the reason I remember this is because it was so consequential in my mind and reality. I called him a few weeks before he came to Texas, took me, and said we didn’t have any food in the house. In reality, we had food in the house. We just didn’t have the food I wanted. What that did for me was make it very easy for me to blame myself for what had happened. It’s one of the reasons I’m writing a book on self-forgiveness. Some of us are wired that way. We’re wired to take 100% responsibility when that’s not the way life works.

Some of us are just wired to take 100% responsibility when that's just not the way life works. Click To Tweet

Especially when you’re a child.

One of the stories is that he was obsessed with education, and he took me so that I could get a better education. That’s a pretty defensible argument. The education is better there. There is no question about it, but the question then is this. Why didn’t they ever have a conversation about a boarding school in the United States or a school in Massachusetts? Why did he wait until then? The only real answer to that is he was doing what he wanted to do. It wasn’t about education and my well-being. It was probably about getting back at my mother if we were being honest about the type of person that he was. It wasn’t about me at all.

Everybody does what they do. They don’t do what they don’t do. Often, it’s not about anything else. It’s what they do. That’s a big deal. Here we are. That was amazing. You came back, became a beautiful and wonderful child, and then grew and blossomed until you didn’t. You went on a destructive path.

I did want to say one more thing because we were talking about the Hague Convention. The way you ended up getting me back is Alexander Haig and Jim Wright who was a speaker of the house at the time out of Fort Worth. They contacted the US Embassy in London and facilitated getting me a passport. I still have that passport.

That was a huge piece. Thank you for remembering that. I met Jim Wright a few years ago. He’s passed away. I thanked him personally way back then a few years ago. That is a huge thing. The passport was a big deal. There wasn’t as much security back then, but you still had to have a passport to travel. That was a big blessing.

I have a lot of documentation from that time. We went to court on the 5th and we flew back on the 6th. On the 7th, the court released us. We contacted Mom, sent her a letter, and said, “You’re free to leave the country.” We had already been a week.

In Houston, there were news media, interviews, and all kinds of stuff. It was a big story.

I have all those newspaper clippings.

It was amazing, and still is, to know the person you’ve become because you did self-destruct for a while. Along the way, you thought you were to blame for everything. No one is perfect.

I do want to say that the kidnapping, the experiences there, and my dad who was also abusive fundamentally changed me in adverse ways. There’s no question about it. My experience when I got back was also very challenging. That was a consequence of the time as much as anything else. Understanding trauma, how to treat trauma, and the needs of a traumatized child, I don’t think we understood those things back then.

In our family, we didn’t. Thank goodness we do now. Our kids and grandkids can do better. It was a series of unfortunate events even after I got back. A kid that doesn’t get their needs met either does 1 of 2 things. They either disappear from the world and close in on themselves, and that’s a certain type of person, or they try to burn everything to the ground. That’s the person I am.



Scorch the Earth.

I have a lot of compassion for that. I’m sorry for the impact on my mother in particular and my son when he was in the world. I also have total compassion for why I was that way. In some ways, it was inevitable. It sucks, but it was the way I responded.

Your dad had a large personality and a fiery temper.

He had a brutal temper. Both my parents have huge tempers. Mom’s has waned a lot, but hers wasn’t as bad as his. I inherited his temper although I don’t mean that I was aggressive that way. I tried to deconstruct everything around me by getting into drugs. I eventually became homeless and had a very near-fatal addiction. You saw me toward the end of that. You were there for me during that time in a special way.

Everybody was so paralyzed by fear of my death, which was a matter of time, and for the destruction that I was causing. They didn’t know what to do, but you stayed present interestingly enough and opened your home to me at one point. You came to visit me when I got arrested. You were always kind. That has never been lost on me. It’s a special gift that you have to be present when there’s so much suffering. Thank you for that.

Thank you. You do what you do. I’m grateful that I could help if that was a help. Love people without judgment. Love them when they need it. It’s a part of my caveat there. That makes it hard. I never gave up on you.

Thank you.

At that point, you went to a low and destructive place.

Let me tell you. It’s hard to kill yourself.

If it isn’t your time, you’re not going.

If somebody were to choose to believe that for themselves, there’s real tenderness in it for people that they may have lost. I tried hard, and it didn’t work. Interestingly enough, we don’t ever talk about this stuff. It has been lifetimes ago now. We were talking about this, and my son said three words to me, “I need you.” I was trying to remove myself from the situation because I always thought I was making things worse. I wasn’t there because I thought I wasn’t wanted, which is a consequence of the kidnapping because that’s what my father told me. Until he said that to me so clearly, I thought he was better off without me. At that moment, everything changed.

TCAS 13 | Forgiveness
Forgiveness: There’s some tenderness to be if somebody were to choose to believe that for themselves, there’s some real tenderness in it for people that they may have lost.


Not only did that happen, but somebody that I knew tried to kill me. Those two events happened a couple of months of each other. My dad wasn’t in the picture at this point. The man that I was with at the time almost killed me. He strangled me until I went unconscious. That kicked something in me. A few months after that, I overheard a conversation in which he tried to sell me to another man. That event and my son telling me that he needed me all happened in a very short period. I packed up my car and left, and everything changed.

You were bringing up the same conversation from before. I got a little confused there. I want to clarify that he’s the one that said, “I need you,” years ago.

He said something along the lines of he didn’t believe that anybody else could make a difference in somebody’s addiction until they’re ready. I said that’s not true because his three words changed everything for me.

You must have been ready in a way too. Who knows? Normally, the show goes, and we can open it up to Q&A. We’ve got a couple of guests on here. If you have any questions or comments, we can look at that as we wind up your side of the story because we do want to get to The Power of Forgiveness, which we have been talking about the whole time. The very top line of the back cover of your book was written by the founder of Project Forgive, “There’s nothing that can’t be forgiven.” That’s a bold statement.

You have created the Forgiveness Academy. I’ve witnessed some of the workshops and things around that subject that have changed people’s lives. It’s cliché, but it’s changed people’s lives. Your message, your presentation, and your heart-centeredness make an impact that is palpable. The person you’ve become is tremendous. Everybody has a story in this little series I’m doing about people telling their stories and overcoming. Ultimately, it offers hope to people. There are very few things that you can’t overcome if you choose. You said choice earlier. It’s all a choice too.


TCAS 13 | Forgiveness


We make choices that have an impact, but I do think that it’s more than that. We live in a world, and that world whether we like it or not affects us and some of us in profound ways. Choices make a difference, but sometimes the choices have to be to change our environment or to make counterintuitive decisions about what we need to do to get better. I’ll give an example.

One of the most important decisions I ever made was to leave the place I was when I was almost dead. Pretty much everybody universally will tell you that you’re going to take the problem with you. The most important thing to do is to listen to yourself. Don’t listen to the clichés in the world. Live with no regrets. That’s another ridiculous example. That’s not a reality unless you’ve lived in a bubble your whole life. It’s an affirmation. I do get that we’re trying to affirm and that we’re not going to let regret define us, but regret is a valid human experience. It’s a great teacher.

We can’t let us let it stop us from moving forward. It’s more than a choice. I like to make sure that’s clear because people can feel like they’re choosing for years. They keep choosing, and It still isn’t making a difference. I have so much compassion for that struggle or the reality of the complexity of what it takes to find our joy. Sometimes there’s more to it than one big choice.



I’m not minimizing that even a little bit, but any given part of my message too is every second, we are making a choice to take this step or that step. We don’t recognize that so often cumulatively, “I’m taking a breath. I’m provided for. I have a choice now to go left or go right.” Most of the time, if you’re in a dark place, you can’t see the light place to go.

We have a little bit of a philosophical divergence there. Usually, what we choose is what we would have inevitably chosen based on everything that happened before it. I don’t think we’re consciously making choices as we think we are.

We're not really consciously making choices like we think we are. Click To Tweet

That makes sense.

I thought about a little analogy that I like. I like to think of healing as dewdrops rather than a thunderstorm. People like to think that they can wash away trauma and mistakes, and that grand gestures will make a difference. That’s not the way healing happens. Healing happens one little drop at a time.

Say more about that because nobody gets there probably ever, but you’ve mastered this forgiveness piece. Forgiveness is a cliché, “You have to forgive.” People brush it off, “I could never forget. Are you kidding me? They did that.” You have created healing and wholeness from destruction. You took the steps and did the work to become as resilient as you are.

When you see a path forward, you take it one little step at a time. When you don’t, you breathe in, “This too shall pass.” That’s it. It’s not a magic potion. It’s just not being attached to the suffering that you’re experiencing and not believing any story that says it’s inevitable or unfixable. If you question every story that limits you and creates suffering for you or the people around you, and question it to yourself, not necessarily out loud because everybody’s journey is their own, inevitably, that’s what life is. It is a change. It is a shift. One thing happens, and then the other thing happens. If we’re not attached to the present circumstances, life will present other opportunities.

You said, “I relentlessly forgave.” Relentless is a big word. You relentlessly forgave everything in your life. You started transforming because you started choosing. That was a choice to start forgiving and figuring out what that meant for you.

I started a recovery journey, and I don’t mean that synonymously with a twelve-step program. I mean recovery from the hard things that have happened in life. We’re all on the journey of recovery if you think about it. I felt that rage and resentment. Most of the resentment was aimed toward my mother, interestingly enough. There’s a lot of research in psychology for why that is.

When I felt that experience, what I mean by relentless is every time it happened, I redirected and questioned because at first, it can feel impossible. I’m steeped in rage, resentment, and shame. It’s my whole experience. The only thing I know to do is escape. I tried all the ways that you can escape. I tried desperately to kill myself, not only through addiction but actively multiple times. I failed at everything else. It’s not like I had an amazing revelation. I tried everything else.

Thank you. You also said, “I vowed not to live a tragic life. I will not live a tragic life.” That was a shift. That you had to make that mental shift into, “I want to die. If I’m not going to die, I’m not going to live a tragic life.”

Part of that experience was recognizing, interestingly enough, to bring it back full circle, the familial impact of my story. The things that happened in my childhood were a tragedy. In some ways, that became a part of my story naturally. I embodied it. I lived a sense that anything that didn’t go to crap was good or a miracle. It’s recognizing that the expectation of tragedy was a part of the fabric of who I was. It was a powerful shift to get to choose it. To go back to choice, I did make that initial choice, but I still make that choice. That fabric is still a part of who I am. I have to wake up every day and decide how much I’m going to live it. When I do live it, I breathe in that presence and still have compassion for myself.

I love the compassion for yourself because so many of us tend to be so hard on ourselves, “Why did I do that?” Live with grace. I’m pointing out things that I remember or saw that you have written. You believe that as we heal, the world heals. When I buy a candy bar for somebody and give them a hug or offer a hug or an elbow bump, the energy shifts. That’s what you’re talking about here. Any time you ratchet up your energy, it affects thousands of people energetically in the world.

I don’t know the extent of the impact, but I do think it makes a difference.

I don’t think we will ever know the extent. There’s something called a bema. It was a religious thing. Every person that you impacted and that impacted others all stand up on Judgment Day and had no idea. You could never follow that chain, but I believe to choose joy and to love people around us even if they’re hard to love impacts more than us. Tell me your favorite quote.

My favorite quote is, “Whoever can see through fear will always be safe.” It’s from Tao Te Ching, which I read every day for about eighteen months a few years ago.

It’s hard to get through, but that’s huge. What does that mean for you?

What it means is that fear is an illusion. If you can see the sky through the clouds, then you can see what’s true.

TCAS 13 | Forgiveness
Forgiveness: Fear is an illusion. If you can see the sky through the clouds then you can see what’s actually true.


That’s beautiful. Emily is offering a free audiobook to send to you. If you put, “I want the book,” and your email address, she will send you a free audiobook of The Power of Forgiveness, a huge gift for you. Direct message me, and I will get the book. I will share that with her. If you want a free audiobook of The Power of Forgiveness from Emily J. Hooks, please do.

Do you want to listen to this voice for ten hours?

Is it ten hours?

I don’t know how long it is. It’s probably six hours.

That’s a commitment.

It’s quite a process.

I love when people do their audiobooks. My little book is 25 minutes, and it seemed long.

It’s a sweet little book.

It’s short and sweet. As we move forward if anyone chooses, and we’re still kicking, we will be happy to send you an audiobook of this amazing book. Your website is amazing and beautiful.

There’s a contact form on there. If somebody wanted to reach out to me, they can. I’m working on a workbook called The Grudge Detox. That’s needed post-pandemic. People are a little grumpy. It’s a simpler process to let go of those small grievances although they can have a profound impact on your life if they’re a habit. I’m working on that, a course, and the other books. Stay tuned.

You’ve got so much. You have such a soulful and deep spirit and such a commitment and conviction to make an impact in this world as you have so often touched me in so many ways. We don’t see each other enough, but we will in the holidays.

You never know.

You have to show up at the holidays and get good food and a good family. Things are more settled. It has been such a journey with your mom and your sister. Ultimately, the family is doing well. There’s a lot of fun in this family and this environment. I’m grateful for all of that. Tell us your biggest and most important message if there’s anything left that you want to share.

You set me up here with one more profound statement.

You’re so full of them. We might as well. What’s next for Emily? Will you name the books and the courses that you rattled off?

The Grudge Detox will be a workbook. It will be free. It will be available on the website. I’ll put it on social media when it’s ready. It’s going to be 6 to 12 months before the book is written. If you’re connected with me any which way, you will know about its release.

What’s the title of the book?

The working title is Living With Ourselves.

That’s the self-healing or forgiving yourself that we talked about at the beginning and the courses and such. You had the Forgiveness Academy. You were doing some amazing things. You are an extraordinary speaker. You never know when that opportunity comes back again. I’m sure you’re open to doing that because you truly have a gift.

Thank you. One of my favorite things to do is facilitate workshops. I love speaking. What I love about workshops is getting to see that transformation. The one that I’m thinking of was in Fort Worth several years ago. There were several young people or high school kids in the group. It was so powerful like popcorn watching those transformations and the realization of how much space we have to choose the relationship that we’re going to have with our experiences in the past. It just so happens that I have some credence and weight because my story is so wrought with difficulty.

From such a young age. They were teenagers. They’re full of stuff, but they’re not 50 years of full of stuff. They’re eighteen years full of stuff. They can start looking at it earlier.

Isn’t it great to realize at such a young age that you have the freedom to choose and do the work of forgiveness if you want to? You don’t have to, but if you want to, there’s a great deal of liberation to be found from the experiences that we wish had been different.


TCAS 13 | Forgiveness


We all want it to be sunshine. Being around my little almost eighteen-month-old on a daily basis and watching, I want the least painful life for her. How do you do that?

Babies are such rays of hope, joy, and simplicity. I love being around babies for that reason.

Babies are such rays of hope, joy, and simplicity. Click To Tweet

I have Patti Grace. She wrote a book. She’s going to be my guest. She’s got a few stories of overcoming. I’m grateful for you to see how it looks from that side. It’s an interesting dynamic here. We’re excited to have you. Thank you for participating.

I wanted to watch and see. I enjoyed her testimony and everything. That’s great. I look forward to seeing you.

Patti Grace Shifflet, throw out the name of your book real quick.

Our Fellowship With His Holy Spirit.

We will be looking forward to getting to know you better too.

I write for a newspaper, but it’s local. There are over 40 articles, but I don’t think anybody has access to that.

It’s good. You’re brilliant. You’re a huge overcomer as well.

God bless. Thank you.

We will wind it all down.

Thank you for having me.

What a blessing. I feel how much grace you’ve exposed. We didn’t address family members, even your sister, Cathy. Her perspective of this didn’t occur to me, but we probably could have had her in here as a perspective as well.

That would have been amazing.

Maybe we will try that again sometime. She felt guilty and lost or something along that line too. We all are trying to get through life as best we can and doing all we know to do with what we have. My little saying is, “I did what I did. I didn’t do what I didn’t do.” I did all that I knew to do with what I knew at the time as you did and are doing in your life. I love you. I call it a forgiveness release.

I’ve got sayings of the month or values of the month. I’ve finished writing it. The one for June is forgiveness. The value of the month is forgiveness. This is sitting hand in hand with that. We’ve got so much to share and so much joy. My message nearly always ends with, “Joy is a choice. Choose joy.” With that, we will see you. Many blessings to you, Emily. I love you so much. Thank you. Choose joy.

I’m Charla Anderson, host of The Charla Anderson Show, Collector & Connector of Fascinating People (and EVERYONE is Fascinating!) on live TV, streaming and podcasts. As a Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer, a retired award-winning flight attendant, Olympic Torch bearer, personal development junkie, Inspired Speaker, Published Author and Your Courageous Coach, I want to share my passion of living life full-out, saying YES to intriguing opportunities, and encouraging YOU to do the same. Let’s jump on a discovery call and get to know each other. Find all things Charla at

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About Emily Hooks

TCAS 13 | ForgivenessMy favorite quote is, “Whoever can see through fear will always be safe”- Tao de Ching

Emily is a writer and the author of the book, The Power of Forgiveness: A Guide to Healing and Wholeness. She speaks and hosts workshops across the country to help individuals and groups understand the impact of shame and resentment in their lives.

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Collector & Connector of Fascinating People... & everyone is Fascinating!  Sharing Encouragement, Courage, Inspiration, Smiles & Hugs to Leave OUR World a Better Place.

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