Forgiveness (quotes)

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To forgive is to …

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To forgive is to stop feeling angry and resentful towards someone who has wronged you 

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To forgive is not to necessarily excuse the offender’s behaviour … 

  • Granting forgiveness does not necessarily imply excusing or tolerating the offender’s behaviour, but it does entail trying to let go of your hurt, anger, and hostility and adopting a more charitable and benevolent perspective. Sonja Lyubomirsky
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… but it is to let go of the toxic burdens you carry 

  • Forgiveness doesn’t mean: “What you did was okay.” It simply means, “I’m no longer willing to carry the heavy toxic burdens of anger, resentment, and victimhood in my soul.” Doreen Virtue
  • Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor. R. Strahan
  • Letting go
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To forgive is one of the reasons we live 

  • Life is an adventure in forgiveness. Norman Cousins
  • We are all on a life long journey and the core of its meaning, the terrible demand of its centrality is forgiving and being forgiven. Martha Kilpatrick
  • Purpose
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To forgive is to choose love over anger and hate 

  • Forgiveness is choosing to love. It is the first skill of self-giving love. Mahatma Gandhi
  • Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectation that the other person apologize or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Sara Paddison
  • To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness. Robert Muller
  • One forgives to the degree that one loves. Francois de La Rochefoucauld
  • We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. Martin Luther King
  • Choose Love. Surrender the desire to hurt. Sanaya Roman
  • Forgiving is love’s toughest work, and love’s biggest risk. If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator.  Forgiving seems almost unnatural.  Our sense of fairness tells us people should pay for the wrong they do.  But forgiving is love’s power to break nature’s rule.  Lewis B. Smedes
  • Forgiveness is a method for giving love. It is a way of saying, “I am going to let go of the wrong you did; I am not going to be bitter and I am going to go on loving you anyway.” Bernie Siegel
  • When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines upon you. Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
  • Forgiveness is the final form of love. Reinhold Niebuhr
  • LoveAngerHate
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To forgive is to relinquish your grievance and so to let go of grief 

  • Forgiveness is to relinquish your grievance and so to let go of grief. It happens naturally once you realize that your grievance serves no purpose except to strengthen a false sense of self. Forgiveness is to offer no resistance to life – to allow life to live through you.  Eckhart Tolle
  • Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Robin Casarjian
  • Grief
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To forgive is to recognise that people are a work in progress 

  • Forgive the past. It is over. Learn from it and let go. People are constantly changing and growing. Do not cling to a limited, disconnected, negative image of a person in the past. See that person now. Your relationship is always alive and changing. Brian L. Weiss
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To forgive is to assert the truth of who someone is in their essence 

  • Forgiveness is loyalty to the truth of who you are. To truly forgive someone is to recognize who they are, to admit and affirm who they are, and to know that their best selves will be brought out only in the presence of an accepting and believing person. Forgiveness is basically the act of believing in another person and not allowing that person to be destroyed by self-hatred. Forgiveness involves helping people uncover their self-worth, which is usually crusted over by their own self-hatred. This is a way of forgiving people that does not make you look good but makes them look good. That’s the way God forgives us. In the act of forgiveness, God gives us back our dignity and self-worth. God is loyal to the truth that we are. God affirms that we are good persons who have sinned. God asserts that we are not bad. Richard Roh
  • Awaken to who you really are
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To forgive is to choose to let go of the past … 

  • Forgiveness means letting go of the past. Gerald Jampolsky
  • Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions. Gerald G. Jampolsky
  • The past can’t be changed, can it? It can just be forgiven. Elizabeth George
  • The act of forgiveness is the act of returning to present time. And that’s why when one has become a forgiving person, and has managed to let go of the past, what they’ve really done is they’ve shifted their relationship with time. Caroline Myss
  • The past
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… to focus again on the present and open to the future 

  • Forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. Lewis B. Smedes
  • The more anger you hold in your heart towards the past, the less capable you are of loving the present.
  • Through forgiveness, which essentially means recognizing the insubstantiality of the past and allowing the present moment to be as it is, the miracle of transformation happens not only within but also without. Eckhart Tolle
  • Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. Paul Boese 
  • Forgiveness frees you of the past, so you can make good choices today. Barbara Johnson
  • Forgiveness is about setting us free for the future. Mark Brown 
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The price of holding onto resentment

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Anger, resentment and hatred can do you much harm … 

  • You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. Buddha
  • How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. Marcus Aurelius
  • A man can’t eat anger for breakfast and sleep with it at night and not suffer damage to his soul. Garrison Keillor
  • Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it. Seneca
  • In the long run, the preoccupation, hostility and resentment that we harbor serve only to hurt us, both emotionally and physically. Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • Hating hurts the hater the most. Hating is not a salve for the wounded soul, it is an abrasive that keeps the soul wounded and raw and oversensitive. Jack R. Rose
  • Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved. Marcus Antonius.
  • For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Decide to forgive: For resentment is negative; resentment is poisoning; resentment diminishes and devours the self. Robert Muller
  • AngerResentmentHate
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… far more harm to you than the person you refuse to forgive 

  • We’d be wise to question why we hold a grudge as if it were going to make us happy and ease our pain. It’s rather like eating rat poison and thinking the rat will die. Our desire for relief and the methods we use to achieve it are definitely not in sync. Pema Chodron
  • Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. Buddha
  • There is something to that old saying that hate injures the hater, not the hated. Peace Pilgrim
  • Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Mark Twain
  • Anger is the most volatile form of emotion you can ever burden yourself with. Every bit of anger you hold on to damages your soul. Whenever you feel angry, remember that the person you are hurting is yourself. Celestine Chua
  • Hating people is like burning down your house to get rid of a rat. Henry E. Fosdick
  • Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Carrie Fisher
  • Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated. Coretta Scott King
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Not to forgive gives the person who wronged you great power over you 

  • When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free. Catherine Ponder
  • As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind. Isabelle Holland
  • He who angers you conquers you. Elizabeth Kenny
  • If one lets fear or hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains. Helen Gahagan Douglas
  • I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him. Booker T. Washington
  • When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health and our happiness. Our enemies would dance with joy if only they knew how they were worrying us, lacerating us, and getting even with us! Our hate is not hurting them at al, but our hate is turning our days and nights into a hellish turmoil. Dale Carnegie
  • Hanging on to resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head. Ann Landers
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Not to forgive is to keep your wounds fresh 

  • It is useless to meet revenge with revenge. It will heal nothing. R.R. Tolkien
  • There is a hard law. When an injury is done to us, we never recover until we forgive. Alan Paton
  • Injuries too well remembered cannot heal. Benjamin R. Barber
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Not to forgive is to get locked into a cycle of resentment and retaliation … 

  • Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another’s control… to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else’s nightmare. Lance Morrow
  • Without forgiveness life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation. Roberto Assagioli
  • The problem with revenge is that it never gets what it wants; it never evens the score. Fairness never comes. The chain reaction set off by every act of vengeance always takes its unhindered course. It ties both the injured and the injurer to an escalator of pain…Why do family feuds go on and on?… the reason is simple: no two people, no two families, ever weigh pain on the same scale. Lewis B. Smedes
  • Resentment
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.. which keeps you little 

  • Keeping score of old scores and scars, getting even and one-upping, always makes you less than you are. Malcolm Forbes
  • Little vicious minds abound with anger and revenge and are incapable of feeling the pleasure of forgiving their enemies.  Philip Chesterfield
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Therefore, forgive for it is a divine force … 

  • To err is human, to forgive, divine. Alexander Pope
  • Look with great forgiveness upon the weakness of others. Jermey Taylor
  • Forgiveness is God’s greatest gift. Dan Brown
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… and a very powerful one 

  • Forgiveness is all-powerful. Forgiveness heals all ills. Catherine Ponder
  • Humbleness, forgiveness, clarity and love are the dynamics of freedom. They are the foundations of authentic power. Gary Zukav
  • There is power in forgiveness. Open your eyes to what anger and resentment are doing to you. Take your power back from those who have hurt you. Dr Phil McGraw
  • Compassion, forgiveness, these are the real, ultimate sources of power for peace and success in life. Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th The Dalai Lama
  • The forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good. Catherine Ponder
  • He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. Martin Luther King
  • Forgiving is love’s power to break nature’s rule. Lewis B. Smedes
  • The forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good. Catherine Ponder
  • There is power in forgiveness… Take your power back from those who have hurt you. Dr Phil McGraw
  • Forgiveness is all-powerful. Forgiveness heals all ills. Catherine Ponder
  • Forgiveness is… a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. Corrie ten Boom
  • You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well. Lewis B. Smedes
  • But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest. Margaret Atwood
  • Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness. Jackson Brown
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Forgiveness is something you do for yourself 

  • Forgiving is something that you do for yourself and not for the person who has wronged you. Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • All forgiveness is a gift to yourself. A Course in Miracles
  • Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself. Suzanne Somers
  • Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself. Harriet Nelson
  • We don’t forgive people because they deserve it. We forgive them because they need it– because we need it. Bree Despain
  • Forgiveness is not something you do for someone else; it’s something you do for yourself. To forgive is not to condone, it is to refuse to continue feeling bad about an injury. Jim Beaver
  • Let’s get one thing straight: Forgiving is not something you do for someone else. It is not even something you do because you SHOULD, according to the standards of religious belief or human decency. Forgiving is something that you do for yourself. Carol Luebering
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The rewards of forgiveness

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Forgiveness has enormous power to attract good 

  • The forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good. Catherine Ponder
  • There is power in forgiveness. Open your eyes to what anger and resentment are doing to you. Take your power back from those who have hurt you. Dr Phil McGraw
  • Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness. Jackson Brown
  • The Law of Attraction
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Forgiveness unburdens you greatly and makes your heart lighter 

  • If we can forgive everyone, regardless of what he or she may have done, we nourish the soul and allow our whole being to feel good. To hold a grudge against anyone is like carrying the devil on your shoulders.  It is our willingness to forgive and forget that casts away such a burden and brings light into our hearts, freeing us from many ill feelings against our fellow human beings. Sydney Banks
  • People have to forgive. We don’t have to like them, we don’t have to be friends with them, we don’t have to send them hearts in text messages, but we have to forgive them, to overlook, to forget. Because if we don’t we are tying rocks to our feet, too much for our wings to carry! C. JoyBell C.
  • Resentment is one burden that is incompatible with your success. Always be the first to forgive; and forgive yourself first always. Dan Zadra
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Forgiveness allows life to flow through you again 

  • Forgiveness is to offer no resistance to life – to allow life to live through you. Eckhart Tolle
  • The Toltec tradition tells us that we surrender a portion of our life force when we dwell on any unhealed wounding event from our past. The unprocessed emotions surrounding these events burden us and weigh heavily on our hearts.  They must be dealt with if we want access to all of our vitality.  Ultimately, what we will find is that forgiveness is the key to reclaiming all the life force locked in past hurt. Debbie Ford
  • Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life. George MacDonald
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Forgiveness brings great healing 

  • The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world. Marianne Williamson
  • Forgiveness is all-powerful. Forgiveness heals all ills. Catherine Ponder
  • Forgiveness is a great healer. You can literally forgive your way to health. You can forgive your way to happiness. Neale Donald Walsch
  • We achieve inner health only through forgiveness–the forgiveness not only of others but also of ourselves. Joshua Loth Leibman
  • Simply touching a difficult memory with some slight willingness to heal begins to soften the holding and tension around it. Stephen Levine
  • Only forgiveness can stem such pain in us. This kind of pain … can be healed only by the wounded, not the offender, because it is the wounded who is maintaining it. Joan Chittister
  • Healing
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Forgiveness brings inner peace 

  • Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions. Gerald G. Jampolsky
  • Forgiving those who hurt us is the key to personal peace. Weatherly
  • Forgiving is rediscovering the shining path of peace that at first you thought others took away when they betrayed you. Dodinsky
  • There is no peace without forgiveness. Marianne Williamson
  • Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace.
  • Forgiveness is an inner correction that lightens the heart. It is for our peace of mind first. Being at peace, we will now have peace to give to others, and this is the most permanent and valuable gift we can possibly give. Gerald Jampolsky
  • I can have peace of mind only when I forgive rather than judge. Gerald Jampolsky
  • Inner peace
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Forgiveness opens you to joy again 

  • The ineffable joy of forgiving and being forgiven forms an ecstasy that might well arouse the envy of the Gods. Elbert Hubbard
  • One of the most lasting pleasures you can experience is the feeling that comes over you when you genuinely forgive an enemy – whether he knows it or not. A. Battista
  • As you forgive others, winter will soon make way for springtime as fresh joy pushes up through the soil of your heart. Barbara Johnson
  • It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Joy
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Forgiveness expands you 

  • Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were. Cherie Carter- Scott
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Forgiveness breaks the steel cable holding you to the person who wronged you … 

  • When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free. Catherine Ponder
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… thereby setting you free 

  • Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom. Hannah Arendt
  • To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. Lewis Smedes
  • Forgiveness is the gateway; freedom and love lie beyond. Nancy Levin
  • I eventually came to understand that in harboring the anger, the bitterness and resentment towards those that had hurt me, I was giving the reins of control over to them. Forgiving was not about accepting their words and deeds. Forgiving was about letting go and moving on with my life. In doing so, I had finally set myself free. Isabel Lopez
  • Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another’s control… to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else’s nightmare. Lance Morrow
  • Forgive, it frees the soul. Bonnie Mohn
  • It doesn’t erase their crime but why should you do the time.  Let go of resentment. Dodinsky
  • Forgiveness is a stunning principal, your ticket out of hate and fear and chaos. Barbara Johnson
  • As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison. Nelson Mandela
  • A life lived without forgiveness is a prison. William Arthur Ward
  • Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. Corrie ten Boom
  • Freedom
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Forgiveness conquers hatred 

  • And when a man injures and oppresses you and deals unjustly with you, you should deal kindly with him and forgive him. This you will strike at the root of hatred and enmity and he who is your enemy will become your friend. The Koran
  • We attach our feelings to the moment when we were hurt, endowing it with immortality. And we let it assault us every time it comes to mind. It travels with us, sleeps with us, hovers over us while we make love, and broods over us while we die. Our hate does not even have the decency to die when those we hate die–for it is a parasite sucking OUR blood, not theirs. There is only one remedy for it. Forgiveness. Lewis B. Smedes
  • Hate
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Forgiveness strengthens the soul … 

  • When I feel betrayed by someone, instead of sulking, clinging to my resentment and playing the role of victim, I am challenged to strengthen my soul through forgiveness. By forgiving the person who hurt me, I strengthen my soul. . . . each time we are called upon to forgive, we nourish our souls and learn more about who we are and what we have to share in this world. This is also an example of unconditional love. John Gray
  • Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury. H. Chapin
  • The soul
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… bringing spiritual growth and awakening 

  • If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom? Khalil Gibran
  • Keeping our hearts and minds free of the debris of resentment and animosity is vital to our spiritual awakening. Michael Bernard Beckwith
  • GrowthAwakening
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Forgiveness makes it possible to be forgiven 

  • He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven. Lord Herbert
  • They who forgive most shall be most forgiven. Josiah W. Bailey
  • Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Luke 6:37
  • Dost thou wish to receive mercy? Show mercy to thy neighbor. St. John Chrysostom
  • It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. Saint Francis of Assisi
  • Be not afraid because you have faltered anywhere. For He has said, I forgive, even as you forgive others. Then how forgiving are you? Answer this, and you will know just how you have been forgiven. It is the law, it is the Lord, it is love. Edgar Cayce
  • It’s toughest to forgive ourselves, so it’s best probably to start with other people. It’s almost like peeling an onion. Layer by layer, forgiving others, you really do get to the point where you can forgive yourself. Patty Duke
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Forgiveness transcends fear and unblocks love 

  • When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear…. When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all. Gerald G. Jampolsky
  • We cannot love unless we have accepted forgiveness, and the deeper our experience of forgiveness is, the greater is our love. Paul Tillich
  • FearLove
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Forgiveness creates more loving and peaceful relationships 

  • The practice of forgiveness can play an important role in your relationships with others. Forgiveness will enable you to correct distortions in your relationships and to improve the quality, intensity, and meaningfulness of relationships. It means letting go of past resentments toward others so that you can experience them in the present.  Even if you do not “feel” like forgiving someone, forgiving them will release you from the hold of the past and allow you to experience the world in a new way.  To forgive is to step outside the vicious circle of interpretation, where concepts from the past dominate experience, and to begin to live in terms of a larger, more worthy purpose.  Forgiveness eliminates fear and anxiety, weakness and vulnerability. Ari Kiev
  • … In love, everyone does things that hurt the other person, so there really is no “Right” and “Wrong”. You just have to decide what you’re willing to forgive. Yvonne Wood
  • We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness. Ellen Goodman
  • We all love best not those who offend us least, nor those who have done most for us, but those who make it most easy for us to forgive them. Samuel Butler
  • A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. Robert Quillen
  • Sometimes forgiving was easy for me; sometimes forgiving was a very bold choice. Whatever kind of choice it was, it always led me to a more peaceful heart. It always left me happier and free to move on to create healthier relationships with others and with myself. Robin Casarjian
  • Principles for healthy relationships
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Forgiveness creates new hope for the future … 

  • There is hope in forgiveness. John Piper
  • Forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. Lewis B. Smedes
  • Hope
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… while letting go of hope for a different past 

  • Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. Oprah Winfrey
  • Forgiveness is having given up all hope of having had a better past. Anne Lamott
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The qualities of true forgiveness

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True forgiveness is a permanent attitude, not an occasional act 

  • Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • True forgiveness is not an action after the fact, it is an attitude with which you enter each moment. David Ridge
  • Forgiveness entails the authentic acceptance of our own worthiness as human beings, the understanding that mistakes are opportunities for growth, awareness and the cultivation of compassion, and the realization that the extension of love to ourselves and others is the glue that holds the universe together. Forgiveness…is not a set of behaviors, but an attitude. Joan Borysenko
  • Attitude
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True forgiveness doesn’t require an apology or a promise to change 

  • Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time. Sara Paddison
  • Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got. Robert Brault
  • Apologising
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True forgiveness is to be thankful for the experience 

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True forgiveness is never about denial 

  • Sometimes choices are made in the name of forgiveness while what is occurring isn’t forgiveness at all. It is important not to confuse being forgiving with denying your own feelings, needs, and desires. Forgiving doesn’t mean being passive and staying in a job or a relationship that clearly doesn’t work for you or is abusive. It is important that you are clear about your boundaries. What is acceptable for you? If you are willing to allow unacceptable behavior again and again in the name of ‘forgiveness,’ you are more than likely using ‘forgiveness’ as an excuse not to take responsibility for taking care of yourself or as a way to avoid making changes. Robin Casarjian
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True forgiveness forgets and allows the offender to forget too … 

  • I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.  Henry Ward Beecher
  • If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one. Robert Brault
  • There’s no point in burying a hatchet if you’re going to put up a marker on the site. Sydney Harris
  • To truly forgive is to allow the other person to forget. Robert Brault
  • To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it. Confucius
  • What was the point of being able to forgive, when deep down, you both had to admit you’d never forget? Jodi Picoult
  • To forgive is wisdom, to forget is genius. Joyce Cary
  • Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. Lewis B. Smedes
  • Injuries too well remembered cannot heal. Benjamin R. Barber
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… although some disagree 

  • The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget. Thomas Stephen Szasz
  • One thing you will probably remember well is any time you forgive and forget. Franklin P. Jones
  • Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. John F. Kennedy
  • Nobody forgets where he buried the hatchet. Frank McKinney
  • Slide the weight from your shoulders and move forward. You are afraid you might forget, but you never will. You will forgive and remember. Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
  • Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat. Wm. Paul Young
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Forgive but don’t forget the lesson 

  • Forgive what hurt you but never forget what it taught you.
  • Always forgive, but never forget, else you will be a prisoner of your own hatred and doomed to repeat your mistakes forever. Wil Zeus
  • Learning
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Forgive quickly if you can but allow trust to be rebuilt over time 

  • Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record. Rick Warren
  • Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. Wm. Paul Young
  • Trust
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To forgive is a sign of great strength

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To forgive is hard… 

  • People in general would rather die than forgive. It’s THAT hard. If God said in plain language. “I’m giving you a choice, forgive or die,” a lot of people would go ahead and order their coffin. Sue Monk Kidd
  • Of all things we mortals are called upon to do, the most difficult is forgiveness; in order to truly do it, you will probably have to behave as if you already have forgiven for quite a while before you have actually done so. Marion Zimmer
  • Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness. Attack thoughts towards others are attack thoughts towards ourselves. The first step in forgiveness is the willingness to forgive. Marianne Williamson
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… especially due to pride 

  • But why is it so hard to forgive? Mrs. Conners asked. “Pride,” Dad said. “This person has already wronged you in some way, and now you are the one who has to swallow your pride, give something up, in order to forgive him.” Bree Despain
  • Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right. K. Rowling
  • It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own. Jessamyn West
  • I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine. Jane Austen
  • Pride
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To forgive shows great strength 

  • You are never so strong as when you forgive. Kimberly Converse
  • The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Mahatma Gandhi
  • Only the brave knows how to forgive…. A coward never … it’s not in his nature. Laurence Sterne
  • Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury. H. Chapin
  • The man who forgives is far stronger than the man who fights. Nathan Croall
  • Strength of character means the ability to overcome resentment against others, to hide hurt feelings, and to forgive quickly. Lawrence G. Lovasik
  • Strength
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To forgive shows great courage 

  • If you want to see the brave, look at those who can forgive. Bahagavad Gita
  • Forgiveness fashions your future. It is a brave and brash thing to do.  The gutsiest decision you can make.  Barbara Johnson
  • Only the brave knows how to forgive. A coward never forgave; it is not in his nature. Laurence Sterne
  • In a way, forgiving is only for the brave. It is for those people who are willing to confront their pain, accept themselves as permanently changed, and make difficult choices. Beverly Flanigan
  • Courage
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To forgive shows emotional and spiritual maturity 

  • The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either — or both — when needed? Gordon B. Hinckley
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Forgiveness is a process; not a once of event

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Forgiveness is usually a process rather than a once off event 

  • See, forgiveness doesn’t happen all at once. It’s not an event — it’s a process. Forgiveness happens while you’re asleep, while you’re dreaming, while you’re inline at the coffee shop, while you’re showering, eating, farting, jerking off. It happens in the back of your mind, and then one day you realize that you don’t hate the person anymore, that your anger has gone away somewhere. And you understand. You’ve forgiven them. You don’t know how or why. It sneaked up on you. It happened in the small spaces between thoughts and in the seconds between ideas and blinks. That’s where forgiveness happens. Because anger and hatred, when left unfed, bleed away like air from a punctured tire, over time and days and years. Forgiveness is stealth. At least, that’s what I hope. Barry Lyga
  • How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all. Clarissa Pinkola Estés
  • Forgiveness is not a one-off decision; it is a journey and a process that takes time, determination, and persistence. Forgiveness is not forgetting; it is simply denying your pain the right to control your life. Corallie Buchanan
  • Forgiveness is like faith. You have to keep reviving it. Mason Cooley
  • Forgiving does not usually happen at once. It is a process, sometimes a long one, especially when it comes to wounds gouged deep. And we must expect some lapses…some people seem to manage to finish off forgiving in one swoop of the heart. But when they do, you can bet they are forgiving flesh wounds. Deeper cuts take more time and can use a second coat. Lewis B. Smedes
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Forgiveness is a skill that requires constant practice 

  • The practice of forgiveness is very much like the practice of meditation. You have to do it often and persist at it in order to be any good. Katerina Stoykova Klemer
  • Skill
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Forgive each day 

  • One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody, everything, every night before you go to bed. Bernard M. Baruch
  • Here is a mental treatment guaranteed to cure every ill that flesh is heir to: sit for half an hour every night and mentally forgive everyone against whom you have any ill will or antipathy. Charles Fillmore
  • You cannot forgive just once, forgiveness is a daily practice. Sonia Rumzi
  • Forgive all without exception. Forgive everyone, everything, every time.  Karen Burch
  • Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family. Henri J.M. Nouwen
  • I guess forgiveness, like happiness, isn’t a final destination. You don’t one day get there and get to stay. Deb Caletti
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Forgive each moment 

  • Forgiveness of the present is even more important than forgiveness of the past. If you forgive every moment —- allow it to be as it is —- then there will be no accumulation of resentment that needs to be forgiven at some later time. Eckhart Tolle
  • True forgiveness is not an action after the fact, it is an attitude with which you enter each moment. David Ridge
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How to forgive

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Forgive just as God has forgiven you 

  • To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. C. S. Lewis
  • You will never forgive anyone more than God has already forgiven you. Max Lucado
  • Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
  • We must be willing to forgive without limit even as God forgives; otherwise we cannot be forgiven. Nels F. S. Ferre
  • God
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Forgive by a conscious act of the will 

  • The first step in forgiveness is the willingness to forgive. Marianne Williamson
  • Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. Corrie ten Boom
  • Forgiveness is giving up the right to retaliate. Forgiveness is the willingness to have something happen the way it happened. It’s not true that you can’t forgive something; it’s a matter of the will, and you always have the choice. Forgiveness is never dependent on what the other person does or does not do; it is always under our control. Forgiveness is giving up the insistence on being understood. Pixie Koestline Hammond
  • I am certain that people never forgive because they believe they have an obligation to do it or because someone told them to do it. Forgiveness has to come from inside as a desire of the heart. Wanting to is the steam that pushes the forgiving engine. Lewis B. Smedes
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Forgive by coming to understand … 

  • To understand everything is to forgive everything. Buddha
  • The more a man knows, the more he forgives. Confucius
  • To understand is to forgive, even oneself. Alexander Chase
  • I can always forgive where I understand. Jude Morgan
  • Before you hate something, you should try to understand it. Martha Grimes
  • The motto should not be: Forgive one another; rather, Understand one another. Emma Goldman 
  • Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all. Thomas a Kempis
  • …she eventually forgave him, because she understood him. Whitney Otto
  • Forgiving is not having to understand. Understanding may come later, in fragments, an insight here and a glimpse there, after forgiving. Lewis B. Smedes
  • Understanding
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… for understanding aids empathy and compassion 

  • When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help.  Thich Naht Hanh
  • The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy. Mehmet Oz
  • To understand is not only to pardon, but in the end to love. Walter Lippmann
  • EmpathyCompassion
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How do you know when you’ve forgiven someone? 

  • Consider how much you agree with the following statements: 1. I’ll make him/her pay.   I want to see him/her hurt and miserable.  3.  I live as if he/she doesn’t exist, isn’t around.  4. I keep as much distance between us as possible.  The more you agree with any of these items –  the first two tapping revenge and the second two measuring avoidance –  the more work you still need to do in order to forgive.  Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You’re done. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person. If you keep hitting back, you stay trapped in the nightmare… Anne Lamott
  • You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well. Lewis B. Smedes
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Here are Sonja Lyubomirsky’s strategies for forgiveness 

  • Before you are able to forgive another person, a good first experience is to appreciate an instance of when you yourself have been forgiven.
  • Another way to appreciate being forgiven is to seek forgiveness for yourself. Write a letter of apology. Describe what you have done, acknowledge it was wrong, describe the harm it has done and apologise. Whether you send the letter is up to you.
  • Write a letter of forgiveness. This exercise involves letting go of your anger, bitterness, and blame by writing, but not necessarily sending, a letter of forgiveness to a person who has hurt or wronged you.  Describe in detail the injury or offense that was done.  Illustrate how you were and have been affected by it.  State what you wish the other person had done instead.  End with an explicit statement of forgiveness 
  • Practice empathy. The more successful you are at achieving understanding, concern, and consideration of the other person’s perspective, the more likely you are to forgive him or her. 
  • Source: The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want – by Sonja Lyubomirsky
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Who to forgive

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Forgive your family and friends, not just your enemies 

  • It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend. William Blake
  • It’s all very well to tell us to forgive our enemies; our enemies can never hurt us very much. But oh, what about forgiving our friends? Willa Cather
  • A broken friendship that is mended through forgiveness can be even stronger than it once was. Stephen Richards
  • The only time you truly become an adult is when you finally forgive your parents for being just as flawed as everyone else. Douglas Kennedy
  • Nothing brings families together faster than forgiveness. Joyce Brothers
  • FamilyFriendshipEnemies
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Forgive even the most difficult people for they need your love the most 

  • Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome. The last thing they need is for you to make matters worse by responding angrily. Joel Osteen
  • Learn to love someone when they least deserve it, because that is when they need your love most. Rodolfo Costa
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Forgive yourself most of all 

  • The supreme act of forgiveness is when you can forgive yourself for all the wounds you have created in your own life. Forgiveness is an act of self- love. When you forgive yourself, self- acceptance begins, and self-love grows. Don Miguel Ruiz Quotes 
  • The day the child realises that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent. The day he forgives then, he becomes an adult. The day he forgives himself, he becomes wise. Alden Nowlan
  • If you haven’t forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others? Dolores Huerta
  • It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on. Steve Maraboli
  • The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward. Steve Maraboli
  • Forgive yourself. Let the past go. You did the best you could at the time with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge that you had. Now you are growing and changing, and you will live life differently. Louise L. Hay
  • Self-forgiveness
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Be prepared to be forgiven, not just to forgive 

  • Many promising reconciliations have broken down because while both parties come prepared to forgive, neither party come prepared to be forgiven. Charles Williams
  • Don’t cling to your self-righteous suffering, let it go. . . . Nothing is too good to be true, let yourself be forgiven. To the degree you insist that you must suffer, you insist on the suffering of others as well. Stephen Levine
  • Letting ourselves be forgiven is one of the most difficult healings we will undertake. And one of the most fruitful. Stephen Levine
  • Sometimes what a person needs most is to be forgiven. Jennifer McMahon
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Final thoughts

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Thoughts on forgiving evil 

  • If we say that monsters [people who do terrible evil] are beyond forgiving, we give them a power they should never have…they are given the power to keep their evil alive in the hearts of those who suffered most. We give them power to condemn their victims to live forever with the hurting memory of their painful pasts. We give the monsters the last word. Lewis B. Smedes
  • When we forgive evil we do not excuse it, we do not tolerate it, we do not smother it. We look the evil full in the face, call it what it is, let its horror shock and stun and enrage us, and only then do we forgive it. Lewis B. Smedes
  • Yes, this is what good is: to forgive evil.  There is no other good.  Antonio Porchia
  • Evil
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Don’t forgive too quickly but don’t wait too long 

  • I worry about fast forgivers. They tend to forgive quickly in order to avoid their pain. Or they forgive fast in order to get an advantage over the people they forgive. And their instant forgiving only makes things worse…People who have been wronged badly and wounded deeply should give themselves time and space before they forgive…There is a right moment to forgive. We cannot predict it in advance; we can only get ourselves ready for it when it arrives…Don’t do it quickly, but don’t wait too long… If we wait too long to forgive, our rage settles in and claims squatter’s rights to our souls. Lewis B. Smedes
  • What we forgive too freely doesn’t stay forgiven. Mignon McLaughlin
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On a lighter note 

  • A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong. Milton Berle
  • A woman who can’t forgive should never have more than a nodding acquaintance with a man. Edgar Watson Howe
  • Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde
  • Any fool knows men and women think differently at times, but the biggest difference is this. Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget. Robert Jordan
  • Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense. Robert Frost
  • Forgive your enemies but never forget their names. John F. Kennedy
  • Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting.  William Arthur Ward
  • Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge. Isaac Friedmann
  • God will forgive me. It is his profession. Heinrich Heine
  • I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • I can never forgive God for having created the French. Peter Ustinov
  • I thoroughly disapprove of duels; if a man would challenge me I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him. Mark Twain
  • I’m not intending to imply insult or judgment here, but I am curious to know in order to be able to respond to your posts in an appropriate manner so please forgive what appears to be but in fact is not intended as an insulting question: Are you stupid? Melinda Shore
  • It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission. Grace Hopper
  • It’s far easier to forgive an enemy after you’ve got even with him. Olin Miller
  • Man forgives woman anything save the wit to outwit him. Minna Thomas Antrim
  • Men who do not forgive women their little faults will never enjoy their great virtues. Kahlil Gibran
  • No, I am not bitter, I am not hateful, and I am not unforgiving. I just don’t like you. JoyBell C.
  • Nothing inspires forgiveness quite like revenge. Scott Adams
  • Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast. Marlene Dietrich
  • One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory. Rita Mae Brown
  • One thing you will probably remember well is any time you forgive and forget. Franklin P. Jones
  • Sometimes the first step to forgiveness, is realising the other person was born an idiot.
  • Tabasco sauce is to bachelor cooking what forgiveness is to sin. P.J. O’Rourke
  • The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius. Oscar Wilde
  • There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness. Josh Billings
  • There’s no point in burying a hatchet if you’re going to put up a marker on the site. Sydney Harris
  • To err is human to forgive infrequent. Franklin Adams
  • To err is human—to forgive, canine.
  • We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged. Heinrich Heine
  • When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. Emo Philips
  • Women are not forgiven for aging; Robert Redford’s lines of distinction are my old-age wrinkles. Jane Fonda
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