forgiveness 2

Love is an act of endless
forgiveness, a tender look
which becomes a habit.

Peter Ustinov

Many promising reconciliations have broken down because while both parties came prepared to forgive, neither party came prepared to be forgiven.

Charles William

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

Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all.

Thomas a Kempis

To err is human, to forgive, divine.

Alexander Pope


Forgiveness is the answer to the child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean.

Dag Hammarskjold


Love truth, but pardon error.



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Forgiveness enables you to bury your grudge in the icy earth and
put the past behind you.  You flush resentment away by being
the first to forgive.  Forgiveness fashions your future.  It is a brave
and brash thing to do.  The gutsiest decision you can make.  As you
forgive others, winter will soon make way for springtime as fresh joy
pushes up through the soil of your heart.
   Forgiveness is a stunning principal, your ticket out of hate and fear
and chaos.  I know what regret feels like; Iíve earned my credentials.
But I also know what forgiveness feels like, because God has
so graciously forgiven me.  Forgiveness frees you of the past so
you can make good choices today.

Barbara Johnson


To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love.
In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.

Robert Muller


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

Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dost thou wish to receive mercy?  Show mercy to thy neighbor.

St. John Chrysostom


Many of us understand giving, but some of us may still be confused
about the meaning of forgiveness.  Some people may go through
life in a groveling mode, mistakenly believing they have to receive
forgiveness from others.  Forgiveness offers more than a reprieve
granted to us by another person.  True forgiveness is a process of
giving up the false for the true and allows us to rid our thinking of
rigid ideas.  We can develop the flexibility to change our mind and
our behavior patterns to higher and greater expressions and
find new avenues to freedom.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life


A Poison Tree

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it with fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft, deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.

And into my garden stole,
When the night had veiled the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

William Blake

I learned a long time ago that some people would rather die
than forgive.  It's a strange truth, but forgiveness is a painful
and difficult process.  It's not something that happens
overnight.  It's an evolution of the heart.

Sue Monk Kidd

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath:  it is twice blest;
It blesseth those that give, and those that take.

William Shakespeare


Forgive and ask to be forgiven;
excuse rather than accuse.

Mother Teresa


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Forgiveness is at the heart of a healthy and happy life.  Forgiveness protects
relationships.  It also protects the person who does the forgiving. Remember
the story that psychiatrist and author Robert Coles tells about Ruby, the little
girl who integrated a Southern elementary school. Every day the federal marshals
had to escort Ruby through a mob of adults who spat at her and called her hateful
names.  Remarkably, the five-year-old girl did not seem to be emotionally damaged
by the ordeal, a fact that puzzled Cole until he discovered that Ruby prayed every
day asking God to forgive her persecutors . . . . 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


Let us be merciful in our mental judgments of our brothers and sisters,
for, in truth, we are all one, and the more deeply they seem to err,
the more urgent is the need for us to help them with the right thought,
and so make it easier for them to get free.

Emmet Fox


God heals through forgiveness and asks that we do likewise.  Attack is an easier
response than forgiveness, and that is why we are so tempted to give into it.
Throughout our lives we have seen more anger than examples of true forgiveness.
Forgiveness does not mean that we suppress anger; forgiveness means that we
have asked for a miracle:  the ability to see through mistakes that someone
has made to the truth that lies in all of our hearts. . . . 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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I believe that the most important thing to consider when thinking about forgiveness is the effect that it has on ourselves.  Forgiveness isn't always about the person being forgiven; often, that person will have asked forgiveness and will be very grateful when we do forgive, but probably more often we need to forgive for our own sakes.  I've carried around anger and resentment for a while, and I've done so quite often.  But the thing that always took it away was the realization--usually later rather than sooner--that my anger wasn't affecting the object of my anger at all, but it was affecting me a great deal, in a very negative way.  I wasn't sleeping as I could have been, I wasn't able to focus on the task at hand as well as I could have, I wasn't able to relate to other people effectively.

I have to admit, I still get angry and I don't always forgive as I should, but I try--I don't want that negative baggage to carry around with me.  I want my view of the world to be a view filled with wonder and awe, and carrying a grudge taints that view; I'm the one who suffers from my own inability to forgive--just as I'm the only one who can save myself from that suffering by putting things behind me where they belong.

tom walsh


How unhappy are they who cannot forgive themselves.

Publilius Syrus


Pardon one another so that later on you will not
remember the injury.  The recollection of an injury
is in itself wrong.  It adds to our anger, nurtures
our sin, and hates what is good.  It is a rusty
arrow and poison for the soul.

Francis of Paola


Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must
be saved by hope.  Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete
sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are
saved by love.  No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend
or foe as it is from our standpoint.  Therefore we must be saved by
the final form of love which is forgiveness.

Reinhold Niebuhr


One forgives to the degree that one loves.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

There's no point in burying a hatchet if you're going
to put up a marker on the site.

Sydney Harris


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


If you haven't forgiven yourself something,
how can you forgive others?

Dolores Huerta

Forgiveness is the key to action
and freedom.

Hannah Arendt

We don't have choices about who our parents are and how they treated us,
but we have a choice about whether we forgive our parents and heal ourselves.

Bernie Siegel

forgiveness 2

I think so many of us are too hard on ourselves for what we didnít
accomplish or what we should have done.  The first step is to
forgive yourself for all the things you didnít do that you should
have and all the things that you did do that you shouldnít have.
Get rid of the guilt.  Negative feelings donít do you much good.  The
way to deal with them is to forgive yourself and forgive others. . . .

Forgiveness helps you come to terms with the past.  I've learned
how to forgive myself, and this has helped me no longer feel
deep regrets or sadness about my past.

Morrie Schwartz


It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself,
to forgive.  Forgive everybody.

Maya Angelou


Lovingkindness depends on forgiveness.  It definitely
works reciprocally.  When I am able to forgive
myself--which is not always easy--I am kinder
to everyone.  Including myself.

Sylvia Boorstein

Forgiveness means letting go of a hurtful situation
and moving on with your own happiness.

Amanda Ford


Today I forgive all those who have ever offended me.
I give my love to all thirsty hearts,
both to those who love me and those who do not love me.

Paramahansa Yogananda

The baby girl, feeling his attention shift away from her, reached forward and grabbed his nose.  Gently he freed himself and continued the sermon.  After a few minutes, she took his tie and put it in her mouth.  The entire congregation chuckled.  The rabbi rescued his tie and smiled at his child.  She put her tiny arms around his neck.  Looking at us over the top of her head, he said, "Think about it.  Is there anything she can do that you could not forgive her for?"  Throughout the room people began to nod in recognition, thinking perhaps of their own children and grandchildren.  Just then, she reached up and grabbed his eyeglasses.  Everyone laughed out loud.

Retrieving his eyeglasses and settling them on his nose, the rabbi laughed as well.  Still smiling, he waited for silence.  When it came, he asked, "And when does that stop?  When does it get hard to forgive?  At three?  At seven?  At fourteen?  At thirty-five?  How old does someone have to be before you forget that everyone is a child of God?"

Back then, God's forgiveness was something easily understandable to me, but personally I found forgiveness difficult.  I had thought of it as a lowering of standards rather than a family relationship.

Rachel Naomi Remen


Forgiveness of self is where all forgiveness starts. If I am unable
to forgive myself, it is impossible for me to truly forgive others.
And I must forgive others. What I give out is what I receive.
If I want forgiveness, I have to give forgiveness.

Betty Eadie

True forgiveness will become easier when we learn to empathize and
apologize; when we admit we are human too, capable of wrongdoing;
when we make allowances for circumstances we may not understand;
when we have faith in the basic good of personkind, when we are
willing to start again with compassion and without grudges.  The
Hebrew word for compassion is derived from rechem, meaning
womb.  The inference is a new birth, suggesting a fresh start.  This
fresh start brings with it a deeper understanding of the futility of
grudges, expectations, and unresolved hate and anger
and renews our hope in the power of love.

Leo Buscaglia
Loving Each Other


Forgiveness is the perfume the trampled flower
casts back on the foot that crushed it.


Why do we do this?  We forgive in order to dissolve our attachments to
the past.  Although an offense in our life may be long past, we often
continue to battle the memory, which becomes a burden that weighs
us down and prevents us from moving on.  In the battle, we might be
judging the wrongdoer for his or her "badness."  We might be planning
how we will get even or punish the offender.  In forgiving, we step back
from the battle.  We free ourselves from the past, realizing that punishing,
getting even, and judging do not heal.  We stop insisting that the past be
changed before we can again be happy, and we instead take responsibility
for our present happiness.  Paradoxically, in releasing the burden,
we gain greater control of our lives.

Glenn R. Schiraldi
10 Simple Solutions to Building Self-Esteem

Forgiveness gives us the capacity to make a new start. . . And forgiveness
is the grace by which you enable the other person to get up, and get up
with dignity, to begin anew. . . In the act of forgiveness we are declaring
our faith in the future of a relationship and in the capacity
of the wrongdoer to change.

Desmond Tutu


When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.

Alan Paton