89 Forgiveness Quotes to Help You Heal & Let Go

Forgiveness Quotes

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Even the strongest person can struggle with forgiveness when faced with hurt, because it’s only those we are close to (or thought we were) who have the ability to cut us so deeply. Trying to accept and move on from such a huge duplicity can seem insurmountable, and not many of us can climb that particular mountain easily.

However, forgiveness is less about the person who has broken our trust, and much more about being kind to ourselves, because living with unresolved pain can rob us of our futures as we struggle to deal with the hurt. Holding onto pain isn’t a sign of strength, forgiveness is, and these forgiveness quotes will help you to see how letting go is the ultimate in self-care.

To forgive doesn’t mean to forget, but it does require you to recognize your feelings, acknowledge them, and then let them go in order to move forward in a healthy way. Whether your betrayer is a family member, a partner, or a close friend, these forgiveness quotes will help you to see that forgiving is not forgetting, and neither is turning the other cheek; it’s all about allowing yourself to grow and move past something which you thought you could never get over.

If you’re looking for more good quotes to help protect your mental health, take a look at these healing quotes and these quotes on knowing your worth.

Forgiveness Quotes

Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge.

“Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge.” – Isaac Friedmann

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi, All Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese

You may also like: These quotes on peace for a calm, centered mind: https://brightdrops.com/peace-quotes

Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal.

“Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal.” – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

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.

“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

Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.

“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” – Alice Duer Miller

Related: Self-Love Quotes

Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.

“Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.” – Indira Gandhi

Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day’s chalking.

“Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day’s chalking.” – Frederick Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace

I want to be the kind of person who can do that. Move on and forgive people and be healthy and happy. It seems like an easy thing to do in my head. But it’s not so easy when you try it in real life.

“I want to be the kind of person who can do that. Move on and forgive people and be healthy and happy. It seems like an easy thing to do in my head. But it’s not so easy when you try it in real life.” – Susane Colasanti, Waiting for You

Can I be forgiven for all I’ve done to get here? I want to be. I can. I believe it.

“Can I be forgiven for all I’ve done to get here? I want to be. I can. I believe it.” – Veronica Roth, Allegiant

A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.

“A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.” – William Arthur Ward

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.

“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.” – Katherine Ponder

Only the brave know how to forgive. … A coward never forgave; it is not in his nature.

“Only the brave know how to forgive. … A coward never forgave; it is not in his nature.” – Laurence Sterne

Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.

“Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.” – George MacDonald

Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.

“Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.

“Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.” – Hannah Arendt

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” – John F. Kennedy

Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy, not to hold the offence up against the offender. Forgiveness is an expression of love.

“Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy, not to hold the offence up against the offender. Forgiveness is an expression of love.” – Gary Chapman

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

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.” – Peter Ustinov

If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one.

“If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one.” – Robert Brault

Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you are. ― Cherie Carter

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you are. ― Cherie Carter” – Scott

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

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

A broken friendship that is mended through forgiveness can be even stronger than it once was.

“A broken friendship that is mended through forgiveness can be even stronger than it once was.” – Stephen Richards, Forgiveness and Love Conquers All: Healing the Emotional Self

Disagreements don’t cause disunity, a lack of forgiveness does.

“Disagreements don’t cause disunity, a lack of forgiveness does.” – Loren Cunningham

To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.

“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.” – Confucius

Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.

“Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.” – Confucius

To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.

“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” – G.K. Chesterton

Forgiveness is the economy of the heart… forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.

“Forgiveness is the economy of the heart… forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.” – Hannah More

Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back.

“Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back.” – Anne Lamott

Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” – Corrie ten Boom

It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.

“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” – William Blake

These are the few ways we can practice humility: To speak as little as possible of one’s self. To mind one’s own business. Not to want to manage other people’s affairs. To avoid curiosity. To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully. To pass over the mistakes of others. To accept insults and injuries. To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked. To be kind and gentle even under provocation. Never to stand on one’s dignity. To choose always the hardest.

“These are the few ways we can practice humility: To speak as little as possible of one’s self. To mind one’s own business. Not to want to manage other people’s affairs. To avoid curiosity. To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully. To pass over the mistakes of others. To accept insults and injuries. To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked. To be kind and gentle even under provocation. Never to stand on one’s dignity. To choose always the hardest.” – Mother Teresa, The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living

We ask for forgiveness. And we forgive others who ask us. In that way we can experience healing, healing in our souls.

“We ask for forgiveness. And we forgive others who ask us. In that way we can experience healing, healing in our souls.” – Ed Dobsons

Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.

“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.” – Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, Men were deceivers ever,- One foot in sea and one on shore, To one thing constant never.

“Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, Men were deceivers ever,- One foot in sea and one on shore, To one thing constant never.” – William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” – Abraham Lincoln

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!

“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.

Forgiveness is the oil of relationships.

“Forgiveness is the oil of relationships.” – Josh McDowell

There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.

“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” – Bryant H. McGill

We are all mistaken sometimes; sometimes we do wrong things, things that have bad consequences. But it does not mean we are evil, or that we cannot be trusted ever afterward.

“We are all mistaken sometimes; sometimes we do wrong things, things that have bad consequences. But it does not mean we are evil, or that we cannot be trusted ever afterward.” – Alison Croggon

Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” – Marvin J. Ashton

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

“Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.” – Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council

Without forgiveness life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.

“Without forgiveness life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.” – Roberto Assagioli

Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, because hate in your heart will consume you too.

“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, because hate in your heart will consume you too.” – Will Smith

One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.

“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” – Rita Mae Brown

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.

“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

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.

“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

As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy a rent-free space in your mind.

“As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy a rent-free space in your mind.” – Isabelle Holland

Life is an adventure in forgiveness.

“Life is an adventure in forgiveness.” – Norman Cousins

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.

“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

Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.

“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” – Anonymous

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boose

What I cannot love, I overlook.

“What I cannot love, I overlook.” – Anaïs Nin

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.

“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.” – C.R. Strahan

Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela

Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.

“Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.” – Emma Goldman

Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record.

“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, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were. ― Cherie Carter

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were. ― Cherie Carter” – Scott

Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free.

“Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free.” – Stormie Omartian

Always forgive, but never forget, else you will be a prisoner of your own hatred, and doomed to repeat your mistakes forever.

“Always forgive, but never forget, else you will be a prisoner of your own hatred, and doomed to repeat your mistakes forever.” – Wil Zeus, Sun Beyond the Clouds

Forgiveness is like faith. You have to keep reviving it.

“Forgiveness is like faith. You have to keep reviving it.” – Mason Cooley

Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe.

“Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe.” – C. JoyBell C.

Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.

“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.” – Oprah Winfrey

The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.

“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” – Marianne Williamson

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain

This is one of my favorites: True forgiveness is when you can say, Thank you for that experience.

“This is one of my favorites: True forgiveness is when you can say, Thank you for that experience.” – Oprah Winfrey

I have learned, that the person I have to ask for forgiveness from the most is: myself. You must love yourself. You have to forgive yourself, every day, whenever you remember a shortcoming, a flaw, you have to tell yourself That’s just fine. You have to forgive yourself so much, until you don’t even see those things anymore. Because that’s what love is like.

“I have learned, that the person I have to ask for forgiveness from the most is: myself. You must love yourself. You have to forgive yourself, every day, whenever you remember a shortcoming, a flaw, you have to tell yourself That’s just fine. You have to forgive yourself so much, until you don’t even see those things anymore. Because that’s what love is like.” – C. JoyBell C.

I’m sorry about yesterday, she said. He hung on to his straps and shrugged. Yesterday happens.

“I’m sorry about yesterday, she said. He hung on to his straps and shrugged. Yesterday happens.” – Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” – C.S. Lewis

Sometimes you just have to regret things and move on.

“Sometimes you just have to regret things and move on.” – Charlaine Harris

As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.

“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” – Criss Jami, Killosophy

I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.

“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.” – C.S. Lewis

Nothing erases the past. There is repentance, there is atonement, and there is forgiveness. That is all, but that is enough.

“Nothing erases the past. There is repentance, there is atonement, and there is forgiveness. That is all, but that is enough.” – Ted Chiang

It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” – Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting.

“Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting.” – William Arthur Ward

If he can’t handle you at your worst then he does not deserve you at your best. Real love means seeing beyond the words spoken out of pain, and instead seeing a person’s soul.

“If he can’t handle you at your worst then he does not deserve you at your best. Real love means seeing beyond the words spoken out of pain, and instead seeing a person’s soul.” – Shannon L. Alder, 300 Questions LDS Couples Should Ask Before Marriage

Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself.

“Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself.” – Harriet Nelson

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes

He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.

“He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.” – George Herbert

Certainly people make mistakes in their life. I’m no different, I’ve made mistakes. When people mess up, forgive them. When I mess up, I ask for forgiveness.

“Certainly people make mistakes in their life. I’m no different, I’ve made mistakes. When people mess up, forgive them. When I mess up, I ask for forgiveness.” – Michele Bachmann

When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” – Bernard Meltzer

A heart filled with anger has no room for love.

“A heart filled with anger has no room for love.” – Joan Lunden

I think we learn the most from imperfect relationships – things like forgiveness and compassion.

“I think we learn the most from imperfect relationships – things like forgiveness and compassion.” – Andrea Thompson

Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive.

“Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive.” – Wm. Paul Young, The Shack

I guess forgiveness, like happiness, isn’t a final destination. You don’t one day get there and get to stay.

“I guess forgiveness, like happiness, isn’t a final destination. You don’t one day get there and get to stay.” – Deb Caletti

When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines upon you.

“When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines upon you.” – Jon Krakauer

I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.

“I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

I think the first step is to understand that forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the victim. It’s a gift you give yourself.

“I think the first step is to understand that forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the victim. It’s a gift you give yourself.” – T.D. Jakes

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