Forgiveness 2   

Quotes for
the Journey:


One forgives to the
degree that one loves.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

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

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

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

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


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

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

I think so many of us are too hard on ourselves for what we didn’t accomplish or what we should have done.  The first step is to forgive yourself for all the things you didn’t do that you should have and all the things that you did do that you shouldn’t have.  Get rid of the guilt.  Negative feelings don’t 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
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

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

Dolores Huerta

Forgiveness is the key
to action and freedom.

Hannah Arendt

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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.


To err is human, to forgive, divine.

Alexander Pope

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; I’ve 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

Forgiveness 2    

Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all.       -Thomas a Kempis

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


Where there is forgiveness, there is God himself.       -from the Adi Granth  (sacred Sikh text)
To understand is not only to pardon, but in the end to love.       -Walter Lippmann
The process of making sense of our wounds is a very personal one.  But a common theme in wound healing is the universal need to forgive.  If we don't forgive ourselves for our mistakes, and others for the wounds they have inflicted upon us, we end up crippled with guilt.  And the soul cannot grow under a blanket of guilt, because guilt is isolating, while growth is a gradual process of reconnection to our selves, to other people, and to a larger whole.        -Joan  Borysenko
To be angry about trifles is mean and childish; to rage and be furious is brutish; and to maintain perpetual wrath is akin to the practice and temper of devils; but to prevent and suppress rising resentment is wise and glorious, is manly and divine.        -Isaac Watts

I come from a background in which anger and resentment were rather normal.  It wasn't that the people in my life liked being angry and resentful--they just hadn't learned how to deal with their feelings in other ways.  Because of this background, though, it took me many years during my young adulthood to unlearn this pattern, to realize that such thoughts were not only negative, but also harmful.

One of the most important accomplishments in my life has been to learn how to forgive.  I don't always do so quickly enough to save myself a few miserable days, but I have learned to view people's actions in a much more objective light, taking them much less personally.  Usually I see behavior that affects me negatively as a reflection of bad things that are going on in other people's lives, and this helps me to forgive much more easily.  Did that guy cut me off in traffic?  Maybe he's in a hurry because someone's sick.  Did that person talk about me behind my back?  Well, maybe she's feeling insecure about herself, and she has to knock someone down to make herself feel better. Her words don't change who I am.

Being able to see things this way has almost no effect at all on the other people involved in any situation, but it does have a strong effect on me:  I'm able to feel more peaceful, more relaxed, and more able to help others.  I feel that things are okay apart from this one small aspect of my life, and my forgiveness helps me to realize the relative insignificance of this aspect.  I'm not here on this planet to control other people and have them ask for forgiveness when I feel they should do so--the only person's actions and thoughts over which I have any sort of control are my own, and I can forgive if I choose to do so, knowing that doing so helps me.

There's a common misconception that forgiving someone implies that the action that's being forgiven was okay, but I always keep in mind that I'm forgiving the person, not the action.  Hurting other people is always wrong, but we all make mistakes and hurt others.  I'm very thankful that some people in life have forgiven me for some of my actions, so why shouldn't i show the same courtesy to others?  Forgiving doesn't make wrong right or take away responsibility-- forgiveness just says it's not up to me to judge, and I'm not going to hold a grudge against you just because you made a mistake.


I can have peace of mind only when I forgive rather than judge.         -Gerald Jampolsky
"I can forgive, but I cannot forget" is only another way of saying, "I will not forgive." Forgiveness ought to be like a canceled note-- torn in two and burned up so that it never can be shown against one.       -Henry Ward Beecher
Forgiving those who hurt us is the key to personal peace.       -G. Weatherly

The process of forgiveness—indeed, the chief reason for forgiveness—is selfish.  The reason to forgive others is not for their sake.  They are not likely to know that they need to be forgiven.  They’re not likely to remember their offense.  They are likely to say, “You just made it up.”  They may even be dead.  The reason to forgive is for our own sake.  For our own health.  Because beyond that point needed for healing, if we hold on to our anger, we stop growing and our souls begin to shrivel.       -M. Scott Peck
Know that compassion for others begins with being able to accept and forgive yourself.  As long as you judge others for their imperfections, you will never be able to truly accept and love yourself.       -Susan Santucci
Two friends were walking through the desert.  During some point of the journey they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:  "Today my best friend slapped me in the face."

They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.  The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:  "Today my best friend saved my life."

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone.  Why?"

The other friend replied, "When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away.  But when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."

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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, Believe
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

Learning to forgive is much more useful than merely picking up a stone and throwing it at the object of one's anger; the more so when the provocation is extreme.  For it is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for yourself and others.     -The Dalai Lama
Forgiveness can be a powerful healing agent.  Forgiveness is a process of giving up the false for the true, erasing error from mind and body and life.  Forgive yourself.  Forgive others.  Forgive everything!  Forgiveness sometimes involves a flight of imagination--being able to understand the influences that may have shaped your oppressor's behavior.  If we seek to understand, to the best of our ability, where another person may be coming from, observe what situations may be prevalent in his or her life, and put forth the effort to "walk a mile in his or her shoes," we may be less quick to take offense at what may be directed toward us.  Once you can comprehend the dynamics behind the abuse, you may be more ready to forgive.  And old African proverb says, "one who forgives ends the quarrel."  Are you willing to be the instigator of such a positive action?     -John Marks Templeton, Worldwide Laws of Life

Forgiveness 2   

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