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Forgiveness is clearly a voluntary action. After someone deeply hurts us, forgiveness is something we choose to do when we are ready to move on or when the love in our hearts speaks louder than temporary hate.

In a world where being out for revenge seems to be more at hand, and appears to bring more satisfaction, they say it takes courage and strength to do it. And I couldn’t agree more. “An eye for an eye” is a reaction to being hurt, physically or emotionally. The need for retaliation poisons our minds, and it takes hard work to finally be able to say “I forgive you.”


But maybe if we would take a break from finding the perfect plan to get revenge and thought about the benefits of forgiving others and ourselves, we would become better and happier.

Forgiveness is about letting go of the past, understanding and moving on. It’s about taking care of your own mental health and setting yourself free. Selfish? Maybe, but it’s the kind that does good to others too.

Here are 21 forgiveness quotes that inspire change and a healthy way of thinking:


Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.

— Desmond Tutu

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

— Bryant H. McGill

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

Mark Twain

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

— Lewis B. Smedes


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

Mahatma Gandhi

Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.

Oscar Wilde

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.

— Thomas Szasz

All major religious traditions carry basically the same message; that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.

Dalai Lama

Forgive, forget. Bear with the faults of others as you would have them bear with yours.

— Phillips Brooks

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

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

— William Arthur Ward

You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.’

Maya Angelou

It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.

— Tyler Perry

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

— Emma Goldman

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

— Roberto Assagioli

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

Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again.

— Saint Augustine

Forgotten is forgiven.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

The remedy for life’s broken pieces is not classes, workshops or books. Don’t try to heal the broken pieces. Just forgive.

— Iyanla Vanzant

How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself.

— Publilius Syrus

To understand somebody else as a human being, I think, is about as close to real forgiveness as one can get.

— David Small