The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.-- Mahatma Gandhi
Know all and you will pardon all. --Thomas A’Kempis
We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies --Voltaire
A mature Christian has capacity to absorb the offenses and weaknesses of others, not just demand they perform up to the code of ideals. --Stephen Crosby
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.—Unknown
Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were. --Cherie Carter-Scott
The offender never pardons. --George Herbert
He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.--George Herbert
Resentment is like a glass of poison that a man drinks; then he sits down and waits for his enemy to die.—Unknown
Many people are afraid to forgive because they feel they must remember the wrong or they will not learn from it. The opposite is true. Through forgiveness, the wrong is released from its emotional stranglehold on us so that we can learn from it. Through the power and intelligence of the heart, the release of forgiveness brings expanded intelligence to work with the situation more effectively. -- David McArthur & Bruce McArthur
A Christian will find it cheaper to pardon than to resent. Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, and the waste of spirit. --Hannah More
Forgiveness means that you've decided not to let it keep festering inside even if it only comes up once in awhile. --Doc Childre and Howard Martin
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—just like it does for you and me. --Sara Paddison
Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past. --Unknown
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
Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence. -Sholem Asch
Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting. --William A. Ward
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
What we forgive too freely doesn't stay forgiven. --Mignon McLaughlin
It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend. --William Blake:
We frequently forgive those who bore us, but cannot forgive those whom we bore. –Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld
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
Wrongs are often forgiven, but contempt never is. Our pride remembers it forever. --Lord Chesterfield
Don't tell friends their social faults; they will cure the fault and never forgive you. --Logan Pearsall Smith
Forgiveness is . . . accepting God's sovereign use of people and situations to strip you of self importance, and humiliate your self love. --Martha Kilpatrick
Without deep humility, true forgiveness is impossible…and will never happen. --Martha Kilpatrick
Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. --Anonymous
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it. --Mark Twain
Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge, and dares forgive an injury. --E. H. Chapin
Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?-- Abraham Lincoln
There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.-- Josh Billings
Always forgive your enemies--nothing annoys them so much.-- Oscar Wilde
To err is human; to forgive, divine.-- Alexander Pope
Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another. --Jean Paul Richter
The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness. --William Blake
Yes, this is what good is: to forgive evil. There is no other good. --Antonio Porchia
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 made clean again. --Dag Hammarskjold
Forgiveness is choosing to love. It is the first skill of self-giving love. --Mahatma Gandhi
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
A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. --Robert Quillen
Forgiveness is the final form of love. --Reinhold Niebuhr
One forgives to the degree that one loves. --Francois de La Rochefoucauld
'Tis the most tender part of love, each other to forgive. --John Sheffield
Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness. --H. Jackson Brown
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
Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life. --George MacDonald
"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
For many people forgiveness is one of the hardest steps of all in our progress toward freedom of spirit. Yet it is essential. For as long as we are unable to forgive, we keep ourselves chained to the unforgiven. We give them rent-free space in our minds, emotional shackles on our hearts, and the right to torment us in the small hours of the night. When it is time to move on, but still too hard, try some or all of these steps. (Note that these steps are appropriate for events resulting from an ongoing adult relationship with anyone. They may not all be appropriate for the random act of violence from a stranger, nor for someone who was abused as a child or while in some other position of true helplessness.)
1. Understand that forgiving does not mean giving permission for the behavior to be repeated. It does not mean saying that what was done was acceptable. Forgiveness is needed for behaviors that were not acceptable and that you should not allow to be repeated.
2. Recognize who is being hurt by your non-forgiveness. Does the other person burn with your anger, feel the knot in your stomach, experience the cycling and recycling of your thoughts as you re-experience the events in your mind? Do they stay awake as you rehearse in your mind what you would like to say or do to 'punish' them? No, the pain is all yours.
3. Do not require to know 'why' as a prerequisite to forgiveness. Knowing why the behavior happened is unlikely to lessen the pain, because the pain came at a time when you did not know why. Occasionally there are times when knowing why makes forgiveness unncessary, but they are rare. Don't count on it and don't count on even the perpetrator knowing why.
4. Make a list of what you need to forgive. What was actually done that caused your pain? Not what you felt, what was done.
5. Acknowledge your part. Were you honest about your hurt or did you hide the fact that the behavior hurt you? Did you seek peace by reassuring the perpetrator that it was all right? Did you stay when you could or should have left? If so, then you, too, have some responsibility. (Here you start to move away from being a victim.)
6. Make a list of what you gained from the relationship, whatever form of relationship it was. Looking back you may be focusing on the negatives, the hurts. Yet if they were repeated, you must have stayed to allow the repetition. You did not remove yourself. Why? There must have been some positives if you chose to stay around. What were they?
7. Write a letter to the person (no need to mail it). Acknowledge what you gained from the relationship, and express forgiveness for the hurts. Allow yourself to express all your feelings fully. Do not focus only on the hurts.
8. Create a ceremony in which you get rid of your lists and the letter, so symbolizing the ending of the link between you. You may choose to visualize placing them on a raft and watching it drift gently away down a river. You may prefer to burn them and scatter the ashes. You may invent some other form of ritualized separation.
9. Visualize the person you are forgiving being blessed by your forgiveness and, as a result, being freed from continuing the behavior that hurt you.
10. Now that you have freed yourself from the painful links and released the pain, feel yourself growing lighter and more joyous. Now you are free to move on with your life without that burden of bitterness. Do not look back in anger.
Relationships thrill us, heal us, confound us, frustrate us. Every single one of us will struggle with them during the course of our lifetime. Relationships bring to us our most profoundly moving lessons in life. The people that we love the most are the ones that we open our hearts to. They may have long ago passed from this existence, and yet we hang on to the old pain, beating ourselves with it again and again.
There is no magic to forgiving and healing the relationships in our lives. Burning a candle cannot heal a pattern of miscommunication and lack of trust. Yet truly opening to forgiveness can do more than heal a relationship - it can heal our broken hearts. We do not need the knowledge, understanding, or cooperation of the other party involved. They do not need to be here with us on Earth, nor do we need to communicate with them physically.
What we do need is a sincere desire to forgive the past hurts, and to heal our pain within. It is possible for us to do this without ever interacting with the other person. Forgiveness does not mean inviting an abusive individual back into our lives. Forgiveness means clearing the residual effects of the pain that we still carry buried deeply within us. We must forgive others for our own sake, not because the other person deserves to be forgiven. We do this in order to set ourselves free.
Hate is a stronger karmic tie than love. What we release in love flourishes in peace. Hate and lack of forgiveness is the quickest way to ensure that we are brought back into contact with the same pattern of energy over and over again. The person we hated may be long gone, but we will attract the same type of person over and over again. Some cultures believe that our enemies are reborn to us as our children. Haven't we all seen families where this energy appears to be operating?
My Spirit guides taught me the following ritual many years ago. It is an extremely powerful, but very simple process that even a child can learn. It is designed to help you to forgive and heal any relationship that has caused you pain. I am glad to share it with you now. If you practice it with an open heart, you will notice a difference in the way you think and feel about the relationships that have brought you pain.
Healing Relationships Ritual
Sit comfortably in a chair, with your back upright, and your feet flat on the floor. Breathe slowly, deeply and rhythmically for at least five minutes. There is no need to hurry through this exercise. Let your body and breath slow to a peaceful, comfortable rhythm before going further.
Now imagine yourself surrounded by a beautiful cocoon of golden light. Let it settle softly about you, comforting and protecting you within its soothing glow. Feel yourself snuggling into it, feeling safe and warmed by its light. This is the healing light of God's love and tender concern for you.
Say the Unity prayer aloud to yourself:
The Light of God surrounds me The love of God enfolds me The power of God protects me The presence of God watches over me Wherever I am, God is And all is well.
Now focus again on the golden light all around you. Begin to draw this healing cocoon of God's love into your heart. Breathe in, inhaling slowly, drawing it deeply deeply deeply into your body. Let this wonderful healing light fill your heart with warmth and love. Feel it expanding throughout your body, healing any hurt areas within your emotions or heart. Circulate this golden energy all through your body, breathing deeply and easily as you do so. Take as long as you need to allow this energy to flow wherever it needs to.
Now visualize that the person that you are having difficulty with is sitting across from you. They are not allowed to speak to you or touch you without your permission or an invitation to do so. As clearly as you can, tell them your truth. Tell them about your anger, your pain, the hurt that you feel. Try not to blame them or to make them wrong, but to offer them the gift of your truth. Stay as centered on your own feelings and pain as you can. Say everything you need to say, leaving nothing back. Then recite the following prayer, beginning with their full name:
________, I forgive you for any pain that you have ever brought to me in this life or in any other life, whether real or imagined, deliberate or unintentional.
I ask that you, _______, forgive me for any hurt that I have ever brought to you, in this life or in any other life, whether real or imagined, deliberate or unintentional.
I bless you, I release you to God's care and keeping, and I set us both free.
Now imagine two enormous hands of light, with palms cupped directly in front of you. Visualize them as huge, tender, loving hands - God's hands, and they are as big as the room. Release the person and the situation into these beautiful tender hands of light. Just lay it all down into these loving hands. Surrender the other person, and the entire situation into God's care and keeping. See yourself being set free as you release this heavy burden. It has taken a tremendous amount of energy to carry this pain. Take a moment to forgive yourself for having had angry or fearful thoughts about the other person.
Draw in another deep breath from your golden cocoon of light, and let the love slowly circulate all through your body, filling the areas that were full of hate just a few moments ago. Breathe deeply and slowly, and notice how light you feel. If you wish, crawl into those loving caring hands and lay your other burdens down as well. Feel these beautiful tender hands gently cradling you, rocking you, comforting you. Stay and rest in this healing peace as long as you need to.
End with this prayer:
Mother-Father-God, I thank you with joy and with gratitude for allowing me to shift, to grow, to heal. I know now that I am not doomed to endlessly hate and hurt. Through your love and tender care I am set free. Thank you for the light of your love as it illuminates my life and heals the wounds within. Amen.
Do this as often as you feel necessary until the situation is resolved. On a soul level we are all connected, so this healing energy will reach the other person, whether they are still on the Earth or have already passed on. No healing is ever lost.
Walk in love!
FORGIVENESS: 14 STEPS