90 Forgiveness Quotes To Help You Let Go & Move On

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

65 Forgiveness Quotes To Help You Let Go & Move On YourTango

Forgiving someone is hard. And yet, forgiveness isn't just necessary in our daily lives; it's vital to a healthy life and healthy relationships.

Whether it’s trying to forgive someone who personally hurt you or trying to forgive yourself for something you've done, forgiveness is one of the hardest things to learn in life.

RELATED: 5 Steps To Heal From Betrayal & Make Your Future Relationships Stronger Than Ever


Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting — it simply is the process of letting go of all of the negative emotions surrounding the event and not holding it against the person anymore (whether it’s yourself or someone else).

Forgiveness doesn't mean letting someone disrespect you and treat you poorly without response. You can forgive someone and still take a healthy approach and not allow them to be part of your life anymore.

But still, everyone needs forgiveness and understanding at some point or another, despite how difficult this can be. Forgiveness is the only way you can heal from the past; it's a powerful place because it frees you from pain.


Here are 90 of the best forgiveness quotes to help you heal and move forward with your own life.

1. “Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.” — Dave Willis

dave willis forgiveness quote

2. “One of the most courageous decisions you’ll ever make is to finally let go of what is hurting your heart and soul.” — Anonymous

3. “Forgiving you is my gift to you. Moving on is my gift to myself.” — Anonymous

4. “Forgiveness is just another name for freedom.” — Byron Katie

5. “Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

6. “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does change the future.” — Anonymous

7. “Let it hurt. Let it heal. Let it go.” — Anonymous

8. “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” — Wayne Dyer

9. “Forgiving you means 'I no longer dwell on what an a**hole you are.' It doesn’t mean you are no longer an a******.” — Anonymous

10. “Forgiveness is the best form of love. It takes a strong person to say sorry and an even stronger person to forgive.” — Anonymous

forgiveness quote


11. “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

12. “Forgiveness is making a conscious decision to live in the present … even if the past still hurts.” — Anonymous

13. “In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to the next.” — Andy Stanley

14. “You either get bitter or you get better. It's that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.” — Josh Shipp

15. “None of us should be defined by the worst thing we’ve ever done.” — Kevin R. Duncan

16. “Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.” — Anonymous

17. “You’ll never know how strong your heart is until you learn to forgive who broke it.” — Anonymous

18. “The true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back.” — Anonymous

19. “There is nothing more classy or powerful than showing forgiveness and grace to someone who does not deserve it.” — Anonymous

20. “Forgiveness is the best revenge.” — Imam Ali

imam ali forgiveness quote

21. “There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” — Bryant H. Mcgill

22. “Remember, when you forgive, you heal. And when you let go, you grow.” — Anonymous

23. “The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” — Dr. Steve Maraboli

24. “Compassion and forgiveness are signs of strength.” — Anonymous

25. “Sometimes you forgive people simply because you still want them in your life.” — Anonymous

26. “Reminder: Forgiveness is a process. A choice you make over and over, every day until you’re free of hurt.” — Anonymous

27. “When someone does something wrong, don’t forget all the things they did right.” — Anonymous

28. “The man who forgives is far stronger than the man who fights.” — Nathan Caroll

29. “Arguments drag out because one is too stubborn to forgive and the other is too proud to apologize.” — Anonymous

30. “Hate has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet.” — Maya Angelou

maya angelou forgiveness quote


RELATED: 10 Things People Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because You’re Forgiving Yourself

31. “Forgiveness keeps you from being bound by something the other person might never set right.” — Tony Evans

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

33. ”Hating someone makes them important. Forgiving hem makes them obsolete.” — Anonymous

34. “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” — Anonymous

35. “Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals.” — Thomas S. Monson

36. “Your wound is probably not your fault. But your healing is your responsibility.” — Anonymous

37. “Forgive and forget. Not revenge and regret.” — Anonymous

38. “Your mistakes do not define you.” — Anonymous

39. “Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who they are. Until we have forgiven someone’s darkness, we don’t really know what love is.” — Marianne Williamson

40. “When one forgives, two souls are set free.” — Anonymous

forgiveness quote

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

42. “We are all in need of mercy.” — Anonymous

43. “I don’t think people understand that you can forgive a person and not allow them back into your life. That is possible, very possible.” — Alex Elle

44. “Relationships don’t thrive because the guilty are punished, but because the wounded are merciful.” — Max Lucado

45. “Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is understanding the other person is a complete idiot.” — Anonymous

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

47. “In the blink of an eye, everything can change. So forgive often and love with all your heart. You may never have that chance again.” — Anonymous

48. “Forgiving them isn’t the hard part, it’s trying to trust them again.” — Anonymous

49. “I wish for you the wisdom to realize that forgiveness has nothing to do with an apology.” — Steve Maraboli

50. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” — Mahatma Gandhi

mahatma gandhi forgiveness quote


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

52. “Take forgiveness slowly. Don’t blame yourself for being slow. Peace will come.” — Yoko Ono

53. “Today I decided to forgive you. Not because you apologized, or because you acknowledged the pain you caused me, but because my soul deserves peace.” — Najwa Zebian

54. “Everybody makes mistakes. If you can’t forgive others, don’t expect others to forgive you.” — Anonymous

55. “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” — Thomas Szasz

56. “Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it’s such a powerful weapon.” — Nelson Mandela

57. “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” — Oscar Wilde

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

59. “True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience.’” — Oprah Winfrey

60. “Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself.” — Jodi Picoult

jodi picoult forgiveness quote

RELATED: If It's Difficult For You To Forgive Others, Here's What You Need To Realize

61. “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” — Alexander Pope

62. “Somehow, forgiveness accomplishes miracles that can happen in no other way.” — Gordon B. Hinckley

63. “It’s OK if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire.” — Colette Werden

64. “When someone is working hard to change, the worst thing you can do is hold them to their past. Forgive them and help them transform.” — Anonymous

65. “You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.” — Sophia Bush

66. “Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. Forgiveness is the final act of love.” — Beyoncé

67. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

68. “Nobody’s perfect. We make mistakes. We say the wrong things. We do wrong things. We fall. We get up. We learn. We grow. We move on. We live.” — Anonymous

69. “People hurt each other. It happens to everyone intentionally, unintentionally, regretfully or not. It’s a part of what we do as people. The beauty is that we have the ability to heal and forgive.” — Adi Alsaid

70. “Forgiveness is not about the past, but the future.” — Anne Michaels

anne michaels forgiveness quote


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

72. “All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy, all friendships die.” — David Whyte

73. “Note to self: Before going to sleep every night, forgive everyone and sleep with a clean heart.” — Anonymous

74. "I believe forgiveness is the best form of love in any relationship. It takes a strong person to say they're sorry and an even stronger person to forgive.” — Yolanda Hadid

75. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

76. “Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness.” — Gerald Jampolsky

77. “Forgiveness isn’t just a blessing you deliver to another human being. Forgiveness is also a gift you give yourself.” — Robin S. Sharma

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

79. “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

80. “Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you are.” — Cherie Carter-Scott

cherie carter-scott forgiveness quote

81. “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.” — Marianne Williamson

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

83. “A marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” — Robert Quillen

84. “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

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

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

87. “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruit than strict justice.” — Abraham Lincoln

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

89. “What I cannot love, I overlook.” — Anaïs Nin

90. “It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” — Maya Angelou

Use these words of wisdom to free yourself from the hate in your heart. It won't necessarily be an easy journey, but in the end, it is so worth it!

RELATED: How To Know When It's OK To Forgive Someone And Move On


Nicole Bradley-Bernard is a frequent contributor to YourTango.