Many people have a difficult time letting go of old hurts and what may seem like injustices they have endured. Letting go and moving on has been a topic that many of our greatest leaders have tackled as they created their own forgiveness quotes. Because, as Skip Richard notes, forgiving “can be a powerful opportunity for re-connection both with the offender and with ourselves.”

Since choosing not to forgive may hurt ourselves more than the other person, it is important to our own well-being that we forgive. Holding on to grudges and re-living events does not benefit anyone. Healing can begin by reading some relevant forgiveness quotes and pondering how they can inspire us. Take time to think about these forgiveness quotes and how they can impact your own thoughts.

Here is a collection of eight of the best forgiveness quotes by those who have experienced holding on to anger and who know the truth about this subject, to help you begin your journey to forgiveness.

8 quotes about forgiveness:

1. Mahatma Ghandi

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

2. Nelson Mandela

“When a deep injury is done to us, we never heal until we forgive.”

3. Maya Angelou

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


4. Jack Canfield

“It can be hard to forgive and let go but it’s important to remember that harboring the resentment and holding a grudge can hurt you even more. The word ‘forgive’ really means to give something up for yourself, not for them.”

5. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”

6. Joel Osteen

“When we don’t forgive, we’re not hurting the other person. We’re not hurting the company that did us wrong. [And] we’re not hurting God. We’re only hurting ourselves.”

7. Marianne Williamson

“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.”

8. Deepak Chopra

“In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.”

Scientific reasons to Let Go and Move On

In addition to these quotes about forgiveness, scientific studies have shown that holding on to grudges increases cortisol production while diminishing oxytocin, the “love hormone.” According to Psychology Today, “Feelings of anger or revenge activate the ‘fight-or-flight’ stress response of your sympathetic nervous system which causes cortisol levels to spike.” In addition to this, anger raises blood pressure while reducing the tone of your vagus nerve, causing distress that can harm your health.

On the other hand, oxytocin has been studied for its role in increasing social interaction. Katie Lancaster, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at UVA, has commented on a study and what was learned. She maintains, “We found that people with higher oxytocin levels showed greater recruitment of brain regions that support social cognition, suggesting that these people are naturally attending to the more social aspects of the interactions.”
In other words, increased cortisol from resentment is unhealthy, while increased oyxtocin from forgiveness is beneficial.

Final Thoughts

While reading forgiveness quotes is good, it is only the first step in learning more about how we can change our emotions and lives. Since forgiveness begins in the heart, quotes about forgiveness may help us look at how we carry emotional baggage from the past that might be hurting us in the present. Even the best forgiveness quotes will do nothing until we look at ourselves and become aware of what we are thinking.

Become inspired by our greatest leaders who have met the challenge of forgiving those that caused them harm. They learned that by letting go and moving on, peace could be attained and healing could begin. After reading these eight inspiring quotes and the scientific knowledge behind the magic of forgiveness, we can all learn and move toward a brighter future; we can be free of the baggage of the past that weighs us down and harms our health.

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