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the power of forgiveness

37 quotes from Ed Latimore about forgiveness

These quotes about forgiveness will help you let go of the painful past, live better in the present, and approach the future without trauma and guilt.

Ed Latimore
Ed Latimore
Writer, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

The power of forgiveness has changed my life. It’s allowed me to repair relationships, cope with childhood trauma, and help others release the emotional weight that was holding them back and down.

I was first exposed to the practice and discipline of forgiveness when I stumbled upon The Course in Miracles. This is the same book that Marianne Williamson has based many of her books about forgiving others, letting go of the past, and finding love and inner peace.

I practice forgiveness because it heals me. I believe that forgiveness is the only way to start the healing of the world. Forgiveness allows us to remember that people make mistakes and they should not be defined by those trespasses. True forgiveness does not even seek an explanation or apology. It recognizes that we’re all imperfect and all we can do is try to improve our daily lives.

Because forgiveness is such an important part of my life, I’ve written several tweets and articles about it on my website. The following is a collection of forgiveness quotes that you can use to recognize and remember the power of forgiveness whenever you are compelled to hold a grudge, seek revenge, or are simply looking for peace.

Forgiveness quotes from Twitter

In the end, you realize that it was never personal.

It was just people acting in their own best interests and you were collateral damage.

This doesn’t make it right, but realizing that you weren’t really a specific target is the first step to forgiveness.


You can’t make progress if you’re always reliving how you fucked up.

Forgive yourself, let the past die, and get on with making the world a better place.


The hardest person to forgive is often ourselves.


The weak seek revenge. The strong forgive. The intelligent ignore.


I don’t believe in “forgive and forget”. Only forgive. You still gotta protect ya neck


I forgive because I’m selfish.

I don’t do it for it the other person.

I do it so that I no longer have to think about or feel anything towards my past.


It’s not your fault if you were robbed, raped, or victimized.

Bad things will happen to you simply because you exist in the universe with other humans whose desire exceeds their moral character.

Sometimes–by birth even–we’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time.


No matter how many times you relive the past… Or how bad you feel about it… You can’t change it.

Learn to forgive others, the world, and yourself.

Until you can do this, your heart and mind are held hostage by ghosts of your imagination.


You fear the past because it reminds you of what you were You fear the present because you don’t like who you are You fear the future because you worry you can’t change

The problem?

You can’t forgive your past. You can’t accept who you are You won’t work for who you want to be


Everyone doesn’t emerge from hardship the same way. Some are tougher, some are traumatized, while others are completely broken.

Some want to forget, some can forgive, while others burn with hatred ready for revenge.

Similar experiences are no guarantee of similar reactions.


You don’t forgive because the person “deserves” it. You don’t forgive because you deserve it.

You forgive because it’s the only way to cure your heart of hatred. Hatred of others and most importantly, of yourself.


Forgiveness doesn’t mean you continue to associate with someone.

It doesn’t mean you expect them to change.

It means that the wrongs they’ve committed against you no longer take up space in your heart.


Forgiving someone doesn’t mean they’ve changed. It doesn’t mean that your perspective on them has changed.

It just means they no longer command real estate in your mind and heart.

Only a sucker would forget why a person required forgiveness in the first place.


The more I practice forgiveness, the less I expect others to do it.

My executioners will be men I have pardoned for worse crimes than the ones I’ll be judged for.

Such is burden of those who practice the art of letting go.


Forgiveness is all there is.

Anything else destroys you.


Forgiveness is like weight lifting for the soul.


Easiest way to forgiveness:

Assume something fucked up happened to the offender in childhood to mess them up now. Your heart will soften.


Forgiveness doesn’t mean you continue to associate with someone.

It doesn’t mean you expect them to change.

It means that the wrongs they’ve committed against you no longer take up space in your heart.


Accepting that you’re powerless to change the past is the first part of forgiveness.

What happened to you is done.

All the negativity you carry is because you believe that if you project enough hatred into the world, the past will change and you’ll be innocent once again.


People hold a grudge because they genuinely believe that it will undo what’s already happened in the past.

The universe doesn’t work this way.

All you have is time and forgiveness. When correctly executed, the latter will accelerate the passage of the former.

[For more my quotes, follow me on Twitter here.]

Quotes from “How to forgive someone in 5 steps”

People more easily hold grudges than forgive trespasses against them. It’s cathartic and feels correct to carry malice towards someone who wronged you. However, the only real way to improve your well-being and find peace is the act of forgiveness.


When we forgive, what exactly are we “giving”?

We’re giving up our need for vindication, our desire for retribution, and our thirst for revenge. Any negative feelings we hold towards the past and the people in it let them go.

We are, literally and figuratively, wiping our emotional ledgers clean and abandoning the idea that we’re owed anything from anyone for the pain we’ve experienced.


Good things happen to bad people. Bad things happen to good people. We want the universe to behave rationally, but it does not care for balance.


Forgiveness isn’t a replacement for justice.

The perpetrator still must answer for their crimes, but you need a way to cope with the emotional damage you suffered from their actions. No amount of justice or revenge will undo the trauma their actions caused.


No matter how many times you relive the past, or how bad you feel about it, you can’t change it. This is why obsessing over it will destroy you.

The past is a thing that is no more real than your imagination, but you let it control you as if it were in the same room.


Holding a grudge is like masturbation for your emotions:

It feels good at first, but it’s only in your imagination that someone else is getting screwed. The more you do it, the more raw & numb you become. Your emotional impotence leaves you bitter, weak, and completely ineffective.

You have to practice forgiveness because the other person may not even be aware that perhaps there is something they’ve done that needs to be forgiven.


We have justice to minimize the need for forgiveness. We have forgiveness to minimize the need for justice. Both are equally important, but justice doesn’t heal trauma.

[Read my complete essay on how to forgive someone here.]

Quotes from “How to forgive yourself”

The hardest person to forgive is often ourselves.

We more easily forgive the bad things that are done to us than let go of the bad things that we’ve done to ourselves.


What makes guilt unique is that it’s a distinct feeling of being unable to let go of the past.

You feel guilty because you wish that you could change the past and undo whatever you’ve been ruminating on. Unfortunately, you can’t reverse misdeeds. Time passes on, regardless of how much self-blame you inflict.


The only way to feel better in the present is to forgive yourself for what you’ve done in the past.


When you have learned the lesson and people have moved on, but you still feel guilty about what you have (or have not) done, then you need to work on self-forgiveness.


When a person devalues us with violent victimization, the only way we can make sense of such cruelty and disregard for human life is to assume we brought it on ourselves.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Few things are more obstructive to self-forgiveness than harboring the idea that you are responsible when you were a victim.


You have to make peace with the idea that many people–yourself included–are just making life up as they go along.

If you get discouraged at yourself for not always having the perfect plan, answer, or course in life, then you’re in for a lot of disappointment.

[To read my entire essay on forgiving yourself, click here.]

Quotes from “How to understand and forgive your parents”

We more easily remember the times our parents let us down and hurt our feelings than the times they went out of their way to make sure that we were provided for.


Our parents are the easiest people to get a distorted view of because of the sheer amount of time we spend with them.

You likely won’t share the same space with another human for that long until you start your own family.


As you gain awareness of the rest of the world, you start seeing things that you think they should have done differently—not just in raising you, but with their lives in general.


A lot of angst we feel towards our parents is driven by the idea that if we were put in the same situation, with the same resources and knowledge, we somehow would have made a different and more beneficial decision.

Of course this is patently false, but this belief is probably responsible for many estranged relationships.

[If you want to read my entire essay about forgiving your parents, click here.]

Ed Latimore
About the author

Ed Latimore

I’m a writer, competitive chess player, Army veteran, physicist, and former professional heavyweight boxer. My work focuses on self-development, realizing your potential, and sobriety—speaking from personal experience, having overcome both poverty and addiction.

Follow me on Twitter.