30 Healing Quotes on Self-Forgiveness


Just as mantras are helpful for me to process emotions, so are quotes. I often turn to them for wisdom and inspiration. The following sound bytes have been especially helpful in trying to learn how to forgive myself.

Like most people I know, I judge my own indiscretions with a different standard than those of others. While I can often separate the kindness of a loved one from the wrong she did, I make no such distinction for myself. I become my mistake.

The words of the following writers, philosophers, psychologists, and theologians encourage a gentler, kinder perspective that fosters healing. Their sage sayings prompt me toward self-compassion, which paves the way to self-forgiveness. May they do the same for you.

Forgive yourself. The supreme act of forgiveness is when you can forgive yourself for all the wounds you’ve created in your own life. Forgiveness is an act of self-love. When you forgive yourself, self-acceptance begins and self-love grows. — Miguel Ángel Ruiz Macías

When we give ourselves self-compassion, we are opening our hearts in a way that can transform our lives. – Kristin Neff

Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it. — Maya Angelou

Lack of forgiveness causes almost all of our self-sabotaging behavior. – Mark Victor Hansen

Our sorrows and wounds are only healed when we touch them with compassion – Buddha

We all make mistakes, don’t we? But if you can’t forgive yourself, you’ll always be an exile in your own life. – Curtis Sittenfeld

Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” – Henri Nouwen

There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love. – Bryant H. McGill

The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. – Carl Jung

I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than him. – C. S. Lewis

Forgiveness is choosing to love. It is the first skill of self-giving love. – Mahatma Gandhi

We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same. – Pema Chodron

In order to heal, we must first forgive … and sometimes the person we must forgive is ourselves. – Mila Bron

You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. – Louise L. Hay

Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance. – Tara Brach

If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. – Jack Kornfield

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of you love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. – Buddha

Love yourself instead of abusing yourself. – Karolina Kurkova

Your inner critic is simply a part of you that needs more self-love. –Amy Leigh Mercree

You forgive yourself for every failure because you are trying to do the right thing. God knows that and you know it. Nobody else may know it. –Maya Angelou

Be kind to yourself, dear – to our innocent follies. Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance. You will come to see that all evolves us. –Rumi

Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves. – Pema Chodron

You don’t want to beat yourself up for beating yourself up in the vain hope that it will somehow make you stop beating yourself up. – Kristin Neff, Ph.D.

We cannot change anything unless we accept it. –Carl Jung

If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down. – Buddha

Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you. – Anonymous

It’s not about worthiness, it’s about willingness. – R. Alan Woods

The true measure of success is how many times you can bounce back from failure. – Stephen Richards

Peace is letting it be. Letting life flow, letting emotions flow through you. – Kamal Ravikant

Sometimes when things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place. –Anonymous

Originally posted on PsychCentral.com.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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2 Responses
  1. Heidi Smith

    Wow! Love every quote. Thank you so very much for posting all of them.
    I’m right about in the middle of a terrible brain imbalance (aka depression), and one
    of the biggest factors to get me out of the middle toward more light and understanding
    is self-forgiveness. My stubborn side just keeps the hurt and punishment in place,
    Yes, forgiving others isn’t a great chore, but forgiving myself for doing something
    that I did not know how to deal with in a state of depression just keeps haunting me.
    Thank you for being you and so truthfully and humorously opening your life up…it
    helps to know someone so talented and loving suffers as well. Blessings

  2. Lyshone Reeder


    I really enjoy your blog. I am a mental health professional and have a IG for my company “The Check In”. We promote mental health and self care.

    I was wondering if you would allow me to share your blog with my followers?

    Thank you for your work ♡

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