Self-forgiveness Quotes (19 Quotes)

The current blogpost will be checking out the best self-forgiveness quotes that you can use if you are finding it hard to do so. Forgiving yourself is much more difficult than forgiving someone else, but is an essential part of your journey to better mental health.

Self-forgiveness Quotes

1. “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” – Bible, Psalm 86:5

This famous Bible verse speaks volumes about the forgiving and loving nature to God to anyone who reaches out. The same applies for you too. If a higher power is capable of forgiving you, you should be able to forgive yourself as well.

2. “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes

This quote from Lewis B. Smedes speaks about the effects of self-forgiveness that a person experiences. Holding a grudge against someone who has wronged you can become very burdensome in the long run, even if the person is yourself.

3. “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

Poet Maya Angelou explains the actual importance of forgiving yourself since it is the right thing to do. Chastising yourself for something wrong that you have done in the past is not something other people can see easily, but eats you up slowly on the inside.

4. “Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil; with them forgive yourself.” – William Shakespeare

Shakespearean quotes always speak directly to your heart and so does this one. Just as higher powers in the universe have forgiven you, you also need to forget your mistakes and forgive yourself.

5. “The simple truth is, we all make mistakes, and we all need forgiveness.” – Desmond Tutu

Late Bishop Desmond Tutu speaks about how everyone on the planet, including spiritual leaders and philosophers, make mistakes. Another common thing that ties everyone together is the need for forgiveness.

6. “Be courageous enough to forgive yourself; never forget to be compassionate to yourself.” – Debasish Mridha

Author Debasish Mridha is very true when he says that it takes a lot of courage to forgive yourself for mistakes. Forgiving yourself for things that you may have done is also part of the self-compassion journey.

7. “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

Writer Curtis Sittenfeld’s quote is famously quipped when on the topic of self-forgiveness. She also likens the act of not forgiving yourself to being in exile from your own life. True freedom lies in the ability to forgive others and yourself.

8. “The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself.” – Confucius

Confucius goes another step ahead in this quote and explains how self-forgiveness stems from self-awareness. If you truly understand yourself and the factors that pushed you toward certain actions, you will be able to forgive yourself easily.

9. “Forgive yourself first. Release the need to replay a negative situation over and over again in your mind. Don’t become a hostage to your past by always reviewing and reliving your mistakes. Don’t remind yourself of what should have, could have or would have been. Release it and let it go. Move on.” – Les Brown

Les Brown is known to push people to do magical things with their lives, including forgiving themselves. In this quote, Brown explains how holding on to a grudge is like a prison sentence and can stop you from truly enjoying and savoring life.

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

C.S. Lewis is not just known for his stories but even his brilliant views on humanity and its spiritual connection. Lewis, through this quote, explains how self-forgiveness is actually a sign of humility.

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

Forgiveness is a part of the healing journey and it is no wonder that it forms one of the main steps of recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. When people forgive themselves, they feel free and are able to heal more efficiently.

12.  “It is such a great moment of liberation when you learn to forgive yourself, let the burden go, and walk out into a new path of promise and possibility.” – John O’Donohue

Poet John O’Donohue, through this quote, articulates the positive effects that forgiveness brings to a person, especially the act of self-forgiveness. Self-forgiveness not only leads to freedom, but also paves way for new opportunities and possibilities.

13.  “When we give ourselves self-compassion, we are opening out hearts in a way than can transform our lives.” – Kristin Neff

More and more people are speaking out about the importance of self-compassion and self-love. Self-forgiveness forms a big part of self-compassion, which in turn leads to positive change and meaningful transformation.

14.  “If I hadn’t forgiven myself, I wouldn’t be strong enough to love someone this much.” – Dawn Lanuza

Forgiveness impacts all parts of life, including the way a person is equipped to show their love to another. One rarer known effect of self-forgiveness is that it can affect the way someone loves their partner.

15.  “Forgiveness does not change the past but it does change the future.” – Paul Lewis Boese

Paul Boese may be best known and perhaps only known for this quote. This quote speaks about how the act of forgiving does nothing to the past but instead paves way for a better future. This includes forgiving others and also yourself.

16.  “Silently repeat to yourself: I forgive myself for any ways in which I knowingly or unknowingly caused hurt or harm to any living being or creature. I forgive all who have ever hurt or harmed me. Everything between us is now cleared up.” – Michael Beckwith

This quote by Michael Beckwith can double as an affirmation statement if you are taking the first step of forgiving yourself and others. By the end of this quote, your mind will be cleared up of any lingering grudge that you may have built up against yourself and against other people.

17.  “Forgiveness is really a gift to yourself – have the compassion to forgive others, and the courage to forgive yourself.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Mary Anne Radmacher explains how forgiveness is actually a gift that you give to yourself, whether it is toward someone else or toward yourself. But forgiving needs a combination of both bravery as well as compassion in the form of self-love.

18.  “The burden of regret can weigh us down heavily on our spiritual journey. The best way to release regret is to forgive ourselves.” – James Van Praagh

Author and medium, James Van Praagh, has spoken volumes about the depth of spirituality and the importance of letting go of burdens before dipping toes in the pool of the subconscious. One such burden to let go before partaking in spirituality is self-forgiveness.

19.  “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” – Alexander Pope

This very famous quote by Alexander Pope can be applied for the forgiveness of others and even for the forgiveness of yourself. As humans, everyone makes mistakes since this is ingrained into the basic personality. However, only through forgiveness, one becomes a better person.


The current blogpost has checked out the best self-forgiveness quotes that you can use if you are finding it hard to do so.

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