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By Therese J. Borchard
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