By Michelle King

Well, it looks like spring is finally happening. For awhile there it looked like, nope, sorry, but we are just not going to have spring this year. But now the sun is shining, trees are starting to bloom, and it’s still light out by the time you leave the office.

Springtime is for many things — spending time in the great outdoors, restaurants with patios, calling in sick on the first day it creeps into the 60s — but perhaps most of all it’s about ridding your life of all that junk you’ve acquired over the winter. Yes, physical junk (back in storage you go, floor-length puffer coat!), but also the emotional baggage you’ve picked up sometime between now and last December. We can all agree that it was a brutal winter, but the snow has melted, the sun is shining, and it’s time to start anew. We’ve rounded up 11 author quotes to help you forgive, let go and enjoy the season ahead.

“Forgiveness doesn't just sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill.” 

Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”

 ― Oscar Wilde

“Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You're done. It doesn't necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person. If you keep hitting back, you stay trapped in the nightmare ….”

― Anne Lamott, Plan B

“It is a happy thing that time quells the longings of vengeance and hushes the promptings of rage and aversion. I had left this woman in bitterness and hate, and I came back to her now with no other emotion than a sort of ruth for her great sufferings, and a strong yearning to forget and forgive all injuries — to be reconciled and clasp hands in amity.”

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“People are really trying their best. Just like being happy and sad, you will find yourself on both sides of the equation many times over your lifetime, either saying or hearing the wrong thing. Let's all give each other a pass, shall we?”

David Rakoff, Half Empty

“... people didn't forgive you for doing what felt right — that was the last thing they forgave you for.”

Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding

Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

— Mark Twain

“You can't forgive without loving. And I don't mean sentimentality. I don't mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, 'I forgive. I'm finished with it.'”

— Maya Angelou

Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.

— Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”

John Green, Looking for Alaska

“We say of some things that they can't be forgiven, or that we will never forgive ourselves. But we do — we do it all the time.”

Alice Munro, Dear Life

Did you find any of the quotes above especially touching? Are there other words about forgiveness from your favorite authors that you’ve found profound? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

Michelle King grew up in South Florida and now lives in Brooklyn. Her contributions have appeared on BULLETT, Refinery29, xoJane and The Huffington Post. Harriet M. Welsch is still her role model and probably always will be.

(Image credits, from top: Flickr;;; Amazon; Wikipedia; NPR; Wikipedia; Wikipedia;; Wikipedia; NPR;

This blog post about wrestling with the past is brought to you by Nine Rabbits, the bestselling novel by Virginia Zaharieva now available from Black Balloon Publishing.

About the Book:

A restless writer's fiery enthusiasm for her family's culinary traditions defines her from childhood to passionate adulthood as she strives for a life less ordinary. Lush gardens, nostalgic meals and sensual memories here are as charming as the narrator herself.

About the Author:

Virginia Zaharieva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1959. She is a writer, psychotherapist, feminist and mother. Her novel Nine Rabbits is among the most celebrated Bulgarian books to appear over the past two decades and the first of Zaharieva's work available in English.


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