Below are quotes that Carla used in her recent talk,
“The Unexpected Need for Daily Forgiveness.”

Carla’s summary of the talk contains the main points she wishes her students to understand about forgiveness:
“When hearing about forgiveness we often think about extreme examples. The immediate forgiveness the Amish gave to the shooter who killed their children. Or the worst injuries of our own life that we have yet to forgive. But most forgiveness is an ordinary daily act. Real forgiveness is the humble willingness to recognize and accept the imperfection, fallibility, and woundedness of being human.

Every day we judge ourselves and others for not living up to our standards, for not behaving in the way we would like, for not doing what we think they should be doing. We blame others for unsettling our equilibrium and for causing us discomfort. Without forgiveness we hold onto judgments, grudges, resentment, and blame, all of which contract and deaden our hearts.

Forgiveness sees the truth of our common humanity and it recognizes what is of real value. Forgiveness is the seed of all love and compassion.”

“He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is devoid of the power to love.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
 – Lewis B. Smedes, Theologian

“Forgive or relive.”
– Anonymous

“Holding a grudge is letting someone live rent-free in your head.”
– Anonymous

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future. “
– Bernard Meltzer

“Who is it that is unhappy? The one who finds fault.”
– Anonymous

“Forgiveness, like grief, has its own timetable. We cannot force or pretend forgiveness. But we can choose to have the sincere intention to forgive. Intention will eventually allow forgiveness to bloom.”
– Carla Brennan

“Our opportunity to practice forgiveness begins with ourselves. We discover the ways we harm ourselves, through neglect, ridicule, disconnecting from our bodies and emotions, unrealistic expectations, poor self-care, addictions, destructive habits. We recognize and we forgive.”
– Carla Brennan

“The issue of self-forgiveness is much more complicated than forgiveness in general and here’s why: when you offend yourself, you are both the victim and the perpetrator . . . true self-forgiveness requires stopping the behavior that led to the offense in first place.”
– Robert Enright, founding member of the International Forgiveness Institute

‘[What’s] more important is: can you forgive your brother-in-law for being annoying? Can you forgive [people in] traffic? Those things happen every day. Big things? They happen once in a lifetime, maybe twice. It’s a waste of forgiveness. That’s my perspective. But forgiveness is really important for smoothing over the normal, interpersonal things that rub everyone the wrong way . . . Plus it requires acknowledgement of our fundamental human vulnerability, without getting angry or bitter about it.”
 – Dr. Fred Luskin, Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects

“Forgiveness means the willingness to always forgive people for not being able to fulfill all your needs. I feel that constantly. I expect people to fulfill all my needs. I expect people to love me unconditionally, and they can’t. My father cannot, my mother cannot, my brothers and sisters, my church, the people around me cannot. In a way, I always bump into the reality that people are limited and I want them to be unlimited lovers.

Well, I’m disappointed again and again and again. That disappointment should lead me to forgive my fellow human beings for not being God, for not being able to give me all I need and all I desire. I should also ask forgiveness constantly, again and again, that I cannot offer people that unconditional love I would like to offer. People are disappointed in me, also, because I am not being for them what they hoped I could be.”
– Henri Nouwen, Theologian

“Forgiveness is a path. You do not forgive just once but countless times in your life. Each time you see yourself recoiling from another person, beginning to walk the pathway of animosity and blame, becoming lost in aversion or resentment, you can feel the pain you’re inflicting upon yourself. These are the moments that ask for you to cultivate forgiveness. At the heart of compassion is the commitment to heal the causes of suffering. Alienation, division, belief in the separation between self and other are the greatest causes of suffering in life. . . . Forgiveness is a gesture of liberation in the service of liberation. Forgiveness liberates you from what has passed, and the burden of resentment and fear.”
– Christina Feldman, Insight meditation teacher, from Compassion

“Forgiveness is really essential. If you want to live in community, you have to forgive, not once in a while, but every day. I think that before breakfast you have had ten chances to forgive, just the way you think, the way you feel. You have so much anger, so much jealousy, so much resentment. We have to keep forgiving. Once we forgive, we can celebrate.”
– Henri Nouwen, Theologian