Symbolism of Forgiveness: The Most Powerful Symbols

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Symbolism of Forgiveness

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Symbols of Forgiveness: Why Letting Someone Off The Hook Is Spiritually Beneficial

When someone somehow repetitively hurts you, it is quite normal for those who have repeatedly been wronged to dwell on the betrayal. While it is best to understand that not being able to let go of the hurt, anger, and desire for revenge harms us the most, forgiveness is an often underrated trait that many of us see as a sign of weakness.

From the most adorable and obvious to perhaps the most confusing and, at times, intimidating, here are some of the symbolisms of forgiveness that may help you forget the misdeeds that happened.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

– Mahatma Gandhi
forgiveness allows us to move forward

Symbolism of Forgiveness

While some refuse to apologize even when they are evidently wrong, forgiveness allows us to move forward, even if words of guilt and regret were never expressed. Since we are surrounded by symbols that communicate an apology and remorsefulness, let’s take a look at what inspires us to be forgiving of others.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

– Lewis B. Smedes


Known for being faithful and loyal companions, dogs are perhaps some of the most loving and forgiving pets that anyone could ever have. While their playful nature may be frustrating at times, showing these extremely intelligent creatures our disappointment teaches them to back off and be more submissive. However, rest assured that as your feeling of guilt rushes in, your dog may have already moved on and is ready to once more show you its undying love and affection. Read here more about the spiritual meaning of the dog.

A spirit animal that symbolizes friendship, loyalty, and devotion, it’s almost impossible for these furry creatures to stay mad at us forever.



Arguably one of the most popular and easily recognizable insects that frequently visit our gardens, the ladybug is favored by many for its amazing ability to keep lawns and crops healthy and pest-free. Revered as a symbol of childhood, happiness, and good fortune, they would often swoop in our life at times when we seem to need to reclaim our childlike innocence.

As kids have been observed to live in the present and are less likely to dwell in the pains of the past, it enables them to feel bad one moment and be laughing their hearts out the next. The ladybug flies in to remind us that forgiveness helps us heal for it helps us let go of the pain and move forward with a lighter heart. Read here more about the symbolism of the ladybug.



Often blooming with a combination of two colors, the daffodil is an attractive flower that blossoms in spring, symbolizing hope and new beginnings. Typically at its prettiest for only about three weeks, it is widely recognized as a flower of second chances and fresh opportunities and definitely stands for the symbolism of forgiveness.

these flowers hearten us to find the bright side

While getting hurt naturally puts us in a position where we can’t see the good that came with a certain upsetting situation, these charming spring flowers hearten us to find the bright side and be more compassionate and understanding individuals. Little do we know that holding a grudge and walking around with bitterness hurts our other relationships, which is why acknowledging the presence of the daffodil enables us to lead a more peaceful and harmonious life.

“Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.”

– Oscar Wilde

Purple hyacinth

Held in reverence for being the flower of the sun god Apollo, hyacinths are widely known to symbolize power, commitment, happiness, and peace. Admired by royals throughout the ages for its distinct and lasting fragrance, the purple hyacinth signifies the exact moment of our missteps and the feeling of deep regret that goes with it.

A symbol of sorrow, royalty, and forgiveness, these sweet-smelling blooms remind us to be more forgiving of others for it makes seeing things in a more positive light easy and helps build stronger bonds.

Purple hyacinth symbol forgiveness

Clasped hands

Widely recognized as an indication of insecurity and self-doubt, clasping our hands together in a prayer-like position has been identified by some to be a symbolism for forgiveness. Creating a relatively comforting feeling that helps soothe our nerves, and helps reduce our anxiety. It also leads to feelings of empathy, understanding, and compassion for those whom you’ve wronged which ultimately brings peace to your life.

clasped hands symbol forgiveness Symbolism of Forgiveness: The Most Powerful Symbols

Recognized for its ability to lift the heavy loads of resentment off our shoulders, this symbolism of forgiveness allows the wounds in our hearts to heal and help us to finally achieve a peaceful mind.

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”

Thomas Szasz

Knot of reconciliation

Considered a trait that defines inner peace, forgiveness is a gift that we wholeheartedly give to others yet largely benefits ourselves. A highly revered symbol that represents calmness, pardon, and friendship, the Mpatapo or the Knot of Reconciliation signifies the agreement between adversaries to work towards peaceful reconciliation. An image that represents friendship and accord, particularly after a conflict, helps get rid of our concerns and distress, as well as joy and courage to face life’s more demanding challenges.

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

Mark Twain

The cross

A renowned symbol of Christianity, the cross reminds us of the sacrifices of Jesus Christ and how he redeemed Christians from their sins through his Passion and death. It was employed as an instrument of punishment as well as a symbol of indecency and humiliation by the authorities in the past. However, the crucifixion, and eventual demise of Christ, transformed such an intimidating structure into a symbol of love, fulfilled promises, and forgiveness.

The cross reminds us that although letting bygones be bygones is easier said than done, forgiving those who have brought us pain gives us the freedom to move on from the negative effects of anger and bitterness. Not only does it provide us with the courage to let go of the guilt we feel towards ourselves, but it also inspires us to be a good example to others.

cross symbol forgiveness


Although some feel that forgiveness is a sign of vulnerability, choosing to let go of the pain and anger empowers us to go on with life equipped with a heart that’s full of compassion and mercy. While forgiveness is not easily given particularly when the pain and displeasure have gone deep, these symbolisms appear to calm our hearts and teach them to forgive and forget.

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Author: Rachel Meyer
Meet Rachel, a veterinarian in Pasadena, California, and a valued contributor to our blog. Rachel brings a wealth of expertise to the table, with a particular focus on the intersection of symbolism, nature, and spirituality. She shares her knowledge and insights on our blog on regular basis.

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