Forgiveness is one of the least understood of all spiritual practices. It has nothing to do with condoning poor behavior in ourselves and others. Rather, it calls us to responsibility. In forgiving ourselves, we make the journey from guilt for what we have done (or not done) to celebration of what we have become. This transformation of heart comes about through reflecting on the results of our mistakes, understanding how ignorance or woundedness created those actions, and doing the necessary healing so that we will do better next time. Error calls us to repentance, which means literally to think again. It is the crucible in which the soul is forged and the psyche healed. Mistakes, in fact, are sacred because of the powerful potential for growth that they contain.

Joan Borysenko, The Ways of the Mystic