I have a “forgive” tattoo on my wrist. Let me tell you why.

Some days we simply need reminders in life.

If it’s a reminder to slow down.

To breathe.

To love ourselves a bit more. 

Or … to forgive.

For this reason, I chose to get a tattoo of the word “forgive,” written in my mom’s handwriting, for my 47th birthday. I placed the tattoo on the outside of my left wrist as a reminder for not only me but for the world, to forgive.

Forgive Tattoo. The Story Behind My “Forgive” Tattoo by Sara Schulting Kranz.

My son said it best, “Sitting across a table from you (and seeing your wrist) will make others think.”

Yes, child, that is my hope.

As I wrote in my book, Walk Through This:

Practicing forgiveness is required to heal.

You cannot fully experience a new way of living without letting go of what doesn’t serve you well today. It’s a road less traveled, this “unbecoming to become,” and one I pray will become more utilized in this world.

So how do you begin?

It starts with looking in the mirror.

My mom taught me a lot about my forgiveness journey. And I’ve taught her a lot, too. We had our fair share of arguments and moments of laughter throughout my divorce and healing. I called her in the middle of the night crying. She held space when I was angry, spewing words of “not knowing what to do.” She told me her thoughts and opinions, and I pushed back when I didn’t like what I heard — even when I knew she was right. We had deep, deep conversations about life and starting over. She’s been there for me every step of the way.

My mom was my mirror.

Years later, rehearsing for my TEDx talk on Forgiving, she listened to me recite the same words over + over on FaceTime providing support and guidance. Every time I needed her, she was there. A mother’s love knows no boundaries. It makes sense that I’d want a piece of her in my tattoo for life.

At first, dad wasn’t so happy about my tattoo idea. To be honest, I’m not so sure mom was, either. But when I asked her to please send me the word forgive written in her handwriting, she said, “I know you. And you will get the tattoo whether I send this to you or not. So I may as well!” I responded, “You are correct. And it wouldn’t be nearly as meaningful if not in your script.”

As I lay down on the table and had the tattoo put on my wrist, I thought about how grateful I am for my life. I have three amazing kids. So many life lessons have been handed to me and continue to be. And every moment — whether difficult or not — continues to lead me to another adventurous way of living.

I love my beautiful tattoo, as do my mom and dad. And I hope you do, too.

Use it as a reminder to live your life full of truth, inspiration, and hope. Choose to surround yourself with people and things that hold meaning. Don’t settle for “less than.” And always be true to yourself.

Remember, forgiving always leads us back to the unconditional love of self — which is the foundation of a happy life.

And isn’t that what we are all worthy of?

I believe so.

Go back to this sentence:

You cannot fully experience a new way of living without letting go of what doesn’t serve you well today.

Now ask yourself, “What are you willing and ready to let go of in order to welcome in?”

This is something for you to consider and journal about. Write out your thoughts and feel free to share with me. Or keep them to yourself and know that you are taking steps to get there.

I love you.



See my Ted Talk on forgiveness here.



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