The Weak and the Strong

always defend your right to heal at ypur own pace

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

I wonder what you make of a quote like this?

Most of us think highly of Mahatma Gandhi; and yet I feel uneasy when I think about these words. For the quote conveys the message that you’re lacking character if you feel you can’t forgive, or you don’t want to forgive.

And, yes, it’s easy to forgive when it is just a minor matter. It would be petty and small-minded to bear a grudge like that. But if you’re seriously mistreated or the cut is raw and deep, then forget about forgiving. It’s a low priority.

For …

The open wound must be cleaned out; the pain must be anesthetized. You might require stitches; then the scar tissue must form. And you’ll need to take it easy, to slow down, and let things heal. This is going to take a while – for nature has its own timeline.

And it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re practising self-care. And you’re doing what is needed. You are putting first things first.

It’s an appropriate reaction. It’s an act of self-respect.

Someone left you bruised and beaten, lying in a pool of blood.

So the order must be right … You need to work on healing first. For the wound could get infected if you don’t attend to it.

And it’s wrong to say forgiving is the proof that we are strong.

When you’re traumatized and bleeding, it takes strength to rise again.

It takes strength to heal the damage, then enforce good boundaries.

It takes strength to say “I matter”, and my healing matters most.


23 thoughts on “The Weak and the Strong

  1. Heal then forgive those are the steps right?
    But what does it really take to heal? i have often battled with admitting my part of the problem and i have grown to learn that that should be the first step to healing
    Great read ❤

    Liked by 4 people

      • I’m 4 years out from discovery and still healing, although I am much better from a trauma standpoint, and from the betrayals. Still working, though.

        Recovery is not linear, that’s for sure.

        I am finding that forgiveness is coming in bits (it’s not like no forgiveness one day and total forgiveness the next). As my husband works on his stuff and addresses the great harm to me and our marriage, then as he works on repairs with empathy, I find myself forgiving him in small bits. As he is getting much better at listening to me, that is helping the process too. Of course, it means we (as betrayed) must have processed the pain & trauma and be willing to let some things go… even bit by bit. At least that’s how I see the forgiveness process.

        Thanks for blogging. I haven’t felt like writing lately. It does help to read, reflect, respond.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for sharing beleeme. I think that’s the relationship many of us have with healing from trauma and forgiveness. Four years might sound like a long time for someone who hasn’t been through this but unfortunately it isn’t so long …. I’m glad you feel things are often better …

        Liked by 1 person

  2. thank you for this! Healing at my own pace sounds so much more nurturing rather than using the word weak. I agree with you, it sounds negative because i think the quote makes a generalized rule about a particular group of people, if you want to really analyze it! But its true i think. I don’t generalize. healing and forgiving in my own time and pace and that is ok. sending blessings.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I think it’s true. Forgiveness doesn’t mean they were right but that you recognise they were human and are letting go of the pain. Forgiveness helps the forgiver much more than the forgiven. I know I need to let go of a lot of stuff. For all it does is hurt me. It doesn’t make people who hurt me right. It takes away their power. If that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think it depends on the person and the act committed. I do believe in forgiveness. But some things cut deep and you need time to get over your anger and hurt.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. If we are deeply wounded then it’s unlikely we wii be able to forgive right away. You need time to process what has happened and perhaps grieve for the injury and losses.

        Liked by 1 person

      • And I completely agree that some people should never be trusted and some relationships should never be restored. We need to protect ourselves. Memory is there to protect us from further harm. We owe it to ourselves to withdraw from some relationships and to refuse to have anything to do with certain people. That is wisdom, and appropriate self-love and self-care.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Desmond Tutu wrote a fabulous book on forgiveness. It is called The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold for Healing Ourselves and our World. It deals with the process of forgiving when the wounds are very deep (murder etc). You might find it worth a read. I found it really helpful both as a counsellor and a Christian.


      • I agree that the feeling of anger is unpleasant and destructive – I hate it! But it would be a mistake to think we have to wait until the FEELING goes away before we can make the CHOICE to forgive. If the guilty party goes unpunished, the feeling might actually grow, if anything. Then you’re stuck in a bad place.
        At least for me, the answer was admitting I couldn’t solve my own problems, I couldn’t heal myself or make the feelings go away. I need God’s help, or I’m lost.


    • What I’m saying is that forgiveness is an act of obedience, giving the matter to God. It isn’t saying I don’t hurt, or what they did was OK, it’s letting go of my right to get even. That takes a huge burden off and gives GOD the opportunity to heal me (because I can’t heal myself). Personally I’ll never heal as long as I am holding onto resentment(unforgiveness).
      Also, forgiving is NOT forgetting. A woman who was deliberately blinded by an intruder and had forgiven him pointed out that she obviously can’t forget that she’s blind. She said forgiveness makes the difference between the memory being a clean scar or a festering wound.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. People think of forgiveness as feeling better, but forgiveness isn’t a feeling, it’s a decision. And it’s an act of obedience to God, who told us to forgive if we want to be forgiven. (Yikes!) And He never tells us to do something without equipping us to do it.
    “But I don’t FEEL like forgiving!”
    “And your point is …?”
    Once I realized that I could CHOOSE to forgive, no matter how I felt, it was a game changer for me. The act of forgiving set me free, and the healing came … eventually. It took a while, but I had made the choice, and the healing started when I decided that I wasn’t going to let what someone else did control my life.
    (I hope that makes sense.)


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