“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.
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.