“The weak can never forgive, forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Ghandi
Many people believe that forgiveness comes after ‘sorry’. But the truth is, forgiveness does not require ‘sorry’ at all.
You see, ‘sorry’ is a word used by another person; someone who is outside of your control. Oftentimes, this word can sound hollow and meaningless in the midst of pain, confusion and broken trust. When your relationship has been damaged, ‘sorry’ can have very little restorative power at all. The true power lies in the forgiveness, and that can be a difficult path to tread – especially if you choose to remain broken and weak.
As Ghandi suggests, it truly requires strength to forgive; and the only thing that will prevent you from forgiving is you, not the wrongdoer. This is where many remain trapped in unforgiveness, and allow their own pride to imprison them. Sadly, you will both remain trapped until forgiveness unlocks freedom and brings restoration to a relationship.
“Forgiving someone may cost you your pride, but not forgiving them will cost you your freedom.” Anon
An example in my own life is when someone strikes a sensitive chord or brings a challenge where I feel most vulnerable. For me, this is in relation to my intellect. Even when delivered light-heartedly, any moment where I feel exposed for how little I know will cause me to react defensively and take offense. My pride will tempt me to attack, and immediately put up a protective barrier between me and my ‘offender’.
Sadly, my relationships can sometimes be damaged when another person innocently makes a joke and means no harm towards me at all. This causes so much self-inflicted pain.
I allow my own insecurities to define who I am, and they cloud my vision of how I see others too. Pain comes not only with the damaged view I have of myself, but in the broken relationship left as a result. The longer I choose this path, the more pain I will feel.
Forgiving is about fully coming to terms with how you feel towards yourself, before you begin to examine your broken relationships and how you feel about others. Until you forgive yourself, you will never forgive anyone else.