We all experience being hurt by someone else, and we also hurt others, whether it be intentionally or not. Being able to ask for their forgiveness or saying we are sorry is an excellent quality to possess.
Forgiving someone is not always easy, and sometimes it can be messy, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Being able to forgive someone is a sign of strength and can be extremely liberating as it soothes the soul.
Do you see forgiveness as a gift that only soft-hearted people are capable of? Or do you see forgiving someone as a sign of weakness, where you are allowing someone to walk all over you? Do you feel empowered if you show that you won’t tolerate their misconduct or wrongdoing?
In these situations, it can be difficult to know if you are showing a sign of strength or a sign of weakness. In short, forgiving someone can sometimes feel like you are the one in the wrong, and that you are the one with no strength of character.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
When we think of forgiveness in this way, we’re looking at forgiveness as being on the losing end or being at a disadvantage. Forgiveness is not about losing to someone who you may feel is stronger than you, and you need to look at this from a different perspective.
What Forgiveness Is All About
Forgiveness is less about the other person and more about you. Whenever someone commits a mistake or wrongdoing against you, chances are, whatever has been done cannot be undone.
The reasons for being unable to forgive someone are many. It can range from a very minor reason to a life-changing one that dramatically affects everyone, and it may inflict emotional pain that cannot be forgotten or ignored.
Whatever mistake or wrongdoing has been committed is now in the past. No matter how bad or how raw it still feels. It’s done and cannot be undone.
To not forgive has you reliving the pain of that memory over and over again. When something bad happens, feeling angry is the most common reaction and it is an acceptable emotion. But if you can’t forgive it holds you in that painful moment for a very long time. Letting go is the exact opposite. It helps give you freedom from any painful memory.
How Can Forgiveness Be a Sign of Strength?
Forgiveness isn’t easy because it’s not for the weak. The only ones capable of forgiving others are those who have the ‘strength’ to realize and understand that amidst all the pain they’ve experienced, responding in hatred for an indefinite period won’t restore what was lost.
To forgive is to be capable of mercy and to accept that humanity is indeed fallible. Holding on to the pain will only break your heart further, and it’s the same pain that was caused by the unfortunate circumstance or event.
However it may appear, forgiveness is not synonymous with condoning any wrongdoings or regaining trust once it had been tested or completely lost. It is less about the offender or the circumstance that’s beyond your control, but more about your freedom to choose to let go. Don’t let unfortunate situations dictate your path and keep you from moving forward.
Forgiveness is choosing inner peace and letting go of holding on to anger and conflict. The vibrations associated with it are of a higher frequency and bring love, joy, peace, prosperity, and abundance. Whereas in the case of unforgiveness, it is the exact opposite. There is nothing but continued hate and mistrust.
Therefore, forgiveness is a strength and not a weakness. So you won’t be looked down upon if you can forgive someone for all the hurt and pain they may have caused you. You will be the strong one! Being capable of forgiving someone should make you feel proud as you are the one showing the strength of character and courage.
As Buddha says, ‘Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.’ The truth about holding onto grudges is that we are that person who ends up emotionally dying, not the begrudged one.