The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Why is it that only the strong can forgive? Because it takes strength to go for what you want in life, and to face the occasional failure and rejection that come with it. It’s easier to have an excuse for not living your life to the fullest. Moreover, it’s hard to stop thinking about the unjust treatment you’ve received.
Forgiving does not mean you approve of the hurtful behavior you’ve received. It is crucial to learn to protect yourself from similar harm in the future. Yet, you can also choose to stop feeling angry toward those who caused you harm.
Ironically, holding onto anger, no matter how justified, keeps you in victim status to the perpetrator, and this constricts your heart, spirit, and mind.
Forgiveness is not an easy, normal human reaction. But once you decide to let go of the desire to get even with someone who has hurt you, you free your heart and mind to live more expansively.
Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.
by Alison Poulsen, PhD