“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” —Mahatma Gandhi
Forgiveness is not for the weak. Being able to forgive those who have wronged you is a sign of spiritual strength and confidence. When you forgive, you grow, your heart begins to heal, your back straightens up, your heart clear so that you can see the road ahead. Anger is a spiritual sickness; but when you forgive, you live.
We all go through bumps in our lives. We all get bumped, wronged, lose our loved ones, get hurt by people, organizations we work for, etc. No one is exempt from this. All of us, however, have two choices on how to face these. One, you can be bitter, miserable and unforgiving forever or two, you can grieve and then face the future with newly sober eyes. Having a great attitude and forgiving is about choosing number two. Choose, no matter how difficult it is, no matter what pain hits you, to move forward by taking baby steps into the future. Moving forward is saying, “I’m better than this!” Moving forward saves you from drowning yourself in bitterness and toxicity. Paulo Coelho put it succinctly when he said, “You drown not by falling into the river, but by staying submerged in it.”
When I was seven years old, my dad was severely stabbed and hacked to death, but his killers were never arrested. When I was sixteen years old, my mother was badly killed by the car in a botched hijacking, the driver of the car had been shot dead. The hijackers, call them killers, were never arrested. Two years later, my elder brother was mysteriously killed and the family and I were advised by legal experts to seek justice but chose to move on. All these things happened in my neighbourhood. You see, I could’ve hunted down these killers and avenge my family but I chose to forgive them, was it easy, no!
In a corporate world, as an employee, I was abused a number of times by some managers who could’ve easily destroyed my life, but once again, I chose to forgive them and moved on. As a business consultant, I lost some business because I couldn’t work against my conscience. Some companies would hire me as a consultant to help them change the culture within the organisation, but when I discovered how bad some managers were abusing their power towards their employees, I was expected to overlook it. When I presented the honest and truthful reports to the executives, it rubbed their egos the wrong way and in order to hide this, I had to be sacrificed somehow. It’s better to lose money then your sole, trust me. I’m able to sleep at night because my conscience is clear, I never sold anybody just to get money. I chose to forgive these people and what is sad though is that they keep on preaching to everyone that they want to see change and transformation whereas they are the stumbling blocks for the change they claim they want to see.
Forgiveness is truly not for the weak, but there’s magic about it, you travel lighter with a clear conscience. You don’t forgive because you are forced to nor for others to feel better, that’s pretence. Forgiveness is a personal choice, it’s knowing that you are better than holding grudges and becoming toxic. If you don’t forgive, you become like water in a dam, you accumulate algae, become salty and all kinds of bacteria thrive in you. Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner.
One of my assignments this past week was to mediate between two fighting parties. What really struck me between my eyes, was the level of anger some members of these groups showed, their logic and reasoning were blocked. When you’re angry and bitter about the situation, your thinking ability switches off, you think emotionally. There are a number of people whose dreams never took off because they’re locked inside this prison called anger and bitterness, they never forgive. These people are always seeking revenge. You hear them saying, “I’ll never forgive this person until I get even!” This person is stuck in the thinking that forgiveness is for the person who did them wrong, not for themselves.
As a results coach, motivational speaker and author, I come across so people who never achieve the results they would love to not because they lack the ability and skills, but because their mindset is misplaced. They are unnecessarily carrying an emotional and spiritual heavy load that is depleting their willpower.
Our thoughts have magnetic power, what we think about, we bring about. If you don’t forgive, your thinking vocabulary becomes revenge and hitting back. If, however, you grieve or forgive and say to yourself, “I’m much better than this!” and then move on to face the future with newly sober eyes, you’ll travel lighter in life, be more creative, innovative, happy and grateful. Success favours those who travel lighter and showing gratitude towards life.
This is the time for you to set yourself free, travel lighter and enjoy the healing power of forgiveness. The world has long been waiting for your greatness, unleash it!
Veli Ndaba is a Professional and Motivational Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of four books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON! And Set Your Soul On Fire!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to speak at your next event or to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on email@example.com, www.velindaba.com or +27 83 304 9773