This quote from Mohatma Ghandi popped up in something I was reading this week: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Prior to the discussion of what forgiveness is (is it letting the perpetator off the hook, or not?)there is the question, who is able to forgive? Ghandi says only the strong can forgive. Having been a victim of an injury indicates that one has been weakened. How does one get strong enough to forgive?
It seems to me there is some validity to the perspective that emotions such as anger are similar to warning lights on the dashboard. A flashing light indicates something is wrong. The problem must be corrected before the warning light will go off. In the same way, anger over an injury is a warning that the perpetrator is dangerous to one’s well being. As long as there is perceived danger from the perpetrator, the warning light is going to flash whenever the memory comes up. This is a good, normal, healthy thing. When one is no longer in danger, the warning flash is no longer necessary.
For myself, learning the ins-and outs of cultic Christian groups and narcissistic leaders has brought confidence that I can spot ’em now. I know objectively what was wrong with G. Geftakys and the Assembly, and am no longer in danger from them, or any group like them.
I have acquired the tools to keep myself safe. My soul can be relieved from the torment of unresolved anger. I am now strong enough to fogive. I can turn the perpetrators over to the hands of God’s righteousness judgment.
But because I am a being who forms conditioned responses to stimuli, the flash still goes off unnecessarily sometimes. I have to remind myself of my safety, and consciously release the perpetrators again into God’s hands. This is probably part of “the renewing of the mind.”