"What the axe forgets the tree remembers," is an old African proverb that suggests the person who is harmed always remembers. This just might be true. But, let the players play, the haters hate and let the universe handle their fate. The best revenge is to have enough self-worth not to seek it. I'm not saying you don't love yourself if you do otherwise. Rather deny your impulses and base instincts *drop that baseball bat and put your earrings back on, LOL.* Move on from the conflict and the slight and look for peace instead. No matter what it is you are going through right now, obsessing over how you’ve been wronged - whether it is a co-worker who keeps throwing you to the wolves, a spouse or partner who can’t get it right if their mother’s life depended on it, a parent who continues to fail you, or the betrayal that comes unexpectedly from your closest friend - repeatedly hurts and results in more anger. I don’t necessarily think anger itself is terrible. It’s a part of the healing process….aaaaaand we are human. We are emotional, healing is a gradual and unique process for each of us. But (of course there is a but), if we focus on the anger for too long, we might start thinking about payback. We may start wanting our friends, our coworkers, our spouses, whomever to swallow one or two jagged, little pills and taste their own medicine. It might feel great in the moment but it’s not the answer my loves.
Revenge does nothing more than reduce us to a level we have no business being on the first place. It is impossible for us to take revenge with pure motives for anyone we think deserves it. It makes us no better than the person who wronged us. You might be thinking ‘I don’t want to be better I want to be even,’ - but why? I would challenge there is more freedom in liberating yourself from the stress and emotional energy you may use in trying to trap up the coworker that is always trying to make you look bad or take credit for your creativity. Change your approach and response instead because trust me this person knows the affect their actions have on you. Focus on what you learned and move forward. Don’t compound the situation with payback. I’m not here to life coach you, but experience has taught me either through my own foolish acts or learning from watching others, revenge either backfires or the gratification is so short-lived it’s not worth it. IF there is gratification.
There is a quick, little read I love, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I’m not a Hindu by any stretch of the imagination however there are some practical approaches in the laws that are worth re-rereading several times a year:
- The Law of Least Effort basically says take people, events and situations as they occur and most importantly relinquish the need to defend your point of view. Whew. It’s a journey. I’m almost there. But seriously, wrong people know they are wrong. Let your absence-slash-silence speak for itself. Revenge is unnecessary.
- The other law that is relevant to this topic is the Law of Detachment. Allow yourself and others to be free to be who they are. There is much more to this law but I’m getting to brass tacks, as they say. Let me be clear, this does not mean just because you accept a person as they are means you approve of what they’ve done or their behavior. You might also have to ‘accept’ them from a distance. That is your choice, but it still saves you from doing something that is not a good look for you or adds more stress to your life in the long run.
We can engage in silly acts of revenge that make us feel angry with ourselves and praying for forgiveness as we are trying to forgive the person we feel betrayed by. Talk about feeling stuck between a rock-and-a-hard place. Who is to blame in that situation?
My advice is easier said than done, I know this. But my final word is the best revenge is no revenge. I believe in God’s power for His children and the innocent. We are not to interfere and retaliate but to leave it in His hands, whatever the outcome may look like.