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Revenge Is A Form Of Self Harm

Revenge Is A Form Of Self Harm

I’ve never been much interested in revenge, or in the idea of getting even with people who I feel have wronged me.

I think it’s a way of being in the world that causes the person doing it far more harm than it is likely to cause their intended victim. There’s nothing like obsessing over the focus of your ire to poison your life. 

Letting go and moving on do far more good than being focused on someone who hurt you. That, of course is a process, and the greater the damage done the more work it takes to get past it. I don’t personally believe that forgiveness has to be part of this process – this is very much up to each of us to decide. I don’t need to forgive in order to untangle myself from my history. As far as I’m concerned, forgiveness depends on apology and remorse. However, I entirely support anyone choosing to forgive on their own terms. Do whatever you need to do to reclaim your life and head towards better things.

Tom used to say, ‘the best revenge is to be much better people,’ and I like that as a thought form. The best revenge is to live well, and be happy, and not have your life defined by things that happened to you. It’s not always easy, especially not in the short term, but it pays off in the long term.

It’s all too easy to end up projecting our own anxieties and shortcomings onto other people and then persuading ourselves that we will feel better if we can take them down in some way. It doesn’t work, because no matter what damage you inflict on someone else, you still get to be yourself, and the anxieties and shortcomings do not disappear. Pulling someone else down does not raise a person up. Quite the opposite – when we set out to cause harm, we are the one person we can count on harming.

Resentment and jealousy are miserable feelings, and investing time and effort in them just brings a person down. I’ve watched a few people do this and it’s always ugly. Blaming other people can be a way of distracting ourselves from our own issues, but it also traps us where we are and stops us from making productive changes. Plotting revenge or wanting to get back at someone uses up time and energy but doesn’t give much in return. It is better by far to seek nourishing things, comforting things, opportunities for growth and healing. Nothing stops a person from healing emotionally like being fixated on the person who caused the hurt in the first place.

My other major reason for not being interested in revenge is that it is entirely unnecessary. The people who cause deliberate harm will do themselves plenty of damage without any help from me. Also, they have to live with themselves, inside their own heads, being the people, they are. The rest of us could never come up with anything as hurtful as the things malicious people do to themselves and the ways in which they damage their relationships and limit their own options with their choices. I’m a big believer in this kind of poetic justice and in my experience, if you can be patient it will just happen. Even if you can’t see it, people who choose to be hurtful and harmful are condemning themselves to cold and joyless lives. Sometimes I feel pity in face of this, but mostly what I wish such people is the opportunity to learn and become a better person.

We all get to choose how we live, and what we focus on. I spend most of my time focused on the people who delight me. This week, the troll has been back on the blog, so I’ve been thinking again about what could possibly be going on in this person’s life to make them so bitter and unpleasant. It must be a lonely way to live, but it’s a helpful reminder to look at my own choices and not let myself be too much affected by someone else’s shit-show.

Credit

druid life

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings.
Credit: druidlife.wordpress.com
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