There is something deliciously satisfying about the thought of getting even with someone who has caused you pain. Yet, no matter how pleasing the thought, the act of getting even is fleeting, illusory, unfulfilling.
The only thing that getting even does is lower you to someone else’s level. It does not bring you lasting peace. And it definitely does not change whatever happened to cause you grief.
When the man who was actively engaged in making the ‘death’ part of his promise to love me forever was arrested, I desperately wanted to make him pay for all the pain and horror he had caused in my life and the lives of those I love. I wanted him to feel my pain. To know the totality of all that he had done.
Wasn’t going to happen.
There was nothing in this world that I could do that would cause him anguish without also causing me pain. To get even with him I would have to have contact with him. And that was not healing, safe nor smart for me. Nor would it have accomplished my goal. He did what he did because that was a reflection of who he is, where he lived, how he walked through this world. I’d been there long enough with him. I had no desire to go back.
Admittedly, there were moments where my thoughts drifted into gleeful persecution of him. Occasionally, to relieve the pressure in my mind and heart, I would stand in the shower and imagine dipping him in a vat of hot tar, dousing him in feathers and then rolling him up in one of the priceless rugs he so loved and running over him with one of those big road paving roller machines until he was as flat as Wiley Coyote of cartoon fame. And that would be the end of that. I would let the warm waters of the shower wash over me and wash all thoughts of him down the drain.
Cleansed of my need for revenge, I would return to finding my path out of the darkness into the light of living peacefully with all my heart in the now.
Living peacefully with all my heart in the now was my truth. My life. My way.
Thoughts of getting even with him only kept me stuck in his truth, his life, his way.
I deserved better.
I needed more.
We all have moments of wanting to slip off our road of integrity into the muck of someone else’s bad behaviour. Don’t do it. Don’t give into the pull of getting even. It will only leave you wearing the dirt of the past and feeling the anguish of someone else’s choices ‘back then’ in the here and now.
If the lure of getting even grows too strong and you feel yourself succumbing to its call, take a shower. Just for a moment, let your mind wander as far as it must into the imaginary world where your getting even sets things right. And then, lovingly bring it back into the present. Be unstoppable in your desire to walk tall and proud. Be unstoppable in living this one wild and precious life with all your heart beating strong on the high road of your integrity. Walk proud. Live strong.
This post is in response to today’s one word – Daily Prompt. Unstoppable.