Revenge is not so sweet

I’ve heard the saying that “revenge is sweet.” But is it? Is it really “sweet”? And, if so, how long does that sweetness last? I believe, at the most, it’s momentary before we gasp at what we really have done. And do our words or our actions show who we really are? Is that how we want to be remembered?

We need to ask ourselves who we are actually getting back at. Is it the person who just insulted us and hurt us, or is it an accumulation of hurts and insults that has gotten triggered by this most recent incident? Or is it possibly the original traumatic incident rearing its ugly head once again and that affects us still?

The feeling of revenge is not a pleasant one. It taps into our shadow side, that side we keep hidden most of the time and tamp down at other times. It’s not our real self, our true self. This wanting for revenge pulls up the dregs of negativism we hold within. And that one situation pulls up a long memory of negative instances that may or may not relate.

I’m thinking the basis for wanting revenge has its roots in realizing that someone close to us, or even ourselves, has been unjustly hurt or harmed in some way. And we don’t feel that harm was deserved. In the case of someone close, it’s a hurt we take on and want justification for. We feel what has happened is unfair. But who said life is always fair, as we see it? An example might be that after watching a sibling train really hard for years, we thought they deserved to win the competition. Or knowing a friend who worked day and night, but was overlooked at being promoted. It’s like our sibling or friend has somehow earned that reward. But have they? Have they really earned it? How many times in our youth did we feel we deserved to be allowed to go to an activity because we always listened to our parents and did what they asked? Or deserved to get that good grade because we tried so hard? The issue of deserving is a dilemma for sure.

I feel that resentments are the building blocks, so to speak, of that desire for revenge. The more we concentrate on our own gifts and abilities, without comparing ourselves to others, the less resentment we will feel. And for those gifts and abilities, we can give thanks.

We may feel justified at wanting revenge but acting on it may get us into trouble. The repercussions of our action may be extensive, negatively affecting not only us but many of those close to us that we thought we were coming to bat for, so to speak.

And then there is the issue of feeling someone does deserve what they get, the punishment doled out. How do we really know? How do we really know what’s going on inside that person, what they’re really dealing with in their day-to-day life?

Revenge has a domino effect. There is the present situation but then we recall other similar situations in our past that put fuel on the fire and egg us on down the path of revenge. And the intensity of the feeling increases until we develop a plan to “get back at” the most recent person involved. We want to embarrass them, hurt them, give them a dose of their own medicine.

It’s sometimes difficult to wait and let the person at fault dig themselves into a deeper hole. And it may not happen in our lifetime. Maybe that’s where faith comes in — that it will be handled justly all in due time and not necessarily by us, although we would like to see it. We have to trust that it will happen.

Many believe in the principle of karma, a force generated by our actions. In other words, what goes around comes around, be it good or bad. And I’ve noticed that it’s exactly what happens. Maybe not in the way we would have planned but in the way that matters in the growth of the person. I believe that we are all here in this kind of school on Earth to learn what we need to learn, ridding ourselves of destructive emotions, overcoming our challenges, and learning to spread the goodness inherit in our being through the choices we make in life.

There are many trails up a mountain, some easier and some more difficult. We focus on reaching the top. Some of us achieve our goal and some of us linger at certain spots along the way. At times we may choose an incorrect path or even slip backwards. Some may even decide they can no longer continue and opt for another day or not at all. And so it is with life. What we learn along the way is truly worth the journey.

Mother Nature allows for weakness. Yet the weak plants are more susceptible to disease; the weak creatures are more susceptible to predators. Are mankind’s negative emotions actually our predator? We need to calm our negative emotions like resentment and revenge and choose another path, one that will enhance both us and those we come in contact with.

In essence, our negative emotions do cause us to be a lot less than the kind and loving people we really are. It’s up to us to choose which trail to follow as we each climb our respective mountains in life.

Revengeful people spread their hatred and negativity around like a cancer which grows and grows. Kind and loving people can spread their happiness around, radiating positivity and goodness wherever they go. The choice is ours. Which way do you choose?

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Debby Havas is an author living in Jay. Her writings describe her experiences in the healing energies of Mother Nature.


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