Sweet revenge. The need to get back at someone and make them pay ... because they caused you pain and deserve to feel the same way. Right?
I get it. Been there. Done that. Struggling at this present moment with it, actually. Maybe like you, with certain people in my life, I battle mind and soul with the challenge of taking the high road.
First, let's look at why we want revenge.
It's natural. Positioning oneself to fight back is a human response to being wronged. We feel a gut-jerk reaction that makes us want to sneak in an extra man, yank that ball away from the opponent and even the score.
We've all struggled with that puffing vengeful lineman - that smoking little devil on our shoulder - who tries to convince us that we are ENTITLED to revenge. An eye for an eye. We want justice. But could there be a wiser way to get there?
When we just want to scream back at the person who seems to be torturing us, is loud retaliation really what makes things fair? And is it really up to us?
I think time teaches us a thing or two about revenge.
As we age, I believe most of us look back and see things more clearly. We might begin to realize that most of those times we have tried to yell back, throw an emotional punch and 'even the score,' we didn't actually feel better in the end.
Maybe we struck back immediately, later feeling like a fool ourselves, realizing there was more to the story. We should have taken a step back and looked at the bigger picture.
Perhaps in hindsight, we saw that we acted much unlike ourselves, lowering our values, being blinded by anger and revenge. We were later embarrassed that we had been reactive instead of reasonable.
Maybe posting hurtful words on social media or shaming that person in front of a friend brought you a blip of validation in the moment. But you might have felt very different when you looked back through the following week's lenses with a new understanding of the situation. Maybe you wonder if you actually look more foolish than they? It happens to the best of us.
Truth is, looking back, we usually see that we weren't rewarded with the satisfaction we were seeking.
And we didn't really feel that great about the high fives we got from the fans in our cheering section when our opponent was left injured on the field. We were left staring at the scattered confetti on the grass, feeling blisters inside our cleats, wishing we weren't playing in the game at all.
We might even feel worse than before, wishing that we had not let our need for revenge hijack our normally compassionate hearts. Perhaps we have taught ourselves (on our good days) to be open, mindful, even meditative, yet . . . we are only human and we lose our best selves sometimes. Especially when we've been hurt.
There could be a certain person that has our number. We allow him or her to dismember that inner strength inside of us again and again - and we often later regret engaging with them in the same back-and-forth, time after time, without really getting anywhere at all. Why do we keep doing that? We get caught up in trying to correct who they are by yelling back, trying to change a mind that is not ours to change.
We keep thinking we actually can convince the other person that we are right if we just say it louder, or in another language, or through another method of attack.
Then we live a few more years and begin to understand that we really have no control over how other people think, believe or act. Increasing the volume on our rebuttal merely exhausts us . . . not them.
We learn that getting loud with retaliation does not make that other person see things our way. Nope. It actually validates that we are more like them - noisy, insecure and low-minded.
That's not the goal our souls are aiming for - not if we are seeking a higher consciousness, peace and happiness, that is.
Here is what I want you to digest before you react again: Another person's bad behaviors are about THEM, not about YOU.
They are about insecurities, beliefs and a history inside of them that are beyond your control.
What you need to know about your own behaviors:
Confidence is QUIET. Insecurity is LOUD.
Which message do you want to give?
You have to make this decision: Am I going to respond LOUDLY, fighting on the field? Or am I going to react QUIETLY, stepping confidently to the side?
By turning in an unexpected direction and coolly pulling yourself from the game, you choose to take your heart out of the firing range.
You raise the vibration of your soul. Your heart breathes a sigh of relief.
You confidently refuse to take on the other person's issues as your own.
You do not engage as an opponent.
You choose your way back to sanity and away from trying to correct someone else's actions . . . again (because you CAN'T).
So, it's up to you. You might be staring down someone else's facemask at this very moment, or get called onto your opponent's field tomorrow. What are you going to do?
Are your steps going to move LOUDLY toward conflict or QUIETLY away from it? The way I see it, if you try to hurt them right back, that only makes you just like them.
Exit the field.
Let your quiet confidence speak the loudest about who you really are. Your soul's crowd will go wild.