Is Vengeance Sweet?
Taking vengeance it like taking antifreeze, both are 'sweet' and both are deadly poisons.
People sometimes convince themselves that vengeance is “justified” and that vengeance is "sweet". But you will never meet a person who is truly happy, and at peace with themselves, who is also vengeful. There can be a form of satisfaction in a vengeful act, but it is sickly form of satisfaction and there is nothing healthy, or life-enhancing, about it.
Vengeful people live in fear and anxiety. They may adopt a pose and a demeanor of confidence, but they do not tend to sleep well at night. They believe so much in vengeance that they cannot conceive of anyone else not believing in vengeance. They are waiting and wondering when those they have harmed will come and do vengeance on them, or whether those they have punished will find a way to punish them. They become anxious about how to protect their fragile ego from real or imagined ‘harm‘ from others.
Have you noticed what fragile egos many ‘tough guys' have? Strange that the ‘tougher’ they are supposed to be the more easily that even the mildest insult can trouble them and put them into a rage. They are not in charge of their own life because they feel they must react to what others say and do. Their “power” is illusionary. When a person's action are too much determined by what others say and do then others have the power, not them. Ironically, the vengeful person become a constant victim of other people, because they feel that they “must” react. They may well be an angry victim (and vengeful victim) but they are still a victim.
The price of a vengeful and unforgiving mind is to have to forego any deep and lasting happiness and to forego any deep and lasting friendships. Think about it. What is it like to live with, or be a 'friend' to a vengeful person? Is it possible to be truly friends with a resentful and vengeful person in any kind of honest way? It is very unlikely that we can really trust and feel comfortable around a vengeful person. We never know when they will turn against us for any mistake we make, or any real or imagined slight against them. Vengeful people have no real friends – they only have hostages. Instead of friends they have fear-filled, angry and resentful companions and they congregate together in their own miniature version of hell. Their only friends are people they "buy", or coerce, in one way or another.
We don't need to cling to vengeful thoughts with the idea that it is the only way justice can be done. The desire for justice and the desire for vengeance are very different things. The desire for justice needs to include the greater good of society; the desire for vengeance often works against the greater good of society as the vengeful person becomes blind to the greater good. Forgiving someone does not mean that we cannot seek justice through the proper legal channels, or that we need to have anything more to do with that person. We have the right to keep ourselves out of harm's way if they are very likely to try and harm us again.
The toxic feeling of anger, rage, hatred, resentment and bitterness which the vengeful person feels often causes them more real harm than anything anyone else has done to them. Such toxic feeling stress the body and mind and can create long term physical or mental health problems – as well as making the person very unhappy and not much fun to be around. Vengeful feelings are like a form of instant karma where the person wishing harm on another person is meanwhile causing harm to themselves through the toxic feelings – and associated stress hormones - coursing through their body. It’s like they are drinking a daily dose of poison and expecting to be healthy. Taking vengeance it like taking antifreeze, both are 'sweet' and both are deadly poisons.
Forgiveness is a genuine form of empowerment, it is not like the fake empowerment of vengeance. There are stark choices to be made between being a happy person or being a vengeful person. Forgiveness, allows us to manage how the actions of others affect us and releases us from being a victim. It frees us from the past and allows us to live up to our best potential. Forgiveness allows us to pursue success in our own terms and not the terms of others. Forgiveness enables us to let go of vengeance, and it's hypnotizing effects, which makes us obsessed about things which do not really matter. Through Forgiveness we find things which vengeance can never truly offer; freedom, happiness and contentment. And, we also find that no one can really take these away from us.