I remember when arguing with my ex how, when one of us was angry, we didn’t seem to feel satisfied until the other was also angry. This did two things:
- It made us feel that the other really took us seriously, and
- It made us feel that there was a just distribution of the negative feelings.
If I get angry at someone because [I believe that] they did something that made me feel bad, I might think “you started this negativity through your messed-up action, so it’s only right that you share in these horrible consequences.”
That’s where REVENGE comes from. Even though revenge doesn’t make anybody’s life better and has no progressive qualities, it gives a false sense of having achieved progression through justice. It’s false because it’s based on the notion that when there is crappy energy out there, the only way to get justice is to equalize how much of it we all feel.
Maybe it feels good to think that “they got theirs.” But real justice would say, “this crappy energy shouldn’t exist at all. The past has already happened–nobody can change that. How can I make the present and future more just for both/all of us?” And the way you do that is by asking why–where the other person was coming from when they wronged you? See their side. That will soothe the desire for revenge. Remember, people usually do messed-up things because they are already pretty messed up themselves.
Remember, once you see where another person is coming from, you are also completely free to cut them off from taking any more of your time. If you want to be a positive person, you’ll need to cut out unnecessary burdens. However, the desire for revenge is among those burdens as well. It sucks up your time and energy.
People like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi were so awesome in great part because they made sure they were free from the jaws of vengeful thought. I might also note that those two were considered exceptional among men precisely because vengeful thinking is something that men in particular have a hard time dealing with.
When you feel a desire to get revenge, what your mind is really telling you is that you should examine what motivates your sense of justice.