Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — Someone who I thought was an old friend really did me wrong. I can’t stop these thoughts of revenge in my head. — Cold Dish
Dear Cold Dish,
Punishment! Payback! Revenge! While they make for a cool poster, are a lot better suited for the movies and soap operas than real life where that sweet taste is a shot, but a hole in the gut lasts forever. Why stress yourself giving yourself an ulcer when you can Go Green! (ok so yeah, lower case), and recycle that same energy into healing, improving and growing yourself? Believe me, this is the more sustainable model.
There’s no pain like the pain of deceit a trusted former friend can dole out. This alone makes the healing and self-improvement an uphill trek. But hiking uphill builds strong legs, lungs and buns of steel. Work on your emotions in the same way: build a foundation of unflinchingly truthful self-knowledge (did you somehow contribute to this betrayal, if not, what would your ex-friend’s motive be to hurt you?); steely resolve to learn something about yourself from this incident (like how you hurt – your hot buttons can reveal to yourself your most unhealed emotions), or how you knew something about your friend but maybe hid that truth from yourself (what payoff/need did having this person fulfill in your life?), etc.); and the life-sustaining ebb and flow of acceptance of things as they are and self-reliance (not the same as isolated). Surround yourself with true friends and family who appreciate and can support you in your growth and thriving. Remember who you really are.
Finally, sweet Cold Dish, I think you’ll be doing yourself a favor (and shortcut) to turn and face how much this old friend hurt you. Grieve. There’s a good deal of mourning your situation (and our culture at large) appears not to have embraced yet. There’s a gaping hole where there was once something very important to you and your life. Take the time to really recognize, mourn its absence, thank it for the gift it was (when it was and what it actually gave you), and let it go.
Divine it is to forgive, Yoda,
Dear Cold Dish,
Betrayal by a loved one is one of the most painful experiences possible. You put your trust and faith into another person and they betray that trust through actions and/or words. Not fair. But maybe you’ve heard—revenge never helped anyone.
Truth is, thinking revenge-thoughts is perfectly sane. Most people when faced with betrayal will think horrible Carrie-esq revenge thoughts. You may envision horrible disfiguring or fatal accidents too. Again, sane. Now, taking any of those thoughts into the 3-D, insane, psychotic and, quite possibly, criminal.
So, let the revenge thoughts simmer for another day or so and then, move on. Pick yourself up and ask yourself the hardest question of all: How did I contribute to this situation. Were you too forthcoming with someone who had already showed you they were not trustworthy? Did you chose to remain blind to the signs of betrayal early on and dig yourself in deeper? Are there ways you can recover, rebound and safeguard yourself against these mistakes in the future—without closing off yourself from future relationships?
Forgiveness is just around the corner. Forgiveness does not mean to forget what happened. But stop the acid of hate and revenge running through your veins as soon as possible. You are only brewing up illness, stress and paranoia by keeping the un-forgiveness and revenge going. Unfriend them at Facebook. Change the name in your cell phone to ALERT (or something you feel may be more appropriate) so you can cancel any incoming calls from their number and move on with your life.
Chalk it up to experience. Realize this person has offered you the gift of a transformational lesson. Use this experience as a springboard yourself into a more alive, compassionate person. Use this lesson to grow more into the amazing person you are. That is the best revenge. The loss, the forfeit, the crappy karma is all theirs. Let the Universe sort out the punishment. Focus on your rewards. Even the darkest moments have brightness to offer us if we are willing to look into the blackness. Look. There’s a better, freer you on the other side.
Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.
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