Fate takes us on paths in order to teach us lessons, we move forwards on these paths and lanes when and if we grow, and we move sideways if we make changes that ‘shrink’ us.
Nothing shifts you sideways quite like the path we ALL walk on in order to understand the relationship between hurt, wrongs, pain and revenge.
Some label this path life’s toughest. Nothing proves more testing to the psyche than constantly marching in the wrong direction inspite of your best efforts to aim the self. The old you is dying but immortal, so you are duty bound to lug her/him around with you…just you and your poisonous, small minded bigoted twin, chucked over your newly formed unchipped (but smothered) shoulder. Moving nowhere but sideways, and slowly to boot…
“Revenge is a reflex action”…(moi, 2011)
After much observation of fellow ants, our problem seems to stem from an inbuilt intrinsic tendency to react to hurts/wrongs, by punishing the ‘inflictor’ in some way…
As children, we don’t do this with much sophistication, but pop into any nursery and you will find 80% of the class ‘smashing the crap out of each other’ over ‘Nathaniel’s red piece of Lego’ or ‘little Janine’s spangly new bead set’
If you need more evidence…When I was just 5 years old, my sister thought she would punish me by telling me what presents I had for my birthday (there-by destroying 1 of my mere 2 annual (and much adored) surprises. I begged her not to tell me, but my words fell on death ears. She simply smiled at my distressed whiny ass, and smugly announced ‘You’ve got Hungry Hippo’s and Kerplunk’. Obviously I must of been seriously miffed by this, as according to old old family folklore, in true barbarian style I CALMLY glided downstairs, located the biggest bread knife we owned. And grasping my weapon, I apparently climbed back up the stairs with more composure than your average psychopath on a serial rampage of murder… and I plunged the blade into my sister’s arm!
So we begin life with this 2 fold reaction
1) We decide we’ve been wronged when we feel pain from the actions of others
2) We react by attacking the person who has seemingly wronged us, and most of us naturally attack using our little clenched rage filled barely formed fists…
Then we keep getting told off for being violent, it is simply not acceptable to be outwardly angry or violent in the ‘British Book of Social Ethics’
So we do our first bit of side stepping around this issue, and most of us replace violence for something more palatable to the adult world. We move over (but not forward) onto verbal assault or covert revenge. “Commence adulthood normally paleeeease”…with verbal destruction, manipulation and/or emotional blackmail. Toying with someone’s heart, manipulating their mind, becomes the acceptable adult way to ‘retaliate to wrongs’.
Having been on the receiving end of many good physical jabs in the moosh; as well as countless verbal assaults; and plenty of covert blows to my emotional weak spots… My humble opinion is this…The blows to the body were the least damaging by miles…every single time!
Sadly, many human-ites fail to break away from this primal, deep-rooted, ugly urge to ‘throw something…anything painful…right back’,
Other ants are lucky enough to be shoved further along this path, IF fate chooses to place them in ear-shot of the following truth…
‘When we feel wronged; when we decide others are unjust; when we KNOW someone has been cruel or unfair to us, this DOES NOT prove we have actually BEEN wronged AT ALL!!!
This knowledge opens the door to the elusive concept of perception. We actually all go around interpreting our own version of life. Therefore reality and facts make up a tiny part of any big picture. No two people will ever give the same description of an identical object. No two witness statements describing a definable event have ever been the same… Not for any crime on record, nor for any accident or act ever witnessed…EVER EVER!!
Because we all see different things. We all hear things differently. We assign different meanings to peoples statements, we all have different ideas about what’s rude, what’s normal, what’s right and what’s wrong. Sure-fire ‘wrongs’ become ‘maybes’, ‘not necessarily’, ‘oooops I think I mis-read that one’, ‘did I over-react’? and some wrongs even turn out to be ‘completely right’
This slap sideways into perception actually sends us backwards on the revenge path, at least ten steps at first. Loss hurts, and to understand perception you must first lose all your warped logic, your stash of fake facts, and just to be sure, you must also lose/shift ALL of your previous boundaries/expectations/judgements…of everyone and everything!!
The perception door then closes, turfing our newly ignorant ass somewhere along the lanes of self doubt, confusion, guilt or suppression.
Off fate sends you into these dark and twisty streets of Negative-Ville, lost, ignorant, and with new eyes, viewing a whole new world.
Then the gold nugget reveals itself!!!
With this new and spangly insight into perception in our tool box, we learn quickly that well over half of ‘all hurts’ are derived SOLELY from our own expectations and presumptions. NOT from any real tangible actual occurrence.
Perception is our only tool capable of fighting the primal urge to retaliate, to hurt, to seek revenge, to place blame, to attack the hurter right back… quicker than ‘flowing greased weasel shit’…
I am lucky, fate sent my lobes to the statement of enlightenment. On the surface, I’m only marginally evolved in terms of my behaviour when i’m hurt. It looks from the outside as though I’ve just side stepped AGAIN by simply replacing tantrums with sulking…just another way of poisoning someone covertly.
I started with a knife,
And followed with my limbs,
When that was banned, I vipered up my tongue and unleashed that instead,
Soon after I became well versed in the art of emotional war. I was marvellous at being patient and calculated. I waited happily in the wings, relishing, spurred on by the anticipation, the rush of resolve I felt immediately AFTER I’d inflicted a suitable amount of pain and re-balanced the scales
Then I learnt I knew NOTHING, and percieved everything
Then I melted down in the knowledge that there is actually NO right or wrong!!!
And when I finally dragged my weary ass back up from all that drama; I finally went FORWARDS (yaaayyyyy) on the side steppy lane where hurt, wrong, pain and revenge reside.
As a ‘Tantrum Thrower’
I damaged far too many people with my fists and feet,
I scarred kind hearts and warm souls with my venomous words,
I destroyed relationship after relationship in my quest to keep the tables even, to assert my rights, to re-gain control, to take the moral high ground, to enact some revenge…
On top of all this destruction and pain that I caused others during my tantrums, I was destroying myself too. I was so bogged down in my status as a near daily victim of ‘wrong-doings’, the pity and bitterness were beginning to choke the good right out of me.
As a ‘Hardcore Sulker’
Day 1 now passes in silence cos i’m utterly engaged; feeling the anger and hurt from the sheer injustice of the event; analysing what actually happened; validating and invalidating my feelings in order; scrabbling around for the bigger picture. All the while suppressing the urge to get the bloody bread knife out…
Day 2 is spent silencing my vile tongue, coupled with more eye squinting as I strain away for another day, trying to see that bigger picture
On day 3 I still can’t speak, because I’m too busy relentlessly swallowing the bile that rises up my pipes, whenever I feel out of control
Well by Day 4, I’m exhausted… It’s heavy work, putting ‘irrational fear’ back in her box all the live long day. Old Fear that arises from ‘not getting my own back’,
And by the time I’ve walked all this information all the way around my own gargantuan system of perception, awareness and balance… day 5 comes around and 8 times out of 10, there is no pain left. I never knew that being wrong 8 out of 10 ten times could be so bloody satisfying and cathartic…
Being hurt all the time is exhausting, and if you find yourself hurt more often than you are happy, then I fear you may need to travel down the perception path that I so desperately needed to stumble upon.
I sulk as a means of replacing the poison…
I sulk as a means of sifting through the pain, until I find my feelings, my understanding, a little empathy, a drop of rationalisation, acceptance, the hidden balance, wisdom, I even access old poxy maturity if it’s essential. I’ve now grown enough to also squeeze out just enough generosity and self-worth to SEE the differences…and THEN I find forgiveness WITHOUT any urge for revenge!!! 😉
The angry tantrum throwing violent little beast in me, still stands firmly by my side every time someone ruffles my feathers
But the other girl who has joined my insides over the years, the sulky child who outwardly, is about as evolved as her tantrum throwing side-kick. Well inwardly, she happens to be a ‘Social Ninja’. She taught me to sulk my sensitive ass all the way from self imprisonment to freedom every single time I hurt. A soul fixing freedom found, without a hint of retaliation in my heart, my mind or in reality…
Bless Fate and her meandering paths of insight
And Thank-you Betty for leading my ears to the phrase I desperately needed to hear.
Another point scored for Nurture over Nature…