Getting angry, frustration, and intensely emotional about something, almost anything, is far more natural than anyone knowingly or willingly admits. Occasionally these emotions spill over into a thirsting need to extract a price for an obstacle, hindrance, or perceived enemy; revenge. Revenge is a dangerous emotion. First, revenge rarely goes away without some form of action. Second, revenge blinds us to a bigger picture or even an awareness of others involved in the tension. Yet revenge, in one form or another, is a familiar friend.
As I confront the realities of road rage, emotional outburst, and raw anger I find myself slowing down and reaching to hold onto the values and priorities I hold dear to my heart. I’m convinced there is an alternative way of seeing, participating in, and experiencing the difficult parts of life which can take revenge out of the center.
The first step lies in reflecting on an understanding of how self is in tension with community. It is not always easy to “trust” the community to take care of “my” needs, especially when it comes to my ego and thirst for respect, honor, and status. It is rarely comfortable letting an opportunity go by instead of simply “taking” respect and adulation. Yes letting self take second place is an ideal worthy of gods.
Second, be aware of the conflict which always exists when people driven and shaped by self are in the same space with actions of community (acceptance, mercy, and compassion). There is a natural conflict between the two. They do not and cannot get along together. Coexistence is not an option, at least not without a fight.
Third, walk knowing Community will ultimately win over self. It may not always appear so, but “watch now. God's Judgment Day comes. Cruel it is, a day of wrath and anger, a day to waste the earth and clean out all the sinners.” (Isaiah 13.9) Self dies in the presence of Love. This is the ultimate in “getting even” and one merely has to live in love to give the process life.
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