Mystical Matters: Is Revenge Always Unwise?

Dear Kajama:

How do I handle a mother and daughter who constantly stress me out and give very little in return? It has gotten really bad over the last four years. I don’t feel loved or supported by either of them, and now I have health issues. I just found out I have breast cancer, and I just had a hip replacement at the end of June. I have no health insurance and I don’t have a job. I just don’t know how much more I can take. I know on the other side when we pass over all is forgiven, but how do I handle people that I know have paid me back for whatever reason. Is it okay to pay people back here on earth or do we really pay for it later? I normally just stay away, but now I’m thinking I’m just being a sucker and unless I start to get them back they are never going to let up or leave me alone. The last four years it seems like no one likes me and I’m just not finding people that I can relate to. What am I doing wrong? How must I change my attitude? I’m also finding it very hard to quit smoking. Any insight you may have would be much appreciated. Love your site!


Dear Shelby:

I am really glad that you asked this question because I think that seeking revenge is one of the most foolish and self-defeating choices we can ever make, and yet it is one that we all are sorely tempted by at one time or another. In many spiritual traditions, it is even is believed that acts of revenge are far more damaging than whatever sparked them in the first place. One thing is for sure: when we answer evil with evil, we enter into a vicious cycle of negativity.

We all get back what we send out into the world. If we send out anger, we get back anger. If we send out love, we get back love. As this process is energetically driven, it’s not just what we actively do that determines the quality of our experiences; what we think and how we feel are paramount. This means that we can act with kindness and generosity toward others, but if our thoughts and feelings are negative, we will tend to attract negative experiences. It is never a good idea to take action from a place of negative emotion, for unhappy journeys lead to unhappy places. If you are feeling negative toward your mother and daughter, it won’t matter what you actually do – you will continue to attract more of the same hurtful experiences.

We must remember that the law of attraction and the law of karma are constantly in effect, and surrender our desire for revenge to these natural forces. It may seem like people who mistreat you are getting away with something, but just as you create your own reality, so do they. Since we can only control what we do, we are wise to focus on taking the high road and sending out positive energies and letting everyone else reap what they sow in their own time and way.

We must also must keep in mind that sometimes, the bad luck we experience in this life has its roots in other lives. When we can’t see what we may have done to provoke someone to be hateful toward us, we are wise to assume that there is a reason. I have someone who has done all sorts of horrible things to me this lifetime, and I have indeed been tempted to seek revenge. I know, however, that whatever I do to her I ultimately do to myself. I also know that there is a lot of karma being worked out, so I try to humbly accept whatever comes up and respond to it from my higher self in order to make new progress.

Sometimes we can become aware of the roots of hostility, as with my past life example, and sometimes we have no idea why people act in the crazy, unloving ways they do. It doesn’t really matter: we don’t have to understand why people act and feel as they do or get their cooperation in creating new harmony, we just need to choose love and forgiveness in our own hearts and souls to set ourselves free from negative karma. When we do this and the other person doesn’t, we end up with a blessed, happy life while the other person continues to damn themselves with endless bitterness and negativity.

We can bet that any relationship that is playing a big role in our experience is not new to this lifetime, but has a lot of karmic history. When we can’t understand why a particular relationship is so troubled or confusing, odds are good that karma is playing a role. This is important because it helps us to let go of identifying ourselves as the “victim” in the situation, which brings me to my next point.

You haven’t given any examples of how your mother and daughter mistreat you, you’ve simply stated that they stress you out and that you don’t feel loved or supported by them, and then explained all the things that have been going wrong in your life. As my aim is to help and empower you, I’m going to be honest with you: While I’m sure it is true that you have found others’ behavior to be deeply disappointing, given all that you wrote in your letter, it’s also clear that you are carrying a victim mentality, and that this is causing a lot of negativity in your life.

This rash of problems and negativity is a wake-up call, my friend. While we all experience problems sometimes, people whose lives and relationships are steeped in endless negativity tend to be highly negative themselves. There is something in your letter that gives me tremendous hope for you, however: you ask how you must change your attitude in order to change your course of experience. From this, I can tell that you are on the cusp of a spiritual breakthrough: you are breaking free of being a victim and breaking into awareness of your power to create what you want in your life.

In essence, a desire for revenge is really a desire for empowerment. It’s a desire to no longer feel like we are at the mercy of others’ behavior or outside forces. It may sound crazy, but I think this desire for revenge is actually a positive stepping stone for you: you are moving from feeling depressed and hopeless to feeling empowered to create what you want in your life. The key is not to get indefinitely stuck in this desire for revenge as many people do, but to keep moving through it and out the other side, where you will quit giving other people and outside circumstances so much power over how you feel, and step into your power to create what you want in your life regardless of what anyone else does.

As seeking revenge wastes the creative energy you need to create positive change in your life, it’s imperative for you to let it go. I recommend that you start meditating daily and envisioning yourself and everyone around you feeling blessed and radiant with happiness and well-being. Pray for those who disappoint you. Show your love for those who fail to love you as you want to be loved. Above all, love YOURSELF by studying the law of attraction and actively working with it every day.

You have to shift how you FEEL to shift what you experience. What you are really longing for is a feeling of power – empowerment – and I know of no better way to get it than to actively experiment with the law of attraction every day. I also recommend you surround yourself with kindred spirits who are also studying the law of attraction so you can enjoy some mutual love and support as you move forward.


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