Krys Taylor (shodoshan) wrote,
Krys Taylor

Crossposted from Facebook: Justice, fairness, vengeance, closure - and suffering

I've been thinking about this for quite some time now, but it's kind of front of mind as I watch someone thrashing around for vengeance - and prolonging their own pain in the process.

In the real world, in real life, there is no such thing as fair.

I say this, and I am an optimist. So listen to me.

I know people who think that it's important for the other person after a fight to say things like "I'm sorry. I did X wrong and I will do Y to fix it."
I also know people who think that after a bad breakup, the other half of the relationship should be contrite and apologetic. That they'll get closure if they get to tell the other person all the things they did that hurt.
I also know people who think that if they give a little, their partner needs to give the same amount, in the same way.

The television, movies, and literature have programmed us to believe that there's a magical speech that will win someone over to your point of view, and if you deliver it with enough heart and persuasiveness, they'll suddenly fall into your arms or acknowledge your rightness, or you'll feel validated and all the pain will stop.
It has also taught us that if we get vengeance on the person who hurt us, we'll feel better afterward.

The truth of the matter is, there is only one way to get over your pain. Accept that it's there, let it go, let go of the things that caused it, and MOVE ON.

There is no fair. There is no justice. Vengeance doesn't help. And closure comes only from within you - not from anything someone else can do or say.
Clinging to any other belief will only cause you more and more suffering, which will build on itself and hurt your future interactions with humans.

In a relationship, you'll give in some ways, and your partner will give in others. Probably, those ways will always balance out. Are you always going to do exactly 50% of everything, each? Is it ever going to average out to 50% of everything, each? Hell no. But probably, for everything it's difficult for you to give your partner, they are giving you something equally difficult from their perspective. You each weigh and value every action, word, thought and deed differently. The odds are very good, unless you're with the antichrist, that the two of you are giving equally - it is YOUR job to recognize that.

After a relationship, it is not your ex's responsibility to apologize to you. The relationship is over. Your social contract is ended. You may have a new contract of friendship, and the two of you need to work out the terms of that agreement separately. But you cannot expect that your ex is going to magically recognize their mistakes and say all the soothing things you want to hear.
Sure, it's fine to want it. But you can't EXPECT it.
And honestly, even if they did say those things, it probably wouldn't make you feel better. I've personally had situations where I said all the things the person wanted to hear, but my tone of voice or body posture or hair color or the phase of the moon were not just exactly right. Every time I adjusted one, there was a new one. It wasn't because I wasn't doing it right - it's because there is no closure or healing that can come from someone else.

Moving on and letting go are easier said than done. I recognize this. But it starts with one step - wallow in the pain for a little while. Like a day or two. Focus on it, dwell in it, roll around in it. Be so intimate with your pain that you get sick of it and bored of being sad.
Then, you've got the first step. A genuine, motivated desire to be away from that painful state. From there, the steps differ for everyone. I like to distract myself, creating things. Other people might need to talk about it. Some people need to cleanse themselves of every reminder of the thing they're trying to let go of.
The process doesn't matter. What matters is that you are consciously, every second, aware of the things you're thinking and feeling - and working to let go of the anger, pain, fear or whatever else it is that's causing your suffering.

The only way you can ever truly be happy is to approach every day as if it were a new beginning, every person as if they were perfect, and every challenge as if it were easily beat.

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