Maybe The Best Revenge Isn't Revenge At All

I think we’ve all heard the sayings “kill them with kindness” and “the best revenge is success.”  I don’t think that moving on is about revenge, in fact, it isn’t about “them” at all. I’ve come to realize it’s not my job to make people understand why they hurt me or try to show them that I’m worth keeping around. It’s not my job to teach people how to apologize or how to love. The more time I spend reminiscing about the pain somebody cause me or saddened by the way somebody hurt me, the less energy I have to work on myself and the less love I can give to people who are willing to receive it.  

I recently came across the quote - “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy” - but I don’t think your enemy is the person who hurt you, especially if they’re gone now. I think your biggest enemy is the person you became when you were getting hurt; the person who tried to hold on to something unstable. Sometimes the hardest thing to let go of is the past version of yourself, because no matter how bad you felt, you were comfortable there. You were comfortable waiting for somebody to come save you or waiting for the person who hurt you to help you heal. But you can’t heal in the place you were hurt. You can’t become who you want to be without unbecoming the person you let somebody else define you as. Just like you can’t fight fire with fire, you can’t fight pain with anger, and you can’t fight sadness with regret.

Once you can detach from somebody who hurt you and they no longer have power over how you feel about yourself, you start to see them as a human who was just doing what they thought they needed to do to protect themselves. Having compassion for people who caused you pain is so liberating, as is having compassion for the version of you that hurt others trying to protect yourself. Maybe the best revenge isn’t revenge at all, maybe it’s taking responsibility for your own happiness, maybe its learning from your mistakes, maybe its wishing them the best, maybe its realizing that your pain reflected theirs and you can choose not to mirror it anymore.

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