Thursday, February 13, 2014


Revenge, we have all at some stage at least planned an elaborate revenge on someone. Nobody gets through life without being hurt or treated wrongly by someone. It may be a relationship gone sour, it may be a business deal turned bad, or a friendship destroyed. For whatever reason, the desire to get even, to get revenge is strong in all of us.

We feel better planning revenge - for some of us that is as far as it gets, a regular mood fix of imagining extreme and creative revenge on the person who betrayed us in some way. Some people carry out the revenge; stories abound of wives taking out highly inventive revenge on errant husbands, and business partners going to extreme lengths to destroy their former partners.

But what personal cost does that revenge bring? Sure it feels great at the time, the person who hurt us has been hurt in return, the scales are balanced. But is it a permanent cure? Does it really help to hurt that person - who in the end is hurt the most?

I've thought about this a lot - of course in my life I've been hurt by people, and I've imagined all kinds of marvellous types of revenge. I've been hurt in my personal life and in my work life. I've wondered why me, I've worried, fretted and tried to come up with realistic ways of exacting revenge.

But what I've come to believe is that revenge is not worth it, the cost to  me is too high. To carry out revenge on someone is to carry within me the hurt and the pain they caused me. And when is the revenge enough, how many times will I need to hurt someone in return before I feel vindicated? I don't know. What I believe is that continuing to try to hurt someone in retaliation for hurting me, is to carry around the initial hurt inside me for an indefinite length of time. I am the one who is not moving forward, I am the one standing still instead of making my own path through life. And that means that I am the one ultimately who suffers.

So while I am not a good enough person to forgive past hurts, I have reached the understanding that to let it go, to let it live in the past where it belongs is the best thing for me. To be a happier person, a better person, a kinder person and a less damaged person I have to let go of all past hurts. Not to forget, not even to forgive, but to let them stay in the past and go peacefully forward into my future unencumbered. That is my personal truth. Yours may be different, at least right now. But think about it, be still and quiet and really think about it.

The best form of revenge is to be happy - that's a saying that has been around for a very long time and like most of these sayings it is because it is true. The best and kindest thing you can do for yourself is to have peace in your soul. You can't do that if your soul is grey and bitter. You can't have peace if your thoughts are occupied with finding ways to hurt another person. So let it go, let the greater power punish that person at the right time in the right way.

Switch your focus instead onto improving your own life. Focus on you, on who you are and what you want in your life. Put the past back in the past and live in the now and plan for a happy future. Planning revenge is negative, it lets negativity into your life. Remember positive thinking brings positive results - and that does not mean being positive that your particular revenge is perfect!

This is your life and nobody else's. It is your choice to continue to feel hurt by the actions of someone else. It is also your choice (although harder) to let it go. But in the end the person you are hurting is you, and likewise the person that you help is also you.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Ever had a dream? Not meaning here a short movie of sometimes dubious entertainment value created by your subconscious while you sleep, but a desire or goal in life. Some of us have a very clear sense of purpose from an early age and follow our own personal paths unswervingly. Some of us find that it takes life experience and some miss-steps to find our own particular purpose. Some of us never find it and simply drift through life, taking whatever comes as it comes.

For me, well I have mostly been one of the last although I always knew there was something I wanted to do with my life, I just never knew what. Well that's not strictly true - many years ago I did know, I was certain on what I wanted and where I wanted to be. But I did not have enough strength of purpose, not enough belief in myself and I allowed myself to be talked out of it.

How my life would have turned out if I took that path is one of those things it is pointless to wonder about. I didn't, and my life went the way it did. I have made mistakes, made decisions that in the clarity of hindsight were completely wrong. But then, if I had not made those decisions, I would not be the person I am today and I would not be following the path I am now on. So who is to say that any of my choices were wrong - maybe I made the choices I did precisely so that I could be who I am and where I am. Without my poor choices I would never have begun this journey and it is proving to be the most rewarding journey of my life. Sometimes, when one begins to contemplate all the threads of all the lives which overlap and interweave the big picture becomes overwhelmingly big and it becomes too much. The mind baulks and closes off from further thought. Sometimes it really is best to know there is a bigger picture than we can even imagine and not tie our minds in knots trying to understand it all.

What is my point for today? What is right for me may not be right for you. What is right for you may not be right for your neighbour/friend/relation. We are all different and there are many, many life choices that are not necessarily average. The world is full of people who do not fit into society's normal parameters. There are lifestyles and life choices that may be considered weird or risky or crazy. There is no rule book for life that says we should all live the lifestyle that is considered 'normal' by the society into which we were born.

There are scientists who study obscure things nobody else has ever heard of, mathematicians whose minds are absorbed by things it hurts my brain to even try (and fail) to understand. There are wildlife photographers who devote years to cataloguing the lifestyle of an ant in the middle of nowhere. There are missionaries who live their lives in the service of those who have nothing, people who do whatever it is they do in Antarctica. They are all people who have made unusual life choices and I bet their friends think they are insane. But they are not, they are just wired up a bit differently.

The thing is that if you make a life choice that is a tad unusual you are going to have to fight to follow it through. You have to be strong in your belief that what you are doing is right for you. You have to be unswerving in your certainty that it will all work out in the end. Sure there will be risks but the reason the people around you panic is that the risks are unusual risks to go along with your unusual choice. There are risks in everything, even doing nothing is a risk. Change is a risk, standing still is a risk. Change is scary, terrifying sometimes. But if you have a dream and you are following it through, you are probably feeling (along with the fear and the anxiety) the most alive you have ever felt.

YOLO - whoever came up with this acronym should be taken out at dawn and shot. This acronym has cheapened and made the words it stands for into a parody of themselves. The truth is you do only live once; if you find something that makes you excited, makes you feel that life is an amazing experience, makes you feel that you are doing something fulfilling then go for it (unless you plan on maybe seeing if absolute belief will allow you to fly off a clifftop without a parachute or parasail - that probably would not be such a good decision).

If you have made a life choice that is outside of the square, think it through, plan it well, if possible have a back up plan, and then give it your all. If it fails, well you tried. If it succeeds, you are living your own personal dream. I have been told repeatedly that when people reach the end of their lives the saddest thing of all is regret at not following through on a dream. Give yourself as few regrets as possible - follow your dreams and don't give up.

In other news, the werewolf has taken to sitting on the far corner of the bed and gives me a highly irritated glare through glowing yellow eyes every time I wake during the night. Seriously, I see it every time I wake up, just for a few seconds. I get the hint - I am making time to write each night matter how tired I am before the werewolf becomes so annoyed it eats me!

And :)