IOVI OPTIMO MAXIMO VINDICTA
Revenge for Jupiter, best and greatest.
QUOD LICET IOVI, NON LICET BOVI
that which is permitted to Jupiter, is not permitted to the ox
– Latin Proverbs
I get bombarded with “love and light” messages and posts, particularly on the theme of “forgiving and letting go” of negative experiences, interactions and emotions as the path to happiness. Superficially, that seems like a lovely idea – but does it really work in a practical sense?
– ‘Negative’ emotions and how to use them, Kate Douchkov, Inspire Achive
Too often our laid-back country we are held hostage to the idea that ‘She’ll Be Right’, or a downright English notion that we should just wear a stiff upper lip in the face of our troubles. Inevitably life, or fate, or God, or the great absence of God… Life… laughs at such cliché, and we are all called to face the true depths of our humanity, to question our faith if we even had any to begin with.
In these times, the platitudes offered by common sense, pop-psychology or a pseudo-Christian subservience fail us. Even hurt us. And if they do, they do it a lot.
I approve wholeheartedly of the wisdom in the above-quoted article in this regard.
Deep feelings can’t be dealt with so shallowly, they must be met with depth.
As someone that has spent many a day and month and year, perhaps even most of my life, overwhelmed by powerful emotions, I can only agree that finding a way to own, validate and deepen a sense not of lightness, but of darkness, has been my salvation. To say it’s been a positive experience would be a terrible understatment.
Finding a sense of indignation has been central to my recovery from my family, work and many disastrous romantic relationships.
Reading backwards and around from Ezekiel 25:17, and the poetry of the warrior-poet Catullus, along with extensive travel has been of great consolation… but–
Winning a few times has been the thing that brought me the strength, satisfaction, safety and … yes, joy … all the things that I have craved most of my life, and whose absence has brought me suffering more than the deprivations of the great losses that I’ve had.
I do not forgive and forget. I’ve tried to ‘love so much I can forgive’. I’ve tried in memory of a dead friend. My conclusion at age 30 is that it is insufficient to say this: “That Shit is Bullshit” when the truth of the matter about ‘forgiving and forgetting’ is that it is in fact morally bankrupt. I take particular and vocal issue with people that proffer that kind of laziness that ammounts to soft cruelty. I neither forgive nor forget to move on, and I wont be present and silent when anyone says to anyone suffering that they should bear their pain silently.
I’ve slapped fully armed soldiers in civil war zones for less. And more.
My moving on has included a measure of revenge of a more traditional sort– No, scratch that. I don’t get revenge, or even that angry anymore. I get vindication. I seek justice.
Here it is, for those that a faint of heart-
Moving to bankrupt a thief is not a con.
Menacing a bully in court is not cruel,
Confronting an aggressor when attacked is not abuse.
Getting a rape -talking bouncer sacked isn’t something to be scared of.
In most cases quite the opposite.
In all three of the cases I’ve set those links at, it is the opposite.
If you agree, write to the people that are behind those links for me, will you?
For those that quiver at such statements, let me say this: vindication that transcends revenge can be more than a personal salve. It can be humbling for all involved. If done just right, it is both humanising and civilising. Civilising in the fullness of the Roman sense of the word. More than this, Humanity has never moved forward without it.
But enough of that, yes? You’re feeling uncomfortable are you mate? That guilty conscience of yours troubling you? Ok ok. Do something about it before someone else does. Or, christ help you … I do.
My point is simple and personal and, it is this:
I am thankful for my darkness. I am blessed by my not forgiving. I am empowered by my not forgetting. I use my sufferings in exactly the ways that Kate describes in the article quoted at the top of this post. I draw stength and energy to help from it. I find myself an advocate for all manner of people, in all manner of places because if it. And I recommend that you do the same if you too have suffered. Help others and yourself.
More than a few of you that are reading this know that
I love helping.
I love being alive when I get to say
‘Good things don’t happen to bad people,
I happen to bad people.’
and this is
for those above stated reasons
for want of two better words