Friday, March 13, 2015

Peace vs Revenge

I believe in Karma 100%  
Last year evil knocked on my door. That evil tried to take away the family I've worked so hard for. It was truly my darkest hour and definitely a make it or break it time for my family. I watched my husband turn to The Lord as I focused on the incredible pain and depression that turned into anger and hate.  I wanted revenge. I needed revenge. I would not stop until justice was served.  I could not stop because I felt it my duty to protect other families from that same evil that had invaded my home. My family. My life. 
For months I waited for the perfect moment, the perfect mistake. The person responsible hid like a coward, lying about her involvement until the agency involved made a huge mistake and I discovered details that uncovered the source of all that had transpired and changed my life forever.  
And I made sure she knew that I knew. She knew that I was angry. She knew that I would take away her happiness at any cost. My children saw and experienced the situation and the reality of the unfairness of life. They asked to testify. They asked to yell at her and make her realize what she had done. They felt the pain and saw the tears and wanted her to feel what we had felt. We all wanted her to feel unsafe in her life. Unsafe within the walls of her  own home, as we did ours. 
But I couldn't do it. I promised her I would make her life miserable. And I realized the poisonous hate I had for her was consuming me. 
So I sat back and decided to let Karma take care of her. Karma gives back what she is given, and I trusted her to do the job better than I ever could. And as a bonus, I wouldn't have to feel guilty because after all, Karma was causing the pain, not me. 
Then in December, the plot took an unexpected turn. Just days before Christmas, I was given the perfect opportunity to help Karma in this situation. All it would have taken was one phone call and I could make this woman feel the terror a mother feels at the possibility of losing her family.  I could make her sorry for what she had done.  I wanted to make her sorry. 
But I didn't. As difficult as it was to do, I just let it go. This woman had brought a lot of heartache to my children's lives and hurting her would hurt them again. Watching me cause pain in someone else's life would have taught them that hate and revenge are more important than forgiveness and kindness. So I didn't make the call. I DID let her know that I could invite the same evil into her home that she did mine. And once again, she cowered. She hid her face, offering no apology for her actions, no thanks to me for walking away from the revenge I'd been waiting for. 
And now, Karma is paying her a visit. Her bad choices are coming back to her. Her life is slowly falling apart. This is where I finally believe I can find peace and assurance that she deserves the discontent in her life, her marriage and her home, right?  Where I can rest assured that Karma really will do a better job than I could.... right?
And I don't. I don't feel justified. I don't want to sit back in a comfy chair with popcorn and  soda watching this story play out. I don't find peace in knowing that she did this to herself and I didn't have to get my hands dirty. Instead I feel pity for her. I feel sadness for the way it will affect my children. I feel guilt for wishing misery on her. 
And this is where I find my peace. I find relief in the knowledge that the hurt in my life hasn't poisoned me to the point of wanting to watch someone hurt, even someone as selfish as this woman.  And I feel gratitude  to my husband, who didn't let this consume him and led by example. My husband, who turned to prayer and scripture study when I couldn't. My husband, who has fought  his own demons and will always do so, but asked for peace instead of heartache. He's learned through experience what it feels like to be the cause of someone else's pain and  although he's not perfect, he tries. He's been shown love and forgiveness when he didn't feel deserving of it and he wants to pay that forward.
The effects of this experience will last the rest of our lives and it'll be a long time before we feel safe again, but knowing that we could have caused hurt but chose to focus on our family and on creating peace in our lives instead of hatred and revenge toward the one and only person I've ever hated in my entire life is what I believe to be the first step in the healing process.