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I still have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from my last job.
I hid it well. Only my closest friends and my children, who watched me break down in tears more often than I care to admit, know how bad it really was.
I could get into all the reasons why, but people I used to work with might stumble upon this article, and out of fear (which was the overall culture of the place), I still feel the need to remain silent.
I know that I’m not alone. Many of us might be in situations, jobs, and relationships where we are mistreated, undervalued, lied to, betrayed, attacked, ridiculed, spoken down to, or disrespected. And hell yes, we want to see the person and people on the other end of that treatment burn in hell.
But as the Buddha (maybe) said, “You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.” And if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that it’s not worth the energy to hold onto it.
Let that sh*t go and let karma take the wheel.
I get this is hard. For many of us, when we’ve been mistreated, our gut instinct is to want justice. We hope and pray for the other person or people to feel the very same way they made us feel.
We may sit around focusing all of our energy on them, letting our pain and anger consume us until we feel justice has been served up on a silver platter. We feel that until that day, we cannot find peace.
But this is the lower vibration part of our soul speaking. Wanting revenge is not what will free us from the painful emotions we are feeling.
The way through it, the highest vibrational action we can take, is to allow the law of karma to right the situation.
Basically, the law of karma is the notion that all of life is governed by a system of cause and effect, action and reaction, in which our deeds have corresponding effects on the future. Karma is a precise science.
All of us have experienced this law. For example, maybe you had a huge falling-out with a close friend. You found out they gossiped about you, talked behind your back, lied to you, or betrayed you in some way. And you are deeply hurt by this.
It’s possible you may be experiencing this because you’re paying off a karmic debt from your own past. Maybe you deeply hurt a friend at some forgotten point and the law of karma is giving you the same experience to feel what it’s like to be on the other side. You might argue, “But I’ve never done this to someone!” And maybe you haven’t.
So now you get to choose how you react to what’s happening to you. You can deal with your own hurt, not lash out, and not incur any more bad karma for yourself.
Getting revenge is like planting bad seeds—they will only bring you bad crops.
Instead, you can choose to have compassion and empathy for the friend who hurt you. You can gracefully walk away from the friendship, the way I gracefully walked away from my old job, knowing the karmic ball will swing in the other direction in due time and the universe will bring them a similar experience as the one they’ve created for me.
I have found in every situation in my own life that when I release my grip on needing someone else to suffer for the suffering they have caused me, I find peace. When I’m able to pray for them to do better and for the strength to forgive them, I find peace.
When I’m able to surrender and trust that the experience, no matter how painful, is for my highest good, I find peace.
When you’re struggling with this, you can try doing a loving-kindness meditation. In this meditation, you open your heart to send prayers and good wishes out for others.
Start with yourself, “May I be well; may I be happy; may I be at peace.”
Then you move onto friends and family members, repeating the mantra, while visualizing your loved ones. Finally you move onto the person you are having difficulties with. Bring them into your mind’s eye and repeat the prayer that they be well, happy, and at peace.
Trust that, in time, you will see the law of karma take effect and right the wrong. And if you’ve done your work, you will feel compassion for that same person when it happens.