“An eye for an eye” seemed reasonable to me.
I’m not a person who likes problems. I don’t like causing problems, I don’t like being involved in problems and I don’t like the people that I’m around to be in problems themselves. All that negative energy is super unattractive and takes a toll on my physical, spiritual and mental well-being. However, though I don’t like problems and don’t like being involved in negativity, I definitely do not hesitate to throw it back at someone.
We all know the saying “an eye for an eye”—and no, I don’t literally take someone’s eye if they do something bad to me. However, if a person is giving off a negative emotion or if a situation is giving off a negative aura, odds are, I am going to reciprocate that same energy.
You gave me something bad, so like…why would I not give it back to you? Though I never was the person to want to be involved in problems, I definitely was the one to address it and give back the same nasty energy you gave to me.
Then I realized…I was starting to become blind.
Practicing “an eye for an eye” was doing me so much more harm than good. In the moment, throwing back that negativity felt good; that was only a moment. Anger is such a dominating emotion and once the match has been lit, it is extremely hard to put out. So, even though the moment had passed, the match of Anger remained lit in my mind and my heart. It followed and haunted me, refusing to go out because I didn’t know any other way to cope with the negatives.
Anger was not and never had been the solution, but I didn’t know what else to do. I was sick of being angry and even more sick of letting this anger control my days.
Because I didn’t know how to function outside of anger, everything just made me angry. From slightly hitting my knee on the corner of my bed to failing an exam, if it was negative, I made the situation 100 times worse. But…I couldn’t not make it worse. I couldn’t not be overly angry at any bad situation and I couldn’t not let it haunt me. I…was officially stuck.
Then, I discovered a healthier response.
I always knew of the phrase, “kill them with kindness,” but I always had a sarcastic view of the saying. The saying involved dealing with a negative situation with kindness…so I looked at it sarcastically because that couldn’t be possible. Be kind when others are mean? Absolutely not. There is no way that was actually possible.
Then, I started really getting into my Bible. Because I couldn’t discover the answer to why it was better to always remain kind—regardless of the person or the situation—I turned to God for the answer.
I found so many scriptures and heard plenty of sermons that said to practice kindness wherever I go and to always show love, but I still wasn’t really understanding the benefits of remaining kind in a negative situation. It was just…so much easier to be mad, so why would I push myself to practice kindness? What was the point?
I then started seeing that practicing kindness, no matter what, was more for myself than it was for the situation or the person. At first, this concept wasn’t that clear to me. Keep being nice…no matter what? How could that ever help me?
Well, I learned that though I have no control over certain situations or how certain people act, the one thing I can control is how I respond.
Responding with negativity was only going to cause more negativity to arise. However, if I remained calm in a situation and just took a deep breath, odds are, the result would be much better.
Of course, remaining kind isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
This newly discovered approach to negativity wasn’t something that I could just magically accomplish overnight, so sometimes I do have my moments in which I “snap” or don’t handle negativity in the best way. But, instead of being stuck like I once was, I could now acknowledge the situation and move better to address it if it were to happen again.
To my surprise, remaining kind actually felt better on my heart and mind. Because I remained kind and calm, when the situation was finally over, it was as if it never happened. My Anger match finally blew out and didn’t have control over me anymore.
If you have a situation that has tainted or taunted you, try forgiving whatever it was and just watch how easy it is to let go. If you continue to practice “an eye for an eye,” you might end up closer to blindness than kindness.