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Now, vengeance is reprehensible even according to reason, for it is of no benefit to the avenger. If a man strikes another, and the victim chooses to exact revenge by returning the blow, what advantage will he gain? Will this be a balm to his wound or a remedy for his pain? No, God forbid! In truth the two actions are the same: Both are injuries; the only difference is that one preceded the other. Therefore, if the victim forgives, or better still, if he acts in the opposite manner, this is praiseworthy . . . if the victim chooses to forgive and to show instead the greatest mercy, this is most approved in the sight of God. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, 2014 ed., p. 76).

I wonder where in history we learned to exact revenge when someone wronged us?  It seems obvious when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá reminds us that there’s no advantage to returning the blow.  I love the expression “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  When I put anger on the hamster wheel of my mind, and let that go round and round, making it bigger and bigger, I don’t feel any peace.  I stop praying to feed the addiction and feed off the adrenaline rush, which later turns into dis-ease in my body, mind and spirit.  As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá reminds us “what advantage will we gain”?  “Will it be a remedy for the pain or a balm to our wounds?”  No never!

I like how He tells us that both actions are the same.  If I hold on to anger and bitterness towards my parents who abused me, they don’t know.  The only person I’m hurting is me.  The harder thing is to forgive and act in the opposite way, but this is a skill I can learn and a spiritual muscle I can develop.  I long to be approved by God, and this is one thing I can do, with His help.

Learning how to let go of my anger and forgive I am at peace, and I am grateful!

What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation?  I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!

If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Anger and Bitterness


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