Teaching dream: justice

I can’t stand injustice. If I had to sum up who I am in one sentence, that would be it. It’s so intrinsic to who I am that it’s pretty much synonymous with me.

That’s all good and well, but as we all know, life is not fair. For someone who can’t stand injustice, that’s very hard to live with, and I struggle with it every time it comes up. I’ve been having an especially hard time recently, when an acquaintance stole from me, and got away with it because she denied it.

When I say “I can’t stand injustice” I mean that literally, and I’m using the word ‘literally’ correctly. Now tell me how to stop this incident from emotionally tearing me apart. I can’t change who I am.

I asked some friends for advice, and they said “We know she’s lying, but there’s nothing you can do; just let it go.” Read the previous paragraph again. I can’t “just let it go.” And what is that even saying? That my feelings don’t matter? So people can do whatever they want to me, and I just have to take it? No.*

The other option is to seek personal justice, but that almost invariably leads to vengence, which is…not good. And not just. It’s hard to see the line between justice and vengence, though, when you’re that hurt and angry.

I started wondering, if I did try something, would it be justice or vengence? I didn’t know the answer to that question.

Fortunately, my subconscious presented me with a dream where I could play out the scenario. In the dream I started stealing back small amounts of the thing she stole from me. At first I wasn’t sure how much I would take. Then at some point I was told “That’s enough.”**

When I heard that, I had this feeling of relief and closure, like, “I got back what I lost, we’re even, we’re done.” and I was happy. It was justice.

I could have taken more, as a fine for having been wronged, but I think that would have been vengence. I just want what’s mine; that’s enough.

I don’t want to sound like I’m patting my back here, because that’s not my motivation in writing this post. I don’t think I’m any better than the average person, and honestly I’m a little embarrassed by this whole incident. But I am very happy with how I reacted in the dream. It was really bothering me for a while now, and I’m relived that I have not crossed the line. I know the events in a dream are not real, but the emotions are real, so that toally counts.

*After two decades of people walking all over me, I had a dream where I was taught to not let people take advantage of me any more. That was…a year ago? So yeah, I’m done with that.

**I have no idea who told me that. I do know how much was taken, so it could have come from my own head. It felt more like the words came from an external source, but they sort of just arrived in my head, so I don’t know. Doesn’t really make a difference.

I’m planning to replay the dream irl. I need justice and closure in this world too, and now I know that I won’t go too far.

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3 responses to “Teaching dream: justice”

  1. ubenmaat says :

    I think you’re right on with the difference between vengeance and justice. My wife is a justice person. I am, for the most part, a vengeance person. To my understanding through conversations with her, justice is undoing, if possible, what was done, and preventing it from being done in the future, again if possible. Vengeance is going beyond that, causing suffering that does not assist in the accomplishment of the above stated goals.

    • firejourneygirl says :

      *nods* I used to be more of a vengence person. A lot of “she hurt me so I want to hurt her back.” Probably because it was the only way I could see being able to get any satisfaction and closure. My perceptions have changed somewhat since then.

      I’ve had to do some uncomfortable introspection when the topic of ma’at and justice versus vengence came up. Justice returns things to a balance; vengence just changes the imbalance from one side to the other. It took me a long time to internalize that, though. Feelings can change over time, but knowing a thing doesn’t immediately change how you feel about it. I’m starting to ramble…

      Preventing further harm is a good point too. I’ve made sure not to leave my stuff alone with that person any more, so there have been no further incidents. Preventing the thing from happening again was a fairly easy first step, but for me it was not enough on its own. I’m not sure how I feel about people who can just let thing go. It’s kind of impressive, but at the same time I think they’re doing themselves a disservice.

      • ubenmaat says :

        I think it depends on what is being let go. If it’s something that you can’t affect in any way, then it seems a good life skill. If it’s something that you CAN affect, and choose to walk away from, it seems irresponsible, and potentially dangerous.

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