In “How to Present Your Case Most Effectively When Filing a Complaint” I emphasized the importance of letting go of the outcome. But how do you do that? How do you just not care if someone who inflicted an immense psychological damage on you will receive a just punishment or not? How can one not care if they get vindicated by the justice system or not?
Let me be clear. By “letting go” I don’t mean to say that pursuing justice is not important and that the result of this pursuit is not important. Of course, when we have been wronged, it’s important to see justice prevail because it makes us feel supported and validated by the society, by life itself, and, for spiritually-minded and religious people, seeing justice done makes them feel validated by God or Higher Power. The sense of being supported by some larger entity outside of ourselves makes recovery much easier……initially. Because the feelings of relief and happiness that come with the good news don’t last forever.
I have known people who have not healed their wounds even 20-30 years after the traumatic experience ended despite the fact that they achieved what they wanted through their legal or civic pursuits.
I’ve also known people who chose not to seek justice for various reasons and who have healed their trauma considerably. I am one of them. (I am referring to one of the two of my traumatic experiences because in the second case I did pursue a civic action.)
Through an enormous amount of healing work I have done I was able to learn that healing essentially has little to do with what happens to those who inflicted harm on us, but has a lot to do with how we view our experiences and what lessons we have learned from them, if any.
So what way of looking at your experience can help you detach from the outcome of your legal/civic action? Here is my advice.
Look at what happened to you as a great opportunity to learn something important about yourself, about life, about people and human relationships, as an opportunity to grow and to become a wiser and stronger person than you were.
This is a spiritual/philosophical outlook that some people might reject, but I strongly believe that there is no other way not to make your recovery dependent on the external circumstances. The narratives we create around the events in our life, the ways we choose to interpret our experiences, the conclusions we arrive to, the belief systems we construct as a result of our interpretations, the definitions we use to sort out and separate right from wrong – all of those choices will make our healing process either easier or more difficult depending on what we choose.
If the ONLY way for you to make sense of your experience is through the narrative of the innocent victim who was violated by the perpetrator, then the entire quality of your life will continue to depend on whether life sends “good” or “bad” people your way, which is a disempowering position by default. This mental disposition assumes that you have no power to make decisions and to exercise your free will, which puts you at the mercy of other people, external events, and circumstances.
Now you may ask how else to interpret the experience of being objectively victimized other than to acknowledge the reality of it?
Of course, this is the reality that needs to be acknowledged. I have never suggested otherwise. What I am saying is that this is not the ONLY reality of the situation. Every life situation consists of more than just one dimension, more than just one reality. It is up to you to accept this proposition or not. I just know from experience that life gets better when we accept it. To explain this further would require a separate post, probably, more than one.