“I wish all my enemies had three cars parked in front of their house: an ambulance, a fire truck, and a police car.” Uh-oh. Why is it so enticing to seek revenge when we are suffering or offended? Who disappointed or flat-out hurt you? Was it a friend, colleague, sister, brother, or even your husband or wife? Ah, now vengeance is yours. Is your anger festering right beneath the surface? Hmmm. What to do?

Revenge sounds so cruel. You prefer calling it “returning the favor”? Yikes. There is an ancient saying: “Before you begin on the journey of revenge, dig two graves.” The truth is that the best revenge is having enough self-worth not to even seek it.

The choices you make reveal the true nature of your character. Lack of character will somehow always reveal itself in the end. Have your negative feelings frittered away over time, or have they become inflamed or turned into an obsession?

Why can we simply not “let go”? Sure, it may be instinct to defend yourself when you feel threatened in any way. Do you dream of retaliation or evening the score with him? Do you feel the need to give her a taste of her own medicine after she hurt your feelings? A taste of your own medicine is not so tasty, huh? It’s pretty obvious that medicine companies have no earthly idea what fruit tastes like.

But truly, the only ones you should “get even” with are the ones who helped you, sweet friends. True freedom comes from within. Why keep your wounds open? Whatever you do, please do not become like the one you see as your enemy. You cannot emotionally recover if you do not allow your trauma to heal.

Somebody stole my Microsoft Office...but I’ll get my revenge; you have my Word. We all know that life is unfair. No, your abuser did not “get away with it” simply because you chose the higher ground. Pain need not be a life sentence. We can recover. Nothing can truly erase the heartache or heartbreak. But you can learn to be the kind of person that the one who exploited you can never be. Taking back your life is your best revenge, my friends. Make sure your worst enemy is not living between your two ears.

If you keep the faith, you are taking back everything your “enemy” tried to take from you. Think about it. Choose compassion for yourself over abuse of others. Do not allow others to destroy your sense of self. Planning and plotting your retaliation does not allow you to truly move past the pain. It literally ties you right back to the person who wronged you.

Exert power over yourself instead of expending your precious energy trying to have power over someone else. Remember that the power of a man’s mind is directly proportional to the quality of the coffee he drinks. Speaking of which, may your morning coffee give you the strength to make it to your mid-morning coffee. Look, I eat salad every day. Bean salad – coffee bean salad that is. I never drink coffee at lunchtime. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon.

But in all seriousness, what makes us truly masterful is letting go of toxic feelings. Your superpower actually lies in learning to let go. Did you also spend a large portion of your childhood waiting for your superpowers to start working? One of my superpowers is picking the slowest moving line at the grocery store. What’s yours? Well, no one is you. That is your superpower.

Use all of your pent-up energy to make yourself emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy. Find someone who is willing to stay present as you work through your feelings. Please be humble and curious, not judgmental with others who share their suffering with you. Encourage her to use all of her self-soothing techniques.

Please do not keep re-experiencing your pain. Help him restore his sense of dignity if he has been deeply disappointed or betrayed. Sit with her until the pain passes. If you are suffering, please allow yourself to receive comfort. Listen to her. We don’t learn much by hearing ourselves speak.

The only taste of success that some people get in this life is taking a bite out of you. Avoid those who poison your spirit, sweet friends. Cancel your subscription to their issues. When you see the good in others, you will ultimately see the good in yourself. It hurts to let go, but it hurts more to hold on. Let it all go and see what stays. What is the filter through which you see the world?

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.