A few years ago, a friend shared an idea about retaliation with me—one of those ideas that, for several reasons, locked down in my memory and hung on. And I think, given the circumstances, it's worth passing onto you. The signature of retaliation, as I've noted, is one of fire and hate. The very nature of retaliation sets off a series of reactions in the body that prepare it for the next saber rattling, which of course, the body may not literally perform. But the body doesn't know that. The pulse quickens, the breath shortens, the stomach creates more acid, the blood pressure rises, and a whole series of chain reactions occur in preparing the body for fight or flight.
And, unless you actually engage in a sword fight or a sparring match, this energy has nowhere to go, and is ultimately detrimental to your body. Our justice system is a prime example of plaintiffs involved in lawsuits for years before any possibility of resolution or closure—and if the plaintiff holds himself on the ready to saber rattle for one year, two years, three years—well, you can imagine what that is doing to his body.
That's the first part of my friend's observation. More tomorrow!