26 Jun Accepting an Injustice- Part 1
OK– This one is a Biggie. It’s probably the one thing that rattles our feathers the most and causes us the highest level of distress. Everyone will at some time in their life be served an injustice AND everyone will find it difficult to accept. In fact it is probably one of the hardest things in life to go through. In my life I have had two major injustices served on me.
The first was being a victim of crime. My whole interpretation of the world collapsed. I went from marvelling over what a beautiful world we lived in, to feeling like I had been submerged into Satan’s Universe. Up until that point, it was the hardest thing with which I was ever faced. I did not think I would ever get through it.
One of the most powerful things that happened toward my recovery was a phone call from my mother, in which no matter how distressing the event actually was, she managed to paint a picture of people in far worse situations than mine. This inadvertently brought a level of gratitude into my mind.
This incident affected me so badly that I can recall having a dream in which I was standing in front of the perpetrator holding a gun, Clint Eastwood style, and literally blowing his head off. As horrific as it may seem, it was in fact a dream, not a night mare. I remember clearly, because the next day a friend called me to tell me that she saw the perpetrator at a popular picnic spot with his entire family, laughing and enjoying the day.
It suddenly occurred to me that whilst I had become a vessel of hatred and distress, unable to sleep for literally months, this guy was laughing and having a good ol’ time. I acknowledged how I was destroying myself and so now I was not only a victim but I was victimising myself. My happiness was now in his control.
I decided to accept what I couldn’t change and channel my energy toward doing what I could to bring this person to justice. With justice being the operative word.
When you are a victim of a heinous crime, it seems that you fill with so much anger over the injustice you have been served, that revenge seems most appropriate, right? Let them pay for their wrong doing.
With all my spiritual literature and teachings floating around in my head, I was vaguely aware that: “Everything happens for a reason”; “You are not defined by what happens to you but by what you become from it.”; “Everyone is doing the best they know.”; “Somehow I had created this.”; “This may have happened to raise my level of presence.” ; “It’s not my job to judge – leave his consequence, punishment or outcome to the Creator.”;“His Karma will create his consequence.”, and so on and so on.
As the days went by, I was able to shed all the negativity and accept the situation for what it was, and even see, as my mother had pointed out, how lucky I was under the circumstances. My heart began to run the show again, as I thought of all the events that might have happened in the perpetrators childhood that had lead him to become the person he was. I am in no way condoning his actions, nor did I try to understand them, but rather recognised it as an event that, in isolation to the context of my life against the bigger picture, did not make sense and probably never will.
I did not seek revenge just “justice”. I meditated every day for 20 minutes morning and night on “justice”. I was given extremely low odds of a conviction. I had decided that no matter what the world determined was “the truth”, – I knew “the truth” and that’s all that matters. If our system is limited, then I will have to accept it, but I “will not” let that limitation dictate my happiness – this one was between ‘me and God’.
Despite the low odds, the 5 days in court played out like something from a movie. It was like each and every player was hand selected by “the Universe” to work in my favour.
The perpetrator received a 4 year sentence, being an outstanding result when compared to similar crimes and given the lack of hard evidence.
In the beginning of this entry, I said I have had 2 major injustices served on me. The second, had its, 3 day court case only 7 weeks prior to this one. So you see, as I dealt with this ordeal I was already dealing with another injustice which was, over 10 years ago, to the magnitude of $210 000.00
My partner sold our recycling business and machinery to a long time business acquaintance, who had no intention of ever paying for it. Despite having only a verbal agreement, this court case also played out to perfection with the offender being ordered to pay the full amount, plus interest, plus court costs which amounted, at that time, to over $65 000.00. The Magistrate even ordered seizure and sale of this person’s land to secure our money.
Did we ever see a cent of it? NO- we did not. I remember driving and thinking that I could almost buy a house with this money. Our financial nest egg- literally stolen right in front of our eyes. I remember fantasising about all the enjoyment this money would have brought us. The travel, the new cars, the clothes, the adventures and so forth.
When I was dealing with this situation, I remember that the thought of all the things I could do with the money that was rightfully ‘mine’ filled me with intense anger. I remember counteracting the thought by focusing on the fact that we were all healthy. I thought a lot about the offender’s wife who was later convicted of a different crime for which she received a jail sentence, (which was incidentally the reason we could not exercise the sale of the land court order).
It was not so much this in itself that changed the way I felt but more the fact that she had children, who were the innocent parties to all of this. They had become rendered without a mother at home, and also without a home because the Government had seized their house. The situation for her poor children made me very sad and less focused on my own loss.
When you’re under intense pressure, ‘the mind’ has a tenancy to play games sometimes and I remember the voice in my head asking me, if I were to win only one court case, which one would I choose?
You see one was based on principle whilst the other was based on money. In other words, would it be better to receive over $200 000.00 which can alter my life but have a perpetrator walk free or have a perpetrator jailed (which doesn’t reverse the crime) and lose the money.
My answer came when I heard Eckhart Tolle say, “nothing real has been lost”-or nothing of any value has been lost- only money, which comes and goes. The essence of who I am remains unchanged.
For me these two counts of injustice happened almost simultaneously and going through the judicial process twice was more than exhausting. What did I learn from it all?
Sometimes in life when you are forced to accept an injustice, a dimension opens up within you to which you previously had no access.
This is the greatest gift of all ...