People are most certainly accountable for their actions. Saw off a branch upon which you are sitting and you will fall.
However, people are not accountable for the bitterness you feel toward them. Connecting your own bitterness with their accountability is an illusion. Equally so, you are not responsible for the bitterness others may feel toward you.
That is an important distinction to make. Because if you make others accountable for your feelings, you will effectively make yourself powerless.
Justice, and this is solely my opinion, has nothing to do with punishment. Real justice will not punish a thief but rather make a thief into a philanthropist. Similarly, holding someone accountable for their actions does not mean punishing them for your hard feelings. It means wishing (and ideally transforming) whatever ignorance that gave rise to the situation into clarity.
It is important to remember a few things. First is that the people who have caused us harm only do so out of their own suffering. In other words, people can only hurt you when they themselves are hurting, even if that hurt is below their level of conscious attention. I have never seen an exception to this insight. Knowing it for yourself changes things quite a bit.
Secondly, we only see a small slice of the world for another person. We often see only a collection of moments from a single lifetime. We are not always in such a position as to really see the effects of the choices an individual makes as they impact a life over several incarnations. Don’t expect to see your concept of justice doled on your concept of a timeframe.
In your case, and many others like it, what really matters? That your ex gets justice done onto him or that you emerge from your suffering with a radiant aura of independence and joy?
I think you know the answer to that.
An important book on this matter is The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron.
aliveandrebel - After I left my abusive ex-wife I struggled to find a sense of peace and justice in the world. She almost killed me multiple times; emerging from that “hell” into the “real world” was so confusing.
Healing took a very long time and no time at all; it was instant and it yet it took years; it is in the past and yet it happens every single moment. That may sound confusing, but what I mean is that I began truly healing (and in the same instance was deeply healed) the moment I realized that this moment, every moment, the fact there IS not even a “moment” just “now” belonged to me. Not to the past story of who I was. Not to the emotions of pain, anger, fury, hurt. Those emotions are tools to help me access my world, not things that can use ME. This moment IS - and the second my mind attempts to link memories of the past and daydreams of the future to this moment, the moment no longer IS… it becomes something messy and confusing, buried alive under definitions my mind slathers onto it.
Again, its late and I’m probably being unclear, but I never dreamed such peace, such a sense of safety and love in this world, could exist for me when once upon a time I spent my nights huddled in a ball, bloodied and beaten, believing I deserved the hate that was being lashed down upon me. I never dreamed of such clarity, peace, and awareness as is in my life now, even though it was always right there under the surface.
Reading The Power of Now - not once, but multiple times at different times of my life, cover to cover at least three times over three years, with notebooks filled with copied quotes from it to meditate on - changed everything. Or more, I was ready for the change and the book, as Tolle says, was the right guide-posts to help facilitate my journey. I highly recommend it - and hope you, too, can feel that peace that is always there, right under the surface past thought and emotion, resting right where you *are.*