The sting of betrayal is prevalent. This year it hit me hard both figuratively and literally, hitting me from behind, and actually knocking me to the ground. As I am in my second round of recovery from a fall caused by someone off-balance, who was neglected and required the care and safety of mental health professionals. Yet, these past few weeks I have been able to add more and more steps with my full weight. I am deeply appreciative of each step. I am finding my gait, gaining momentum and increasing the distance I can make on a daily basis. There is pure fulfillment for this simple progress.
When we are betrayed the aftermath of emotion comes in waves. Sometimes these waves may not surface until years later. The waves I am experiencing today are filled with a mix of sparks and flares from different eras of my life, like time traveling messages. Some journeyed from the distant past while many arise around the uncertainty filling these pandemic times. Like a warehouse manager I work hard to take an honest inventory, sifting through each experience as well as my memories and thoughts, searching for the words to tell my story with an open, loving heart. I long to balance my healing with freedom from the past and any wreckage of suffering I’ve experienced from betrayals.
As I tend to these waves of unwanted fire, I gather my balance. I work earnestly to raise myself beyond the flames, to catch my breath and see what I am intended to know and accept now at this time in my life. I see the place within me where I’ve buried my deepest sufferings, bubbling with hurt and anger. Within one flash, I see my responsibility and as another flame rises up, I am triggered with fury, longing to be “heard” or “seen” for all the injustice and unkindness others have projected onto people I know and love, including me.
Betrayal and dishonesty burn everything in its path. I see more clearly now how “aggressive control” creates connections that threaten us, causing real harm and suffering. For you see, when we betray one we also betray ourselves and those who know and love us. It ripples out. Just as when we betray a group we also betray ourselves and those connected to the people we have harmed. This impacts families and communities. One bully can do much harm, yet we must not forget they are also causing harm to themselves. We rarely speak of this or make this connection. We have much to learn to grow awareness, which supports our need to evolve and change these patterns and cycles of betrayal. Healing takes time and patience. It takes a willingness to dive into the nuance of situations and events to grow awareness and be brave enough to apply compassion. Too often we give or assign the pain of our control games to other human beings by way of blame as well as judgements and persecutions.
The heat of our betrayals generates wind. This wind can carry us far away to places so lonely and distant we may feel abandoned or as if we cannot survive there. I truly believe this is why we decide and proclaim that we will “stop caring”. I also believe this is why we need one another. We need each other to keep our sail’s up when the winds of betrayal have dragged us down.
We must remember we have free will. Although you may have been taught to harden your heart in order to escape the grips of pain, remember you have other more creative choices. If we cut ourselves off from that which is real to avoid the impact, it’s important to know this is a survival tactic during times of trauma, and it works for a while.
The blaze of betrayal can be relentless. One bully can savage the authentic purpose, energy and time of another. They persist in order to pursue their true need, to “win”, to be superior, most liked or loved. Their blaze is filled with aggression, fear and too often envy. They work hard to distract us with the intent to convince us that we must let go of our trust in order to survive. A bully yearns for the satisfaction they receive when they are able to persuade or humiliate us into giving up our power. They feel victorious when we relent and willingly yet reluctantly let go of trust. When we give into the disappointment we often give up our own self-trust. This may be voiced in our words. When we surrender we often make statements, voiced as: “I must stop caring about this or that”, or “I don’t care anymore about this person or that group”, or “It doesn’t matter” even though it does matter a great deal.
Courage is required to feel our betrayals. When we are disloyal or when someone is disloyal with us the destruction runs deep. Forgiveness does not come easy for many, especially if cynicism is modeled as an acceptable response or taught as the solution to prevail. For some forgiveness has never been modeled, taught or freely given. How could it be known or realized, when this is the case?
Love is our constant. Love lives on and is present and available within all experiences. It carries us and tends to our hearts, even if we only allow in the most microscopic particles. It is our greatest super power, beyond titanium or Super Man’s plutonium. The smallest amount of love will grow and bear fruit. It is also more powerful than manipulation, broken trust and even hate. It does not give up. Love takes many forms, and of late love is asking me to:
Give all of your disappointments and anger, any pain and suffering to love. Allow these to return and burn, no matter their origin or timing. Let them flow into my streams and rivers, gliding into the oceans where compassion perseveres. Be free to create with trust and live with new boundaries that serve you well today.
It’s time to cultivate trust. May love be your constant companion as you experience the days ahead.
Note: Please know that I had an unfortunate incident in May, a stranger purposefully knocked me over while I was on a walk (not my sweet Michael). If anything, he protected me from further injury, it would have been much worse. I wrote this post as I know too many good people of all stages and ages who have been laid-off or who are finding our cultural divisiveness impacting relationships in every area of life. My heart is with those I know and our world as a whole as we journey on! Again, my leg and its many injuries is recovering and with patience all will be well. Although it’s taking far longer than I could imagine. As I’ve expressed frustration with the process and any other human emotion, my friend, Michael reminds me that I am actually fortunate to have much patience, fortitude and love. Thank you Michael. And thank you to those who recently reached out with concern.
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Contact Beth Wellesley at 612.824.0454 (o) or 612.325.5104 (m). Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the CONNECTING menu.