No one can betray you, unless you are betraying yourself. This is a simple but true statement. Everyone at some time in their life will know this devastating experience. It seems an inevitability of life’s teachings. It comes with the territory when we are living out of alignment with our truth. This living out of alignment with who we really, this self-betrayal, sets the groundwork for being betrayed by others.
There is a voice inside us all that whispers, speaks, and sometimes yells when those more subtle aspects of her voice are ignored. It guides us our entire life in an effort to keep us true to ourselves. Some people are aware of this voice and listen to it regularly. Some people hear the voice occasionally, especially when there are life’s challenges, and heed its advice. Some people are unaware the voice is there, and never listen or hear it. These folks have the most tragic and difficult lives and are most likely to become victims of betrayal. But it happens to all of us, even those of us who are in sync with that voice, because even with self-examination, we often neglect certain aspects of our lives and the light of awareness fails to illuminate those dark corners.
But it’s difficult to listen all the time, and so we miss the subtle cues, make choices that do not honor us, lie to ourselves about friends, lovers, jobs, and one day we get slammed. HARD. Someone betrays you in the outside world. But it’s been happening in your inner world or it couldn’t happen at all. When we are willing to deceive ourselves, many will follow suit to do the same to you. In fact, you could say an energetic queue starts to form, and pretty soon you feel powerless in your own life because the betrayals keep on coming.
I believe that in our lives the questions, not the answers, lead us to our wisdom. No matter what we go through, we have to ask the question: How did this happen? Why did I create this situation? What do I need to learn from it? And more questions generally unfold as you start to answer those. What should happen is that you begin to see where the rubber hits the road. Where who you want to be and who you’re pretending to be don’t match up, and therein lies the rub.
Now you must choose, between the authentic you and the one you’ve been carrying around with you and showing everyone. Most people find it would be too challenging to let people know that they don’t want to live the way they’ve been living any longer. It could mean ending marriages, relationships, careers, where we live, financial arrangements. And even though those very structures are the external cause of your discontent, you choose to keep living the lies, and keep perpetuating the self-betrayal. Somehow we convince ourselves it’s easier than blowing up not just your world, but the lives of the others involved with you.
Nothing of greatness that we will ever do in our lives is easy. The harder it is, usually the greatest personal reward
Then you become a victim, “look what’s happened to me!”He/She betrayed me, I was robbed, I didn’t know. I never saw this coming.” But blindness is only a perception, a choice we make because we are afraid to face the deeper wound that triggers the betrayals. Somewhere deep inside your soul, you ALWAYS know that there is something amiss. We CHOOSE to turn a blind eye, but that is not the same as blindness.
So what can we learn when we suffer betrayal in any form? Many people, upon suffering a large betrayal, go into a form of shock, shutdown, or the alternative, throw themselves into distraction. The first response is natural, as it is a form of trauma. The second response is a form of avoidance. The most dangerous thing that we can do after suffering the awakening and transformational energy of betrayal, because it really will transform your life if you allow it, is to run away from it. I wrote a blog post a while ago called “The next time pain knocks on your door, invite him or her in for a cup of tea.” (see post archives) This would be an opportune moment to do just that.
Betrayal rips at the core of your being. The pain can be so intense that the last thing you want to do is to sit with it and face it. Yet unless you do so, you run the risk of having that queue I spoke of formerly knocking on your front door. What you can’t be with, won’t let you be.
So the challenge becomes to face and feel all the feelings that are emerging from this experience. Any challenging experience should be dealt with in the same way, but because of the intensity of a betrayal, it is more likely to lead to deep healing If we can truly be with our pain.
I truly believe that in our deepest darkness, there is the potential for us to achieve a connection to our brightest light. There is a gift in betrayal, as crazy as that may sound. In every painful experience of our lives, there is always a gift.
I recently had the insight that our emotional lives, and the emotion that we experience as human beings is a gift that when followed with commitment, integrity, and courage will lead us into our own spiritual wisdom.
The trick for most of us however, is to not run away from the pain. When something hurts, the last thing we want to do is to stay with it. We become avoidant in many forms, including distraction, work, other relationships, sex, drugs, you name it. But that is keeping us from being present with the pain and the emotion that it is triggering in us. When you encounter this place in your life, as strange as this might sound, it would serve you well in transforming and healing to create a mini pain vacation, and hang out with your pain. Stay present with it moment by moment, allow it to pervade your very soul, your heart, your mind. Let it speak to you, and heal you of what you are holding on to that led you to this experience to begin with. If you can do that, rather than taking years to never deal with something because you continue to run away from it, therefore never heal or evolve beyond it, but if you can stay with it, even if it lasts a few months, what you will discover on the other side is a gift.
One of the many gifts of betrayal is vulnerability. When we are vulnerable, in general, it makes us feel unsafe. But there is a kind of vulnerability that comes from being stripped of everything that you thought was true about who you are and being left naked. But this nakedness has a pureness to it because it shows you who you truly are without subterfuge, delusions, other people’s projections of who you should be, your own perception of yourself that is not in alignment with who you are, and you’re left with, quite simply, who you really are. Your truth. And at the core of the betrayal itself is the idea that something you thought was true, isn’t. Something you believed was real, isn’t. So like sheep shorn of its skin, you are shorn of the lies and deceptions that you have been living in your own life, left naked and exposed. But there is a cleansing also that has occurred. A forceful purification, often violent in its emotional impact. All the poisons in your life in the form of lies, self-deception, wrong choices in careers, people, ideas, are forcibly removed from you. This is why you feel vulnerable, confused, and not sure of what is truth. We are so used to labeling what we feel as good or bad, negative or positive, yet if we could learn to embrace the full spectrum of our human emotions without judgment, we would learn, grow, evolve, and ultimately love in the way that we are capable of much more easily and readily and in the way that we are truly meant to.
This energy of betrayal seems rampant right now. If it has touched your life, use it as a gift to transform and heal yourself. Allow it to shine a light on all the dark corners within you that you are judging, ashamed of or afraid to see. Denial that these feelings, wounds and places exist within us will not make you happy and that same denial will sabotage your life over and over and over again until you find the courage to examine them all. They end up in your subconscious mind, which is a dangerous place. I liken it to the chauffeur in a limo. You’re in the back seat, with the privacy glass up, and your subconscious is driving you to a destination that you are unaware of until you get out of the car.
Be patient with yourself and be present with the pain. And let the journey last as long as it needs to. Do not place time limits on your healing. And LOVE YOURSELF every moment. Reach out to your friends, get support, but most of all, be true to your heart. Stand naked with your truth. It may hurt at first, but eventually you will know that there is no other possible way to live in integrity with yourself. It’s the betrayal of that integrity by YOU FIRST, that opens the door for others to betray you as well. Make sure that door is never opened. We all have wounds and issues in life. It’s part of being human. Work on your self. Examine your life, stay present and true, and when betrayal or any other pain touches you, you will be more prepared to allow it to transform you and take you to an even higher octave of your true, beautiful, radiant self.
With love & blessings,