Being or feeling betrayed really sucks, doesn’t it? It’s just one of those feelings that rocks both our inner and outer world. The shock of thinking we know the person, and so by extension ourselves – but discovering that we don’t – is enough to make us question “it all”. And worse than being worked over is that we then second-guess ourselves. So nothing is secure in the world. We feel we can’t or shouldn’t trust. We perhaps even retaliate to make someone else feel as crappy as we do.
But the key to betrayal is in how we react to it.
The upset of our lives and emotions by betrayal often causes us to come up with a brand new sense of who we are. But this is a healthy response. We are dynamic beings who thrive from learning, growing and evolving. So everything we experience can and should be utilized as a learning opportunity.
An unhealthy reaction on the other hand would be keeping the same sense of self but armoring up to protect ourselves from further attack or betrayal, or even strategizing to ensure we are never caught exposed again. The problem with this is that if we refuse to ever be vulnerable again, we become a closed system that cannot change and improve. And by creating and living from certain “operating systems” designed to shield and protect us, we are under an illusion of ‘control’ and don’t accept that our experiences are life’s way of nudging us to evolve.
Being a little bit fragile and sensitive sometimes is a good thing. It means you’re alive, for one. But it also means you’re human and that you’re healing. During healing we need to nurture – not harden – ourselves, because it is actually by stiffening up that more scarring occurs.
Be wary of extremes in reaction; they mean we are out of balance.
How do you deal with disappointment and betrayal? This says a lot about a person. Seeking answers and remaining open can make one a little foolish, but we have to be willing to be somewhat foolish at times – full of innocent ‘wonder’ – in order to grow in the healthiest sense. If you are too afraid to look foolish you are trying to control too much about your life. It is a façade to think that we can keep it all together 100% of the time. If someone else appears to be able to do that, don’t buy into the grass being greener. Optimism is one thing; but refusing to accept that we all have challenges to overcome is more detrimental than sometimes admitting you just don’t know what you’re doing. How refreshing, and relieving, is it when someone is as real as they can be?!
Who doesn’t want to trust another? It’s human nature and is necessary for relating and building relationships. We can’t get close to others without trusting. And we can’t achieve or be all we can be without others in our lives. It’s just that occasionally our tendency to trust is put in check.
We’ve all been “screwed over” on some level and in some way by friends, lovers, parents, society… We’ve all felt lost at times and reacted like a victim, failing to see the big picture; that the reality to life is that there is a darkness paired with the light, another side to the coin, a yin to the yang. We’ve all at times questioned ourselves, felt we “should have known better, cursed our own intelligence for betraying us.
But the reality is: Shit happens.
While a survivor is someone who learns coping skills, real thriving is coming up with a new sense of who we are in an even more inclusive world; a world that is, yes, full of jerks, mishaps and mosquitoes… but is all in all still a pretty good place to be.
And as for those who could care less about who they hurt, if we refuse to put up with their selfish nonsense, they’ll be stuck with their own shit as their very own self-created punishment, self-imposed hell. Karma, baby. As for the non-vindictive folks that we are, we’ll eventually have to get to the forgiveness. Because we have to let go of what’s harmed us in order to finally stop the bleeding.