“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”
“How are you holding up?” I asked her. She replied, “I am a human being that understands that betrayal is damaging to the soul. I know I will overcome this pain, but right now I am reacting to the heartache.” I listened as my friend shared about a betrayal by her close friend. According to my friend, whom we shall call Rose, her close friend had shared some personal information about Rose with others at her place of employment. This had left Rose devastated and less trusting. This betrayal of their friendship left her confused and seeking answers about what had happened. She had lessons to learn from this experience. She learned that being vengeful is a reaction to the pain, but that revenge deepens your pain. She learned that forgiveness does not come automatically, and that you must not rush it. Rose discovered that distancing herself from someone who had hurt her could help with the wound, but that true healing comes with time.
There are times in your life when you give unconditionally of yourself. You go out of your way to help and support people who you think will be part of your life forever. But people change, and you are left mourning the loss of a friendship, which feels like a death. How do you trust again? How do you learn the lesson and move on? Today, let’s talk about how to learn from betrayal and how to overcome it.
Immerse yourself in the pain.
Yes, you must feel it. Betrayal can catch you off-guard. It can make you feel a sense of loss. Immerse yourself in the pain. Feel your sadness and anger. It’s your party and you may cry if you want to. Actually, you must cry it out! This whole notion that you must not let it bring you down is wrong. Let it bring you down, but don’t stay down too long.
Talk it out.
Find a friend, confidant, or reach out for a coach or counselor. We are here for you! When we share our latest setback, one rarely seeks advice or opinions from our friends. In the example above, my friend was seeking simply to be heard. One is in disbelief of the betrayal, so it’s natural to want to make sense of what occurred. Be proactive by being open and honest about all the feelings that show up. Be aware of the fear that comes up and understand that you can move past this setback by acknowledging that it happened.
Seek to understand but learn the lesson.
The best medicine for these type of setbacks is empathy. Remind yourself that it’s not about you—it’s about the person who betrayed you. Try to understand why they did what they did. Think about how you might have contributed to this behavior. Remember it takes two to tango and you are part of this dance. Learn the lesson so that you do not repeat it. My friend mentioned that she was too trusting and failed to address issues as they surfaced in this relationship. She learned that she must address issues as they arise in her relationships.
Bless them and thank them.
Okay, maybe you can’t forgive and bless them right away. It’s even okay to curse them for a bit and to feel disappointed but then let it go. Hatred and resentment only hurts you. Bless and thank them for the lesson learned, and send them off into the sunset. Remember to be grateful for the experience because it has made you wiser.
We have all been betrayed at some point in our lives. It’s part of the human experience. It hurts to be lied to or betrayed by someone you thought you could trust. I know how difficult it is to forgive and let go. I have been there! Let time do the healing but be proactive in learning the lesson. Bless and thank those who hurt you. Trust that you will overcome, and trust that not everyone will betray you. Until next Monday, Believe. Change. Become.
Sending blessings and love your way!