Betrayal and Grief

friendship-betrayalSo, I ask you, do we grieve when someone has betrayed us?  Think of a time when someone you trusted or believed in, turned against you.  It doesn’t have to be something as big as losing your job or marriage.  It could be as simple as a friend who abandons you.

I think we grieve many times during our life experience and for a myriad of reasons.

A couple of months ago, someone I thought of as a friend turned out to be the opposite, a betrayal that shocked and saddened me deeply.

I was also extremely angry and resentful, and yes, I am ashamed to admit, wishing I could find a way to even the score. Fortunately, there was no possibility of acting on this desire for revenge without making matters worse.

Somehow it would be up to me to figure out what underlying insecurities might have been behind this betrayal and to find the compassion to forgive. This was necessary for my own emotional well-being so that I could be at peace again and move forward free of resentment…so easy to say, but not so simple to achieve.

But then, as with most things in life, the answer was given to me at exactly the right time.

The simple truth came to me as I was listening to one of my favourite speakers, Rev. Cheryl-Lynn McPherson.  However unintentional, what she said was what I needed to hear, just when I needed to hear it. My eyes were opened to a completely different perspective.

The bottom line of her message was that no one owes us anything.  …Pretty simple really, but totally profound when you get to the heart of it.

We live in a world now that can be extremely egocentric. This sense of entitlement is all pervasive and is desperately unhealthy. If we are not happy with our situation it must be because someone owes us something. We may complain, sulk, place the blame on anyone except ourselves or choose the most popular option by far these days and pay some happy lawyer to sue someone on our behalf.

The problem with all of this is that it hinders our ability to see the truth. No one owes us anything.

Imagine truly believing that for a moment.  Our governments, parents, children, family, friends don’t owe us a thing.  How freeing is that?

It allows us to take full responsibility for our own lives.

Betrayal is hard.  It always feels personal but in fact, it is really all about the needs of another person.

No one owes me either approval or support.  Both of these may be my needs, but they must be manifested within myself.  What a great lesson to learn from something that at the time left me feeling undervalued and frustrated.

And, as with all types of grief, gratitude is the cornerstone to healing.

I am grateful to have heard and understood the timely delivery of that message from Cheryl-Lynn.

I am also grateful that I now understand the reasons behind the hurtful actions, which makes forgiveness so much easier.

Yes, I think we do grieve when we’ve been betrayed and that’s OK.  But it’s our job to get through it without belittling anyone.  Embracing the idea that we are owed nothing and finding gratitude for the lessons learned will make it all so much easier.

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