We have all had to deal with it a time or two, maybe more. Betrayal! To be honest with you, It sucks! However I want to share with you a few tips on how you can heal from it and live a life of freedom.
1. UNDERSTAND THAT ONE PAINFUL EXPERIENCE DOESN’T HAVE TO COLOR YOUR WHOLE FUTURE
The sting of betrayal, the pain of rejection, and the grief of abandonment can color our lives, so quickly. When we’re hurting, we have to keep pouring in what is good, healthy, and helpful until the pain of betrayal is run out. If we aren’t careful, betrayal can cause us to have trust issues for a lifetime, causing us to close ourselves off and not risk being hurt again.
2. UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INTENTIONAL AND UNINTENTIONAL BETRAYAL
Intentional betrayal happens when someone willfully decides to hurt you for some reason, be it selfishness, personal gain, or because they are just flat-out terrible. There is, however, what I like to call “accidental betrayal.” Even as I wrote this article, I realized I may very well have committed who knows how many acts of accidental betrayal in my life. I’ve been guilty of not keeping confidences because I didn’t realize the seriousness of the information. I’ve not shown up to a gathering that I promised I’d attend. I’ve chosen to spend time with one friend, at the expense of time spent with another friend. Does this make me a horrible person? I hope not. Does it make me an occasional flake? Maybe.
Friend, all of us make mistakes. Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we inadvertently hurt someone we love dearly, or are hurt by someone who never meant to hurt us. But the accidental, unintentional, all-too-human betrayals can hurt just as much as the vicious, calculated, premeditated kind, which is why we have to know how to respond and heal when we’ve been betrayed.
3. ACCEPT WHAT HAPPENED AND ALLOW YOURSELF TO GRIEVE
If we want to heal from the pain of betrayal, we must allow ourselves to experience not just the betrayal, but also the emotions that come with it. We’ve all heard the experts say that if we don’t allow ourselves to feel the pain, we can’t heal from the pain.
By accepting what happened and allowing ourselves to grieve, we can learn to admit the hurt we feel from our betrayal and eventually learn to forgive those who hurt us.
4. BEGIN THE ONGOING PROCESS OF FORGIVENESS
When we carry around hurt and anger, it festers and grows into a spirit of bitterness and offense. Our wounds cause us to see every interaction through the lens of that pain. When we have offended and bitter spirits, we aren’t free to love life in the way we are created to live.
This is why there is great power in forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the betrayal is okay. It doesn’t mean what the person did to you is okay. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself, not a release of guilt to the offender. It sets you free from the weight of carrying around that offense. Once we forgive those who have betrayed us, we can begin to truly feel free from the bitterness we feel and the fear of future betrayals.
5. BE MINDFUL WHEN YOUR “TRUST-TRIGGERS” ARE FLIPPED
Sometimes certain situations trigger us and we can flip on or off in an instant. When we get triggered, it becomes more difficult to trust the love, good intentions, or even the loyalty of those around us.
Here are some common situations that trigger us not to trust:
– When you have plans with someone and that person cancels at the last minute
– When you see a friend post pictures of the party that you weren’t invited to
– When a coworker takes credit for a project you worked on together
– When your husband’s attractive coworker comments on his post on Facebook
When we feel like our trust-triggers are being flipped, we can learn to say, “This is just triggering my rejection switch. I know that person isn’t betraying or rejecting me. I am just taking it that way.”
Remember we are in control of our happiness. Today remember although betrayal stings, you can survive from it.