Listen to the Podcast of this post.
Ask someone to talk about their most vivid, relationship memories. They’ll tell you stories of how they’d been burned. What do newly dating couples divulge by the second or third date? Intel on the “idiots” they used to be with, the money they “lost”, the umpteen ways they’ve been beaten up, spit out and washed up. Ahh, wound-swapping, Such a delightful human past-time.
Why do we do this? Why do we lament on our wounds and how we’ve been wronged?
It’s expected. We innocently signed up as wide-eyed youngsters. All it takes are some observations of powerful people (this includes mommy and daddy) wallowing in Wound-ville and we know that ship will one day be ours. As a classroom teacher, years ago, I observed children practicing the fine art of, “my life sucks more than yours”. Even after creating a deep, contemplative practice of letting go, I still catch myself mindlessly doing it from time to time.
Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?
~ Leo Buscaglia
Ok, so you’ve been wronged. We all have. We also have something victims like to pretend doesn’t exist. Freewill. In this case, the choice to stay wounded or move on and heal. Let’s move on shall we?
The signature of betrayal is a feeling of having been tricked. Inside the “victim” it provokes anger and disgust. You feel hot. This wound sounds like, “How dare you?” “How could you?” “What you did to me is unforgivable!” and the favourite, “This is ALL your fault!”
A few years back, I discovered I’d been scammed out of all my money. There was literally one asset left (some equity in a house) and some belongings. Even worse, I had devoted years of my life to doing my due diligence. I interviewed smart people who I felt should know more than me. I traveled to the source and asked questions. I trusted many people and many people trusted me. I felt honoured to be able to help others by sharing what I’d found. “What’s the fun in becoming rich if you leave others behind?” was my thinking.
“It seemed like a good idea at the time.” ~ Dr David R Hawkins
Of course I already told you how this turned out. Now if I was really up for some gritty, wound swapping I’d also mention the post-scam, death threats, the loss of friends and family, the “I want to kill myself,” phone calls that came from the humiliated and the darkness of the pit I put myself in for making such an unforgivable mistake. Did I feel betrayed? Damn rights! But I didn’t even feel worthy enough to let myself feel it. No, my ego went right to the bottom. I felt abandoned and that’s a cold. lonely wound for another day. Today we heal betrayal.
The Antidote for Betrayal is…
Loyalty. According to Dr Martinez and in my experience, loyalty in the form of devotion heals betrayal. Here is a letting go of betrayal exercise from Dr Martinez you can learn and repeat any time you wish.
Find a place where you can relax. Your back is protected by a high back chair and you won’t be interrupted. Breathe into your body and allow yourself to feel the breath move into your belly. Relax your shoulders. Relax your jaw. Softly close your eyes and breathe gently into your body. Do this for some time and enjoy a peaceful state. Now think of that experience of betrayal. Keep breathing, eyes closed. How does it feel in your body? Where does this feeling live? Breath into it and just notice the sensations. Now recall a time when you felt devotion to yourself or someone else. When you were loyal or they were loyal to you. Bring the sensations into your body and bask in this memory. How are the sensations of devotion different than those of betrayal? Shift into betrayal again and notice the sensations without thinking. Breathe. Now back to loyalty and devotion. Practice shifting back and forth between the feelings of betrayal and those of loyalty. Do this until you naturally take a big breath. Flutter your eyes open and sit quietly and still for a few minutes. This stillness allows your body to complete the healing and to integrate the “healing field” of loyalty.
I recommend we all become experts in the healing field of loyalty (devotion). Where do we see loyalty in our world? In ourselves? How can we be loyal to ourselves and what does this create inside of us? (perhaps, worthiness, self-esteem, courage – all qualities of the heart)
Seek loyalty in friends and especially yourself. If you weren’t a loyal friend in the past heal it with loyalty to Self. Don’t compromise or sell yourself out. Keep your agreements with yourself. Identify the self-care activities you need and set up a schedule where you are devoted to your well being.
FYI: Betrayal is the opposite of Joy. Yet even though most of us can identify more with a state of misery, it’s still not our natural state. Joy is. Underneath all that complaining lives the glowing, warm light of joy – the stuff we’re all made of.
It doesn’t matter what happened in the past. You’re worthy of happiness. If the people around you don’t agree, get some new people.
The kind that likes to say, “Life’s too short!”