Betrayal is one of those things we all experience, but we rarely take the time to recognize and break free from the residual it leaves behind. In the past, I’ve chosen to deal with instances of betrayal in two different ways. When I was younger I would easily cut off anyone who did me wrong and anyone who knew about the offense and didn’t tell me. It didn’t matter who you were, a childhood friend, family member… I didn’t care. If you did something out-of-pocket, I would just walk away and never speak to you again. No huge discussion was needed, honestly, most times no discussion would take place. Once I found out what you did, you were done.
But somewhere over the past four years or so, things started changing and I gained the bad habit of holding onto people who I know should-be cut off and let go of. In retrospect, I think I held on so tightly because of my fear of abandonment and I was afraid I would miss out on something. I was afraid they would finally turn that corner, or grow up and I wanted to be there waiting in the wings to cheer them on. Realizing that I’ve held someone in higher regard than they did me always seemed to devastate me on some level and months later, the bitterness and resentment it left would always show its ugly face.
Breaking free from those feelings wasn’t easy but, I had to come to the realization and make peace with the fact that this person I wanted in my life or things I wanted simply were not in God’s plan for my life. In letting them go, I wasn’t abandoning them or vice versa but, sometimes in order to grow and flourish, you have to prune and cut the dead weight away.
Think of it this way, if you’re checking into the airport, and they weigh your bag if your bag is overweight they hit you with an uncomfortable excess baggage fee. At this point is when you see folks snatching things out of their bags and throwing things away or shifting items to balance out the weight in their other bags because they have excess baggage that will weigh the plane down. And in order to continue to carry that heavyweight, they are gonna pay a heavy tax. A burden of sorts.
How much easier would it be, to just simply leave the unnecessary and unneeded items behind? To let them go and stop weighing yourself down?
I recently had someone betray me on the deepest level and out of obedience to God I had to forgive them. I know… I was like come again, God. You want me to do what? Forgive them after they betrayed me? And the response to all my crazy questions was still, “Yes, Forgive them”. Below is the actual text that I sent.
I refuse to let what you did to me block all the blessings God has in store for me. So instead of holding on to the hate and bitterness that was beginning to fester in my heart towards you and what you did to me. I forgive you for your deceitful ways.
Now, believe it or not, as deep as this level of betrayal was, forgiving them was the easy part. Having to forgive me for allowing the blatant mistreatment for so long was a whole different story.
Often times betrayal leaves behind feelings of self-doubt, and depending on the situation we may begin internalizing where we fell short or might have dropped the ball.
Here are two key things I did to help me quickly get past the betrayal and regain my peace.
1. Get Out Of Your Own Head
Suffering comes from our thoughts. Pain, whether it be physical or emotional, is something we feel immediately. Suffering is the thing that lingers and that follows pain. Still your mind and stop creating lingering thoughts. Once you do that the suffering ends.
2. Identify & Learn To Focus On the Present.
I had a horrible habit of replaying scenarios. Each time I would replay the scenario I would say what I believed should have been said in that missed moment. This replaying is harmful because I’m allowing myself to get stuck in the past. The past is the past, the moment is gone and you can’t change it, no matter how many times you replay it. Let it go and start living in the present.
Did the betrayal disrupt my peace?
Absolutely but, because I know I’m Already Worthy of so much more than the level I was operating at, the disruption only lasted for a moment. I tell folks all the time butterflies don’t hang out with caterpillars. And that’s exactly what was happening.
I know you may be thinking, easier said than done, the pain runs too deep for me to forgive them and myself. This isn’t a quick fix. And you’re right depending on how you’ve responded to and healed (or haven’t healed) from instances of betrayal in the past will determine how you handle it now. I’ve lived through it more times than I care to count and I’ve developed a tool to help others heal and regain their place of peace and conquer the feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, and fear that linger after betrayal has occurred. You’re Already Worthy! 5 Key Steps to Conquering the Spirit of Unworthiness will provide insight and guidance on how to put feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and Unworthiness behind you once and for all.
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