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Pulling the Knife Out

5 Dec

We will all probably experience the exquisite pain of betrayal at least once in our lives. Someone we care about, or someone we thought cared about us does something that betrays our trust, our friendship, or our love. It’s a horrible feeling when it happens, and we are often caught unaware and breathless when we discover the truth. We feel like we’ve been stabbed in the back. There is no way to see it coming as someone sneaks up from behind, and plunges the dagger. Few things are as painful as betrayal. Secretly plotting against anyone or covertly doing things that will destroy others is disgraceful and despicable, and cannot be justified. Of course, those responsible have reasons they believe are sufficient for causing such pain, but there is no truth in that. Betrayal is cruel, mean, and destructive, and the pain it causes can be crippling.

If this happens, we may feel devastated and shocked. It can knock the wind out of us and leave us wondering who we can trust, and what to do going forward. It’s hard to move anywhere with a knife in our backs, so first we must remove it. Since we’re talking about an emotional wound, we don’t have to wait to yank it out. We can do it immediately by facing those who have betrayed us, and clearly and succinctly telling them we will not tolerate it. When we take that first step and stand up for what is right, we feel more power and control than if we suffer quietly. What they’ve done only diminishes them and we can maintain our high personal standards despite their actions. Speaking up at once, and pro-actively addressing the situation often leaves those involved speechless and stunned by our self-control. And that’s a win.

We can’t control what anyone does but ourselves. People can make bad choices, they can do horrible things, they can hurt others, and sometimes we’ll be the target. Even when we’re devastated, even if we feel destroyed, even if the pain is severe, we can still choose well. We can rise above the destruction, take a deep breath, and remember who we are and who we want to be. We can be noble, even if those around us are shameful. When we choose the path best for us, and behave in ways that communicate how incredible we really are, we always win. Those who take the low road, who hurt and use and betray, will never have the respect or honor that comes to those who choose well. It hurts to be betrayed. It hurts a lot. But by choosing what is right, we will heal, and in time, we’ll be happy again.

Today if you’ve been stung by the bitter pain of betrayal, remember who you are. This does not diminish you. You can manage this with grace and determination by making excellent choices. You are strong and you can handle anything that comes to you. There are so many great experiences just ahead. Keep your eyes focused on those. Learn what you can from this and then let it go. Remember you are a gift to the world. We’re all better because you’re here.

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