Betrayal – Surviving the Decent of Dignity
That which is closest to our hearts always contains the opportunity for betrayal, because anything that is close to our heart is sheltered by our love and trust. We have made a decision to have faith in what we believe is truth about those we hold close, yet it is also where the danger of betrayal lurks. Disloyalty, unfaithfulness, treachery; all are words that surface just behind a betrayal. It is the foundation of the destruction of trust.
Unlike love, which can be held closely and protected with our silence, betrayal is like bad news that travels fast; it frequently becomes a public affair. Someone we trusted has deceived us and somehow the talk turns not to them or their treachery, but to the victim who has been ‘snookered,’ lied to and endured the loss. The questions begin; “How could they have been so foolish, so blind or believed so much in someone who was so undeserving?” Odd how all the world seemed to know the offender much better than the victim, yet little effort was made to protect the victim!
Betrayals hold the opportunity for the loss of our self-esteem, pride and self-worth. It is a heavy price to endure on the heels of the pain of acceptance that accompanies the deceitfulness of one we believed in. It matters little why they did it; they made a choice to disregard the value of our trust and all that it contains. There is no acceptable excuse; shared trust means that you can be honest with one another, eliminating acceptable excuses.
Betrayal can happen in anyone’s life; you need not be gullible, overly trusting or foolish, you simply must be willing to extend your faith in another who may not be deserving of it. How do we recover our own sense of worthiness while the news of the betrayal is still fresh in the minds and conversations of friends and relatives?
We must be willing to speak the truth; to allow someone we have believed in to emerge from the depths of their deception and all its malice. It requires our willingness to stop protecting or defending any of their actions, to allow their actions to surface in all their ugliness for the world to see. There’s more; it requires our unwillingness to accept any of the responsibility for why they made the decision to betray our trust. We were not wrong to trust or to believe in another; yet we are fundamentally flawed if we accept the responsibility for their actions. It is here that our self-worth is bartered to protect the unworthy.
Trust is like a precious revelation; you experience it and cling to the inspiration and awe it has inspired. Once it is destroyed you will probably never recapture it; or if you do, it can never feel the same. It is the innocence and wonder that has been lost. You survive the decent by stepping aside and allowing the offender to take the fall; by letting the unvarnished truth tell the story. You are no longer a victim, but rather an observer to their decent.