4 Steps for Surviving Betrayal

How have you gotten past heartache and betrayal?

I loved this man. He was everything to me, and I poured my entire self into him. And from all that love, and courage, and bareness, and heart-giving came nothing but regret- or so I believed as we said our goodbyes.  I was all kinds of bruised and blue.  I was angry.  I couldn’t believe I had been betrayed, but I certainly had---and in grand fashion.

The work was in the recovery.  The recovery began with realizing that it had to end and I was better for it- even as I sat like a pile of thrown-away-things on the floor. 

Next, I had to realize that despite my love and want, one has to move on from relationships that aren’t centered on reciprocity, and care, and love-in-action. 

Finally, I had to come up with a plan to heal, to refuse to wade in ugliness, even to forgive this man whom, in that moment, I despised.

These were my thoughts as I read this article from Deepak Chopra, where he opens with this magic:

Remember, the only betrayals that inflict damage are the ones where an intimate bond has been torn. Love makes you merge with another person, able to feel their emotions as keenly as you feel your own. If you have experienced such bonding, you know that it is a kind of higher reality—and when that bond is ripped apart, it's as if you've lost half of yourself.

He goes on to offer other truly revelatory and revolutionary advice on the dos and don’ts of letting go and healing from hurt:

Feel the hole inside and grieve over it—but promise yourself that you will fill it.

The first thing I learned in getting over lost love and feelings of wrong-doing was that I had to feel it, and feel it completely.  I gave myself those moments to cry, to hide, to curse; and then I started filling the hole I dug with affirmations of the good, sincere, righteous love that I had experienced throughout my life- thus acknowledging that I was not only worthy of love, but that I wasn’t a stranger to it.  Even when love doesn’t go our way, we should know that we are capable of loving and being loved.  And we must repeat our understanding of this over and over.

Work toward a tomorrow that will be better than yesterday. Don't fixate on the past or what might have been.

There are points in our lives when we realize that we can only go up, that things can only get better- and a sure fire way to not repeat the relationship mistakes of our past is to take the time to really think of what we want in our future.

I reminded a friend who was facing the possibility of a relationship failing that, even if things end, she will survive.  Sometimes, we forget how truly strong and resilient we are- that we are warriors, that we are triumphant.  There are points in our lives when we realize that we can only go up, that things can only get better- and a sure fire way to not repeat the relationship mistakes of our past is to take the time to really think of what we want in our future.  I made a list of what I wanted, and realized none of those things included the guy who broke my heart.

Stop dwelling obsessively on how you were wronged. Feeling exultant in our self-righteous pain.

Someone should have told me, at a certain point, “Look Toots, love is a battlefield; it is beautiful and awful; sometimes you lose; some people are rotten; get to (high) stepping.”  As much as we want to hold on to victimhood and be “right”, whatever that is, doing so simply does not serve us.  Did he hurt in knowing that he hurt me? Maybe, but that acknowledgement hadn’t come and I had living and loving to do.  We all have to answer for the karma we’ve created. I focused on creating good karma and chose to get over it, and myself.

Avoid turning your pain into an ongoing drama.

I am a firm believer in owning and narrating one’s story, and as a writer, I have used my poetic license to put it all out there.  Now that I am healed, and (somewhat) sane again, I look back at some of my writings and conversations, and realize that sometimes I was being petty and small.  Venting is necessary, spending our lives venting is unattractive.   Again, we must focus on the future and know that the Divine has our best interests at heart, always.

We must grieve and go, and have hope- all in Godspeed. 

Chime in:  How have you gotten past heartache and betrayal?