Why is betrayal so much a part of life? Is there any among us who has not been betrayed?
I have been betrayed by men, by acquaintences, by friends, even by family. Amazing. I never expect it, yet it happens. I will even say I am sure that I have betrayed someone. But this blog is a public forum, so please forgive me for not treating it as a Confessional.
I'm sure we have all been betrayed by a lover. What young girl has not had her heart broken by a boy? Why else is the divorce rate so high if not for betrayal? Whether it is our heart that is betrayed, or our trust, it is still betrayal and it still hurts. Truth be told, I I have been accused of breaking a heart or two myself. They trusted me with their heart, and I betrayed that trust.
Acquaintences, too, have betrayed me sometimes. Gossip is gossip is gossip. Seriously, what else are you going to trust with someone you barely know? Betrayal here is just proof that we should not spread stories about other people. And lest you think I am being sanctimonious, I willingly admit I have a lot of trouble with this. Sometimes I discuss people with other people out of concern, but (I have to confess) sometimes I do it out of malicious glee over some disliked person's misfortune. I am ashamed of it, but I am guilty of it.
Friends......or people we thought were friends. To trust someone with our most intimate secrets and have that betrayed can be agony. We gave a shovel and a map of where all of our skeletons are buried to someone who went and put those dirty old bones on display for the world to see. Ouch. That forces us to cut off a friendship, and hurts as much as any physical amputation. The longer and deeper the friendship was before the betrayal, the worse the amputation and resulting phantom pain.
Family betrayals are worse than any other though. "Blood is thicker than water." Except when isn't. These people are the ones we are supposed to be able to trust above all others. These are the people that are supposed to stand WITH us against all others, against the entire world if necessary. When they betray us, it feels like an assassination. They killed a piece of our heart. That part of us will never trust again. It will never love again. That piece is dead.
Betrayal. It can cause so much damage. It has caused friendships to end. It has caused feuds that have lasted from hours to generations. It has caused families to disintegrate. It has caused marriages to end in divorce. It has even caused suicides and murder. Betrayal has resulted in the death of so many things and so many people.
And all of it could be avoided. We all just need to stop and think before we speak. We need to stop and think before we act. We need to stop and think. STOP and THINK. Would we want someone to say that to us? Would we want someone to do that to us?
Several years ago, my husband and I went to a Marriage Retreat. One of the things they taught us (or tried to) was, before we speak, ask ourselves, "Are the words I am about to speak Kind? Are they Necessary? Are they True?" If the answer to ANY of those three questions is "No" then just don't say them. Simple.
We should all try to think about that more often. I know by my own scars that other people should. I know by my own guilt that I definitely should.
What about you? How many scars do you have? How much guilt do you carry?
This blog is not an indictment of myself or of you, the reader. It is just my own thoughts and experiences mixed with inquiry. Did I make you think? Yes? Good. Self-reflection is good for the soul. I hope I made you think. I hope we all will stop and think more often. If not, well, maybe next time.