Have you ever experienced a profound betrayal by someone you cared deeply for; or perhaps, you betrayed someone? Whether you are on the receiving end or the one wounding another, once the harm is done, recovery from the experience takes a great deal of time and effort. Suffering is the consequence of a betrayal for both parties and the first step is to take responsibility for your actions.
When betrayal is among close friends or intimate partners both parties have to begin the healing by looking in the mirror and asking, "What part did I play in this situation?" It takes great courage to be that honest, especially when you were the one betrayed. When a heart is broken, trust is lost, and that takes time to move through experience. Whatever underlying reasons for the betrayal, both parties will move through the grief process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Yes, the betrayer will move through this process as well. They will have to witness the loss and pain their friend or loved one experiences and accept it was their actions that created their pain. Most generally, they will also experience a great deal of shame and guilt that will need to addressed for the healing to move forward. A piece of each person's soul is damaged when betrayal occurs, and the only way to move through the healing process is conversation and a commitment for both parties to be truthful and honest with their feelings that led up to the offense. Psychologist generally define forgiveness as, "A conscious, deliberate decision to release feeling of resentment or vengeance toward the person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness."
First and foremost, each party must look within their own heart. This is best done with a mediator, counselor, or trusted spiritual leader. Friends and family members may offer support; however, a trained neutral party is the most effective way to find a way through the deep wounds of betrayal.
In essence, forgiveness begins within. Each party must take a careful look at the past wounds that may have contributed to the behaviors that led to the situation. Then each person must take responsibility and find a way to redeem their actions and seek a way to forgive themselves, and their friend or partner. In some cases, one of the parties may decide it's too unforgivable and leave the relationship. If that is the case, the one willing to forgive can continue to do the work to forgive themselves for the part they played in the breakup of the relationship and regain confidence to move on in their life. When forgiveness is given, each person is set free to choose the life they want, either together or separate, as a healed, whole person.
Redemption; "an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed." This Easter Sunday spend a few moments looking at the blessings in your life. What "sacrifices" have you made for your well-being, and for your families overall happiness? What have you done that perhaps caused a conflict, argument or some sort of riff with others? Did you tell a "white lie," or blurt something out because you were stressed or angry with someone else, yet the person you love was standing in front of you and you snapped back at something they asked you that had nothing to do with your frustration?
Being human and in relationship provides a great deal of practice for us to be our authentic self, which sometimes isn't so pretty. We often project our own insecurities and areas that need growth onto someone else. It is easy the see another's faults. Matthew 7:5 states, "first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eyes."
Easter is a time of birth, newness, dying to something that is no longer useful to you so there is room for the growth to emerge. It also represents the power of sacrifice for the good of others, and demonstrates that death is only temporary. If we live in right relationship with others, we will rise above those old ways and emerge a stronger, more wise person.
It all begins within! Set aside some time to take an honest look at those you may have offended, and Take Responsibility for your actions! Own your actions and make amends for your behaviors. Your relationship with yourself and others will grow IF you follow-through with what needs to be done to correct your behaviors. Probably the biggest gift will be the rebuilding of trust, in yourself and with the one you offended. Take the gift of Easter and allow the Christ consciousness of unconditional love and service to humanity to open our heart. It is Redemption that opens the door to Forgiveness!
The word sacrifice is basic to almost everything of importance: care, love, religion, warfare, loyalties, patriotism, religion, gift-giving, friendship, relationships and morality are but a few descriptors. Of course, as with any word, it is subject to the personal interpretation or meaning to the one speaking and the one listening. We have all experienced drastically different perspectives when attempting to communicate with someone. We say something with a clear intention and much to our surprise the look on the face of the one we are speaking to indicates they heard something else from our words.
Let's use the Latin meaning, for sacrifice, sacrare, which means "to make sacred." If we intend to enhance a relationship, whether personal or professional, it is important to know precisely what we want to say, that is, what message do we wish to convey. If we see everything in our life as a sacred moment, we will be mindful of our words. To do this we must take time to sit in a quiet space and listen to the voice of our heart. Just as important is to know the person to whom you are speaking. What is important to them, what areas are they more sensitive, or passionate about that differ from your views?
Sacred moments offer us the opportunity to view life with compassion and understanding. It begins with you. What biases and prejudices do you have? We all have them whether we want to admit it or not. And, it's okay, what harms our relationships, and eventually our self-esteem, is not being aware of those areas. The Clan Mother, Looks Far Woman, offers us the opportunity to use the month of April to spend some time to "See the truth" beyond our human experiences to what our tender souls may need. When we came into the world we were pure spirit, after many walks around the Medicine Wheel of Life, conditions taught us a different perspective of who we are and what this life is all about. Adjustments are needed to be in balance with who we truly are.
This Saturday, April 16, at 2:55 p.m. is the next Full Moon. It is referred to as the Pink Moon because of the pink ground phlox and moss pink herb are among the earliest widespread flowers in spring. The Full Moon represents the divine feminine, our emotional world within. With the assistance of Looks Far Woman, we are given the opportunity to end habits, cycles and relationships that are harmful to our overall well-being.
In the Christian faith, Easter represents the sacrifice made by the son of God, Jesus for the good of others. In our current world, we are witnessing the sacrifices being made with the people of Russia as they witness the destructive behaviors of other in their country, and the multitude of Ukrainian's as they watch their country and their family and friends being destroyed.
Take a few moments and really consider, what can YOU do? What sacred moment can you set aside to send prayers for those living through this event in real time, and balance that prayer with words of gratitude for what you have in your life. It may seem like a sacrifice of your time; however, your sacred moment becomes a wide spread sharing of love and compassion with others, and contributes to more sacred moments all over the world. From my heart to yours, Vicky
As we begin the week of Easter, now is a good time to examine three important aspects of this Holy week. Whatever your personal spiritual path, to many in the Western world, this is a very sacred time. This week, let us consider three words: Sacrifice, Redemption and Forgiveness. Take some time this week to really sit with your heart and discern what those three words mean. I'll share my understanding over the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, set aside some time, if only ten minutes each day to feel in your whole being what you understand those words to mean and how they affect your life. From my heart to yours, Vicky
Vicky Kelm Williams
I find people absolutely fascinating!