Who hasn’t been betrayed at one point or another in their lives? That gut wrenching feeling in the pit of our stomachs when we find out we’ve just been had. Its gnarly and might be one of the worst feelings to ever experience. Ever. On the bright side, here’s where we get to be Radical Disruptors to this nefarious (and downright violent) energy barging into our psyches. It’s taken us lots of practice to learn how to flip this ugly story back on its own head and here’s what we came up with.
This is the 3 step approach we embark on when our trust has been broken:
RADICAL PRESENCE: And by radical we mean Herculean because thats the strength we need when we’ve just had the energetic wind knocked out of us. It can feel impossible and antithetical for us to not react right away because we’re trying to keep ourselves safe. Instead we have to reach for vulnerability which is counterintuitive and show up for ourselves with presence of mind and stillness. It may be for just a few minutes, however, it is of the utmost importance that when we do engage next it’s through the lens of consciousness and not of our trauma. This step is all about regulation and how we move from a place of being highly activated (and lets face it, who wouldn’t be) to a place thats within our window of neutrality.
Enter in what we like to call, the Sacred Pause. Can we stop whatever it is that we’re doing at that moment and hold space for ourselves, allowing our hearts to race and our thoughts to flood in without making a single move? Closing our eyes and connecting to our breath allows us to go inward and be at one with our bodies in a way that delivers the message to our inner child that says, “ I’m here, I’ve got you. You’re safe my love.” This step alone begins to rewire our neural networks and disrupts the old system that would have let our inner child go buck wild on the person who just did us wrong. Once we feel we’ve connected with ourselves, we’re ready for the next step.
RADICAL OWNERSHIP: It’s here we get to own our feelings and check in with ourselves so we can be clear at what exactly is coming up for us. Is it anger, sadness, shock, disgust or perhaps some revenge fantasy? Maybe it’s all of them. Maybe its some that aren’t even listed here. Allow all of those feelings at once to enter in and honor them by not suppressing, hiding from or self soothing them away with our favorite vices. You know which ones we mean. The ones we love to turn to when things get intense.
Owning our feelings and then processing them is a spiritual practice, one that needs to be approached with reverence. What can we give ourselves to help us move some of that energy through? This is where the proverbial rubber meets the road and we need to fight fire with fire. We love us a good wreck room with Marilyn Manson playing in the background and find its best to go to one vs use our own walls and furniture. Trust us, as we’ve broken plenty of doors by seeing just how much a door frame can take when it’s being slammed at. Or, maybe it’s a boxing class or going for a run. Punching a pillow or taking a wiffle ball bat to the bed duvet as we cry, scream and beat the hell out of a non living thing usually feels super cathartic when we are seeing life red with betrayal. Once we’ve excavated some of our hard emotions, versus bypassed or compartmentalized them, we have space within us and get to choose how to fill it. Enter in our third and final step.
RADICAL SELF-CARE: After we’ve consciously moved some of that energetic battleground through our system, its important that we do something really kind for ourselves, indulgent even. Subsequent to having just sustained an emotional injury, one that can leave us feeling raw and spent, being loving with ourselves is like honey on our soul. This step is all about restoration and becoming attuned to what our body needs right now. Is it a yoga class, massage, hot bath, breath work, journaling, dancing, meditation or all of the above? Yes all of the above. Remember we’re being indulgent here.
The one thing NOT to do is go to our bag of tricks we use to numb out. A few favorites of ours are a solid Netflix binge, tequilas and eating sugar as if it’s our last meal. As soon as we feel that pull to go there, and that pull can be fierce and highly seductive, we need to lovingly tell ourselves, “No love. This is how we used to handle betrayals in the past. We have a new way now”. Each time we create a new boundary for ourselves and take a healthier approach to an old pattern we are rewriting our story.
We’d be remiss to not mention that we at FORGIVITY believe on a cellular level that any form of betrayal is self betrayal. What?! Yes. In calmer waters, it will be important to ask ourselves, where have I betrayed myself? When have I abandoned myself? Once we have this radical (theres that word again) honesty with ourselves and get clear on those answers, its absolutely vital to not shame and blame. We didn’t have the tools we needed to know there was another way to handle these incomings. Self forgiveness and compassion are key to healing self betrayal.
So, next time we feel the urge to lash out and strike back when someone has betrayed us, we can thank them instead. For they had to diminish who they were and act with such little integrity so that we could learn the invaluable lesson of what it feels like to love ourselves. Not to mention, Karma’s got them, and she is far more creative than we could ever have been.