How To Forgive Betrayal

I heard some news today that left me reeling. That one simple sentence left me mired in the muddy feelings of betrayal all over again. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought I was passed “this” only to hear or read or see something that triggers these intense and terrible feelings again.

Angry and Betrayal

I’m so angry. So hurt. I just want to kick and scream and punch the floor like an overtired and over hungry toddler. And for me that begs the question – Have I truly forgiven if I’m still so angry and feel so intensely betrayed? Am I allowed to feel angry? Betrayed?

These feelings are real and denying them doesn’t help anyone. A wise woman firmly yet kindly advised:

Be a little kinder to yourself. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling until you’re done. And when you’re done, you can move on.

Be a little kinder to yourself.

We moms and wives wear a lot of hats and many of those hats go unnoticed by the majority of people around us. I’m not looking for pats on the back and a cheer squad, but it’s the reality of life. I do a lot of stuff and I have this nagging feeling that I’m doing none of it well and I should be doing more. I should be more balanced. Or that I should do this and this and that too. I feel like I need to do it all and more! The “I shoulds” are eating me up. Do you feel like that too?

Don’t be so rough!

Are you rough on yourself, too? My wise friend sees what I don’t see clearly. Each and every one of us has a barrage of feelings and activities and situations coming at us all day, every day. It doesn’t matter if you are a mom of many working from home or a mom of one working to make ends meet. Be a little kinder to yourself. You are doing the best you can with what you have. So am I. (And I’m learning better so I can do better, but that’s a whole other process and post I’ll write another day.)

Allow yourself to feel.

Even admitting to myself (and those closest to me) that I feel hurt, angry, and betrayed brings those feelings to the surface. Once there the battle of feeling or burying is real but I’m so tired of being strong for everyone else. I’m so tired to being socially acceptable by keeping those feelings firmly guarded and hidden from view. I want to have that temper tantrum; it doesn’t matter that I’m in the middle of the store when I hear the maddening information. It’s not fair and I don’t care what others think. But I’m an adult and adults don’t cry and fuss in public, so I swallow my tears and wipe my eyes, put one foot in front of the other. I pray I find a safe place to feel, soon. That all those things that need completing get finished so I have the time to breathe and to heal.

Healing comes in the feeling.

So I ask again, have I truly forgiven the wrongdoing if I’m still so angry, so hurt, so betrayed? I don’t think so. Not fully. Sure, I’ve forgiven to the level of which I’ve allowed myself to truly feel. This feeling of emotions I’m talking about isn’t a surface thing; someone asks “how are you?” and you respond with “fine”. That’s not feeling; that’s not dealing. That’s tucking things away until you burst. I can’t fully heal, can’t fully forgive, until I allow myself to feel those raw emotions of fear, angry, hurt and betrayal. Those triggers will continue to march my way until I process through each, allowing myself to be kind to me.

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