Rise and Shine! On Betrayal
BY: TCLeach at http://throughanewlens.blogspot.com
“I’ve never been betrayed by someone I love!” …Said no one, ever. “I’ve never betrayed someone who loves me!”…Equally false. In either case, perhaps the betrayal wasn’t devastating, but it happened. In some cases, the betrayal was devastating. If you were the betrayed, chances are you still feel the sting, no matter how long ago it happened. Chances are, you’ve built some walls around your heart for protection from future pain. If you were the betrayer, perhaps regret and guilt still niggle at your spirit. Perhaps the damage wasn’t reconcilable, and you have paid the ultimate price for being flawed, losing the one you betrayed. As believers, we talk a lot about the decision to forgive, but often the lesson ends there. Sometimes it’s hard to admit that we are struggling, but we don’t have to stay in the painful dark shadows! When the betrayal was devastating, and no matter which side of it you were on, you are not out of reach of God’s Light! Always remember and never forget that to shine God’s Light, you must first be connected to it! Repent where necessary in your own walk, so you are not casting shadows! Fortify your strength and “Shine” through Scripture study and prayer. Then, you are ready to have an effect on others, while bringing Glory to The Father’s Name!
Here are some ways you can Shine His Light on betrayal:
1) Keep Yehovah First
- The Betrayed: You may feel angry at God right now, and it may feel like your prayers are just words bouncing around in space. This is normal, and it will change with time. I promise. Maybe you don’t even have the words to pray because your heart is so broken. Decide to pray anyway, even if you are silent before God. Get before Him! Because He is faithful, He will strengthen you and ease your spirit. This takes time, not because He is lacking, but because to be obedient to His Way, we have to set our bruised ego aside. The quicker we do it, the quicker we can begin to mend.
- The Betrayer: Shame and regret are horrible things to wear before The Throne, aren’t they? But don’t cover them with a righteous costume, in attempt to justify your actions to an All-Knowing God. Don’t fall into the trap of going through the motions of confessing and repenting. Your time would be better spent seeking some information about yourself in prayer. Because He is faithful, God can take you on a journey of self-awareness and understanding. When we begin to understand the roots of our own sin and willful wrongdoing, we are able to construct healthier behaviors and priorities.
- The Betrayed: It’s imperative that you are honest with the person who betrayed you. They cannot read your mind, and can only guess at how to best treat you in your time of pain. If you need time, say so. If you need reassurance, say that, too. Even when irrational feelings take hold of you (and they will) be honest about them. “Punishing” the person who betrayed you will not work, it will only further complicate the relationship. If you have so many mixed emotions that you don’t even know how to begin explaining them, say that, too! Time is a tool that you can utilize when you’ve been betrayed. Keep the line of communication open to the extent that you are able. When you’re asked “What’s wrong?” never answer with “Nothing” Be honest…”I’m feeling sad, I’m angry, I’m confused” all are honest answers to the honest feelings you will experience in this healing process.
- The Betrayer: Your honesty is more important after your betrayal than at any other time. Take responsibility for your actions and do not explain them away or minimize your betrayal. Practice being transparent in the areas that pertain to your betrayal. Do not act as though nothing has happened in an attempt to put it behind you! Let the person you betrayed be the one who lays it to rest. Until they do, be assured that the subject is very alive in their heart. Offer reassurance verbally and nonverbally (by your actions). Expect and be willing to accept some backlash from the one you betrayed. Until they have time to get all their feelings into perspective, some irrational ones are going to slip out. That’s okay. Stand strong and stay loving, these feelings will pass as the one betrayed begins to find healing. In many cases, you have betrayed a trust that took much time to build, do not think it will be healed in less time. Be patient and be love!
3) Take a Hard Look at Yourself
- The Betrayed: When you have been betrayed, it is imperative that you begin your healing by being honest with yourself. Did you play a part in your own betrayal? Oh, that sounds harsh, doesn’t it? I don’t mean it to! For genuine healing to occur, though, you must always start with yourself, your own issues and actions. If a spouse betrayed you, something deeper than the act itself needs to be addressed. There is an underlying issue in the marriage that remains unresolved. That issue is where you can start to rebuild. If it was a family member or friend who did the betraying, the issues are altogether different, but must be addressed, as well. Everything that happens to us is filtered through our own experiences. Have you set unrealistic expectations? Have you given someone else the responsibility to keep you happy? Is fear the motive behind all your actions? There will be some things you’re going to have to change in your own attitude, perception and actions. That’s how growth works. It keeps moving forward. The most important thing you’ll need to accept is that other humans will fail us. They are flawed, like we are. You will never be free from the risk of being hurt by someone you love, but you are free to decide how you will react. You are also free to decide to love, fully knowing the risks involved!
- The Betrayer: “I don’t know why I did that!” can be a true statement. Often, when you’ve hurt someone deeply, “Why?” is their first question. If you can’t give a definitive answer, that is a clear indication that you need to make some changes! Getting to know yourself and learning to be honest with yourself is paramount even to being honest with others. Look at your betrayal with objective lenses. Are the actions that got you in trouble life-long habits? Has something changed recently? Are you harboring bitterness or resentment? Are you lacking in your own sense of self? Get honest about every betrayal you have committed. Is there a pattern? What would you like to be different about you? Start there! You were created to receive love and to give love. Have you learned to receive it yet?
4) Make (and Execute) a Plan to Move Forward
- The Betrayed: Without having a plan, it can be easy to find yourself overthinking, giving into your bruised emotions, or walking out your frustration instead of walking through it. You are the best expert on how you heal, write yourself the prescription. Deciding to move forward and risk being betrayed again is scary, but you won’t ever heal if you don’t make that very decision! Since time is a necessary element on your road to recovery, use it well. Don’t forget that your mind, spirit and body will all be left ailing when you’ve been betrayed. All three areas need your attention! Get rest as you heal. Do not let your mind torture you with toxic thoughts at bedtime. Read Scripture, pray, and practice controlling your thoughts…they are yours. When you’re awake, practice controlling your words. Speak about solutions more than problems. Speak with life-affirming words. Speak of the healing as if you believe it is already beginning. Nourish and hydrate your body with food and water as you nourish and hydrate your spirit with God’s word and His grace. Exercise is a great way to work through some of the anxious energy you are bound to have. Take the dog for a walk, go to the YMCA and swim laps, or dance across your living room. Healing is a “whole being” affair. Get your whole being onboard! Keep in mind that you don’t have to be okay today for today to be good. Healing is not going to happen all at once, but you must live each day believing that it WILL happen.
- The Betrayer: Your betrayal may have cost you the relationship you most valued. At the very least, it has cost you the trust and confidence that your loved one had placed in you. Either way, you’ll need a plan to avoid such costly endeavors in the future. If you took Step 3 (above) seriously, you can bring some insight about your betrayals into your plan for either the relationship that is struggling but still intact, or for the next one you’ll have. Never forget that you have to be right with God first! Although your betrayal touched a person with your shadow, it is Him you are dishonoring. Talk to Him, ask Him to help strengthen you. Ask Him to deepen your desire to repent. Learn how to own up to your behaviors to Him, and then to the one you betrayed. Do not include an excuse, or place blame on anyone but yourself for your behavior. Even when the other person may play a role in the problem, your actions and words belong to only you. Give the other person time to feel what they are feeling, without pressure. It’s good that you’re ready to put the betrayal behind you and move on, but understand that a broken heart is like a broken leg; healed with time. Be a positive force in your relationship. Show yourself worthy of trust. Your actions are paramount to your words after you’ve betrayed someone, but your words are still important! Speak words of life into your relationships, and of affirmation. Understand yourself enough to know when you are in danger of betraying someone who trusts you. Get to the heart of the matter, therein is the answer to stopping yourself. Then stop yourself.
Without question, Betrayal has left its mark on us all in some manner. As the Betrayed, we have wept. As the Betrayers, we have wept. Understanding that we have the capacity to play either role, it is imperative that we get in alignment with The Word of The Father, Torah. When our Path is Lit, we shine. When we shine, we get through the toughest valleys of betrayal. When we shine, we help others get through it, too! #riseandshine!