Self-Betrayal in Disguise
Have you ever found yourself in the dust of a broken relationship thinking, “Why did he do this to me? How did this happen?” Feeling betrayed, confused, hurt and ashamed?
Wait, ashamed? What have I to be ashamed about when the other betrayed ME?
Ashamed because most often, when we take the time to step back from our pain and suffering, we are able to see the signs that we did not heed along the way. Ashamed because we were not so much betrayed by the other — because the other person’s selfish pain and actions are not about US, they are about HIM — but because we betrayed OURSELVES.
We thought we were not listening to what WE want and watching out for ourselves and our OWN needs. But that isn’t the truth. We were working so very hard to feed our own hunger that we didn’t stop to notice what or who we were using to assuage our hunger.
As women, as mothers who have felt the shame and pain of failure, we become susceptible to the cries of many voices, of any voice other than our own deep, hungry voice in our own dark, hurting souls. We answer the calls and cries in hurried, desperate ways, longing for love and hoping for the ability and opportunity to act as savior and saint to someone, anyone.
But you cannot help others out of your OWN need for salvation. You damage them and fool yourself when you approach love in that manner. When you approach love out of a dark need you will only find another darkness. You may find comfort in that darkness, but it is not the Light you were searching for. It is only darkness briefly illuminated.
You cannot save anyone with your love. You cannot redeem yourself by trying to make the Unlovable Other love you in return. He cannot love you in return, he is only a reflection of yourself and your own dark hunger.
So what do we do?
We tell ourselves the truth. We stop betraying ourselves with lies. We forgive ourselves for wanting love. We honor ourselves by giving honest answers to the serious questions of who we are and where we are going and what we want to be. We take the time to chart a course, to make a plan.
And, just so you know that I know, that other person’s selfish pain and actions have most likely grown out of his OWN dark hunger and deep need. Compassion, first and foremost, compassion and mercy, for we were, most likely, complicit in the betrayal of our own selves.