Most of us have an underlying feeling of betrayal. Perhaps you use a different word. This I only just discovered, buried under hurt and anger and frustration.
There has been a situation stirring for a year now, nagging at me day and night. It has to do with someone with whom I have little contact, except in the war raging in my own mind. My ability to blame the other knew no bounds. Even as I did so, the absurdity of the situation was not lost on me. My self-judgment, demanding that I feel other than how I did, kept me from getting to the root of the root.
Betrayal finally revealed itself. I spent days dwelling in all of the many ways I had been betrayed. Mother, father, sister, partners, life, all, everyone, had done their share. It was helpful to see that the present day situation, as I had suspected, was an opportunity for me to clean out an old, dense, frozen piece of my soul.
But I was still stuck. Until I realized that the betrayal that rocked me off of my knees as I prayed this morning was my very own.
Self-betrayal. It feels like the worst possible kind. How does one escape when they are their own captor?
This is a trick question, I now realize. We are all our own captors. There is no escape. In fact, the desperate trying to escape is usually, like Chinese handcuffs, what keeps us locked in our suffering.
The key is, with help from our higher self, to go into and through the worst of the worst of ourselves. Yes, it is very painful. No, it is not all tied up with a pretty bow. It is gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, soul shattering and mind blowing at its best. Finally, it is freeing.
When I see that it is I who betrayed myself, if I am willing to have the courage to be vulnerable, I can learn to trust myself.
I can promise you I have not learned anything by blaming my feelings of betrayal on others. By having the courage to be vulnerable, feel how I was hurt, disappointed, felt as if I didn’t matter – and still hold onto myself, I can strengthen myself for the inevitable bumps on this road.
When I see that the other is simply human – doing what she learned to do, just as I do what I learned to do, in order to survive, before we knew any better – with compassion for myself and the other, the world feels whole again.
Many of us are suffering what feels like a great injustice in our world. We fight and cry out and complain.
We ask over and over, to anyone who will listen. “How could this have happened?!” It doesn’t make any sense. And, yet “it” did indeed happen. The question is, as always, what is my own responsibility in the matter and what is there to do now? Some are fighting harder, voicing our protests louder; some have crawled under the virtual blanket of denial and refuse to engage in the real world in its current manifestation.
It has been said thousands of times, what we resist persist. The question is not “how could they…?” The question is, what was my own contribution? Where do I hate, refuse another being based on my opinion? How do I hold myself above another, even unconsciously?
Human beings have a negative energy deep in the core of our being. None are spared. It is part of the human condition. Some say it is the purpose of our existence to see and transform this negative energy.
We all, everyone, resist our negativity. It isn’t pretty. Alternately, we exaggerate this powerful force and pridefully pretend that is all of who we are, meanwhile hiding the weakness we see in those who are afraid of their own dark side.
Under this darkness that we all share is our light. Nelson Mandela famously said that it is this light that we are truly afraid of, not the darkness. Nonetheless, we hide what we truly are. We are so afraid of being rejected, turned out, not loved, found out, etc., that we hide.
The problem is that when we hide, our light cannot shine. It makes sense, as a child, to not openly display the hate the child experienced at having been disciplined, have toys taken away, wishes unfulfilled. This makes perfect sense. As adults, however, we continue to childishly hate when our wishes are not met and then pretend that, on top of that, we are mature.
Or, we blame life, the other, our political system, point to all that is wrong “out there” as the reason for our hatred. The hatred lives within. We feel guilty and ashamed about this, so we fight against it or rationalize it. Neither works.
What there is to do, with love, compassion, and understanding of our human condition, is see where it is that we hate and why. See how it makes perfect sense that, based on the conditions in which we were raised, we came to certain conclusions, made broad assumptions about life and other people. See that, with prayer and meditation, asking, always, for help from a higher source than our own human mind, that there is a larger force at work here. We cannot allow this higher life source to work through us as long as we are committed to our present “I am right and you are wrong” position.
We cannot rid evil from the world. We cannot even rid evil from our own consciousness. We can accept what is, see that it is not in line with universal laws, and pray daily that we can see and transform and clear ourselves bit by bit, with the help of the universal life force. Not by hiding, but by exposing and understanding, again with compassion, the darkness that lies in our own hearts. Only then can a higher level of energy begin to flow through. Only then can there be true justice in our world.
The human conditions of greed, hate, violence, racism, bigotry, sexism and egotism are in each and every one of us. Our external world is a perfect out-picturing of our internal beliefs, conscious or unconscious.
If we are witnessing in our world energy systems that we deny, refuse, project, judge and blame, it is we who are responsible for their creation. They are to be seen, understood, recognized for what they are; part and parcel of the human condition. Then, and only then, can these qualities be transformed.
We cannot “do on top of” and expect a different outcome. Life cannot be tricked. Giving to the poor, no matter how generously, out of guilt or some need to be personally fulfilled and appreciated keeps poverty in place. Denying rage and hatred, all the while claiming to be peaceful, keeps us at war. Being blind to our internal racism perpetuates the divide of persons of color.
Refusing to accept the parts of ourselves that we do not like, allowing our inner tyrant to run our thinking, has us believe the bullies of our world. No matter how hard we try to make believe that we are true, responsible, loving and inclusive people, our external reality does not lie.
It may be time to turn inward, look deeply into our true hearts and souls. The purpose would be to take each and every evil that lives within each and every one of us and see for ourselves what lessons we have missed. For, truly, we have missed the lesson. We cannot cheat this test. The greater consciousness is not fooled by empty promises and wishful thinking.
The knowing energy systems of our universe cannot be placated. If we, honestly, want peace and harmony, acceptance and tolerance, equality and equanimity, we must begin with ourselves.
All that is needed is to feel whatever you may be feeling without making yourself, the other, or life wrong.
Yes, you have known these words and, on one level, understood the meaning. You, however, have yet to know deeply how constant the “make wrong” is, and will continue to be for some time.
There is a bigger part of you that still only wants a solution to a problem. The internal belief that there is a problem interferes with your natural life flow.
Picture a stream coming upon a rock. Feel into the stream; imagine the stream stopping, refusing to move because there is a rock in “its way!” This is what you do, energetically, when a feeling comes into you that you have made wrong at one time or another. Or, you have made yourself wrong for simply having this feeling.
It is, indeed, a sin to not value yourself. You cannot value yourself while making yourself wrong with every wave of emotion. This is antithetical. To honor yourself means to allow what is in you at the present moment. Do not reject anything that comes. This does not mean to let your ego run with whatever comes; that would truly be insanity. But so is rejecting what comes.
In your dualistic present state, you cannot see, hear, feel and know that if one thing exists, its opposite also exists. The two seemingly opposites are one and the same; it is just not experienced because it is rejected.
You cannot love without knowing where and why you hate. Feel into the hate so that you can better understand where it originated. Then, and only then, can you reclaim that part of you that got lost along the way.
Yes, you were hurt. As were all human beings. Painfully so. Not because you were/are innately bad and wrong, or because life is punishing. Not at all. Only because, through this pain, you are propelled towards finding yourself.
Otherwise, be honest, you would not be bothered. Motivation is hard to come by in human nature. Not everyone is blessed with a huge amount. Most people are only motivated externally. To be motivated internally requires something. This is the purpose of pain, simply to motivate you. If it hurts for you to hate so much, look into the hate rather than away.
Do not project the hate outward. It belongs to you. If you are willing to feel the pain under this hate, you will discover a deep love and resurrect this most powerful spiritual energy. It will never be handed to you, no matter how much you stomp your feet. You cannot do enough in the external world to earn this love you long for; it is already inside of you. It is buried under your own rejection of yourself. You could not help but reject what you could not understand at one time. Now, you have the tools to reconstruct your belief system. You deserve profound respect, innately.
With love and appreciation. There is gold there. Keep digging.
These wise words have been written and spoken, preached and beseeched for centuries. And yet, here we are – the schism only wider. We continue to hurt only because we have been hurt and refuse to feel the pain of this.
The pain has to go somewhere; it is an energetic force field. Because we, individually and culturally, all refuse to accept the pain that has been inflicted on us and the pain that we all have inflicted on others, the cycle continues.
Human beings are a pathetic lot in many ways … and we also have the possibility to transform. Again and again we hear about self-responsibility and again and again we think, and act out of, the lack of this most critical spiritual law. We refuse to be responsible because we do not want to face the worst in ourselves. We would much rather point to the ugliness in the other. We then hate in them what we know we have in ourselves. The guilt of this continues the vicious cycle of hate and violence towards others, and, if felt into deeply, ourselves.
We all have some greed, vanity, hate, superiority, inferiority, self-will, pride and fear. No one is spared. This is the human condition. As a species, our very survival once demanded that we have some one-upmanship, some self-preservation, some deep longing to improve and be “better than.” Today our very survival depends on something else – our evolving our collective consciousness.
Our next step in the evolutionary process is to bring consciousness to our deepest selves. By inclusion rather than refusal we can, if we are willing to feel, without rejecting, the worst in ourselves, we can transform.
The pain inflicted hurts, very much indeed. It is quite normal and natural to want to avoid this pain.
Unfortunately, our avoiding this pain has us only continue to inflict on others what was inflicted upon us.
Yes, it is sad, but the true tragedy lies in our continuing to refuse to feel this sadness. The pain then gets locked inside, blocks our creativity, our natural intuition, our desire for connection.
We keep ourselves “safe,” we believe, from the possibility of ever being hurt again by blocking out what love comes our way. This is the true tragedy.
The narrative that is playing itself out in the world right now is the narrative that we all have playing over and over again in our own psyche. My prayer is that we can each, every one, stop and feel into what it is that we are trying to avoid by projecting our pain out into the world.
Yes, pain does hurt. What hurts even more is hate and fear. There is a price to be paid for all of the horrors human beings have inflicted upon one another. It is our own individual work to be willing to do our part by accepting, without flinching away, the pain that has been inflicted upon us and the pain we have inflicted.