Everyone betrays someone even those they love the most. Forgiveness remains the only way out of the hell of hatred betrayal creates.
You betray, I betray, we all betray. You betray when you violate a contract that causes deep pain or conflict to the other person or people affected. The contract can be presumed or verbal agreed to or written and signed by both parties.
Do you remember the first time you felt betrayed by someone you loved? Parents are usually the first, but what feels like parental betrayal is not recognized by the very young as such.
Why? Because children believe do not have the sense of fairness required to correctly label a betrayal. Might makes right rules their world. It is when we hit our teens, that we can contemplate more abstract ideas like what is fair and realize we have been betrayal.
When I was a teen my best friend went after a boy she know I was interested in.
“Not fair,” I cried.
“All’s fair in love and war,” she replied.
Perhaps that should not be “All’s fair.” Howver, the lesson I took from this betrayal was that people are such that they will always seek their heart’s need whether it is fair or not. My friend might have chosen to leave the field clear for me, then she would have betrayed her heart. A conundrum. Betraying others is part of being human, not the best part but often an understandable one. Our friendship survived because her explanation made sense to me at the time and we were able to talk about it.
Sometimes we betray out of weakness, sometimes out of strength, mostly due to conflicting needs, but in time we all betray. Even the most loving couples eventually face death and that is life’s ultimate betrayal.
Emotional fitness tip one: The betrayals of those we love starts when we lie to ourselves or to the loved one. There is a phenomena amoug marriage counselors known as “Runaway wives.” Husband do it too. It starts with not being honest about who you are and your feelings.
Emotional fitness tip three: Know yourself, so you can be honest about your needs. Betrayal is often kindness or conflict avoidance taken too far.
Emotional fitness tip four: Don’t let hurts fester. forgiveness requires a philosophy that softens hatred through understanding. My father hated and feared conflict; he was the shining example of “If you cannot say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” He also managed not to let what hurt him about my mother fester.
How did he do that? At some point in his life he apparently decided to forgo revenge and to let go of hate. He did this by the belief the other person would suffer more in the long run. Bishop Tutu’s definition of forgiveness is not seeking revenge. My father had never heard of Tutu, but was wise, however, also letting his need for peace rule him and not always to his benefit.
Emotional fitness tip five: Forgiveness cannot be practiced when emotional and physical safety have no been not established. Physical assault, whether the torture of oppressive regimes, child, or partner abuse is the easiest example of the need for safety; ongoing emotional abuse is less easily defined, but is unrelenting blaming, coldness and attacking the others self-worth.
Emotional fitness tip six: Learn and practice the art of forgiveness.
Divorce is one way parents betray children into today’s world of easy come and easy go marriage. But there are lots of other ways. As noted above even those who love you the most betray. I remember when I finally figured out my father, the only person I worshiped well into adulthood and who I know loved me unconditionally, had betrayed me.
How? My mother was given to horrible pre-menstrual temper tantrums. I was often her victim. To her credit she never got physically violent, but her emotional outbursts sent me to my room weeping uncontrollable. In time she would calm down and my father would come and reunite the two of us. How was that betrayal?
I don’t think he could have stopped her rages, but he could have told know it was her problem, that she was wrong but at the mercy of her own needs. That would have made all the difference to me. It was a therapist who helped me understand that and so forgive and go on. My father did the best he could, so did my Mom, and so do all of us.
There are times, however when the best is just not enough to keep us from betraying those we love. What to do?
Parenting tip one: Betray as little as possible. Practicing kindness helps.
Parenting tip two: Own up when you are betraying another. As always your behavior models what your children follow most strongly.
Parenting tip three: Try to do better. If you cannot do better, own that you are at fault. The most common way out of the guilt of knowing we are hurting another is finding fault with the other — the blame game. Children of divorce say the bad mouthing or arguing and blaming of the other parent hurt more than the divorce.
Parenting tip four: Teach your children life is not fair, betrayals happen.
Parenting tip five: Teach your children to practice kindness, the art of apologizing, and how to forgive.
Parenting tip six: Improve your child’s self soothing skills.
improve your critical thinking skills
DAILY PROMPT Undo: If you could un-invent something, what would it be? Discuss why, potential repercussions, or a possible alternative.
If I could undo anything, it would be the very human need to put on what I call a faux self. We have many selves and our faus selves are often attempts to be kind or to avoid conflict. Understandable, but in the long run you betray yourself and often others. Why learning to be who you are, say what needs saying, but not saying it means matters most.
LINKS OF INTEREST
BE KIND TO ME
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Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find some good every day..