Thursday, February 25, 2010


We have all felt betrayed by someone at some point in our lives, whether it be by the sibling who ratted on you to your parents for eating candy during Lent, or the supposedly commmitted mate you one day find in bed with another lover, or the loved one who died and specifically left you out of her will, or the day you found out that your parents lied to you about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. All of those feelings are heartfelt at the time and some of those feelings linger just below the surface for years. That is the one thing about feeling betrayed - those feelings of betrayal can permeate to the very core of your heart and soul. Once there, they can ferment and breed anger and hatred, or they can slowly dissipate over time. Or, they can remain hidden seeds in our souls, just waiting for the rainfall in the desert to bring them to new life.

When you place your trust in someone, and that trust is violated, you feel betrayed. When a colleague at work uses information you worked hard to come up with and claims it as her own, that is betrayal. When someone says they are your BFF (best friend forever, in the lingo of the young and internet-savvy), and the next day snubs you in the school cafeteria to sit with Miss Popularity, that is betrayal. When your lover of several years abandons you in the midst of a personal crisis, that is betrayal. When you are separated from your spouse and you pour out your heart to someone who claims to be your friend, and later you find out that the so-called friend has been sleeping with the still-legally-married-to-you-husband, that is betrayal.

There are many forms of betrayal, and I bet we can all name several to which we have been exposed. The question is, what do we do with these feelings of betrayal? What is the right thing to do, for each one of us, under each particular circumstance? Based on my very Catholic upbringing, I feel that I "should" turn the other cheek and forgive. But, not only have I found that forgiving is easier said than done, I am not convinced that "forgiving" in each and every instance is the best thing for me to do.

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