Saturday, November 8, 2008

Self Forgiveness..Self Betrayal....How to Heal

One major anchor that holds people back in life is the inability to forgive themselves for events from their past. This inability to forgive oneself, leads to self betrayal, which makes it very difficult to heal from any past event.

This work is a little tricky though, because most of us can't even see how we get into some of the messes we create, even years after they supposedly are past.

Let me give you an example of an event that occurs in the lives of many of my clients that leads to the understanding of how self betrayal may even look like a betrayal that someone else has done to us.

I'll even use myself as the example.

A number of years ago I fell head over heels for a young woman shortly after meeting her. One of the areas in life we discussed immediately was the need to be fully honest, fully present with each other. I stated quite boldly that without this form of honesty, I would not be able to stay with her, or anyone for that matter. I was past anything short of honesty in a relationship.

She wholeheartedly agreed, and off we went.

Within a month, things started to go sour. When we met, she said she was divorced, to find out later she was still married. Betrayal.

When she shared that several members of her family had serious untreated emotional issues, like Bi-polar disorder , I asked if she was being treated as well. I was concerned as her behavior over the first several months would be extremely erratic at times. Her answer was she had no such disorders. Which was a lie. Betrayal.

She was addicted to smoking, which she covered up by disappearing for hours in the evening, unable to be reached. Which meant on these nites I could not see her. But by the next morning she had showered, cleansed her breath, and had excuses as to where she had been. All lies. Betrayal.

She had an addiction to prescription medications, which when she did have any, albeit infrequently, she again would disappear or act irrationally, and then confess to having taken some after promising she would not. Betrayal.

But wait!!

What seems to be so cut and dry here ladies and gentleman is really not!!

So far, by what we've seen, the reason the relationship crashed, and the hard feelings I had for a while after that could easily, at first glance be directed at this young woman. It would seem, that her continual lies, and the betrayal of truth would be the reason for my angst...but that is only part of the story.

If we were to look deeper, the reason I could not fully release the frustration of this relationship for months afterwards was because : I Betrayed Myself.

If you remember in the beginning of this writing, I had boldly stated that if someone could not be fully honest, I would have to leave.

Every time she betrayed me, or my trust, with another lie and I still stayed...I was betraying myself. You see, if I had honored my word, after the first betrayal, I would have ended the relationship. Or the second.

But I stayed. And because I continued to stay, my own sense of self, of self respect, continued to be eroded. And as the erosion deepened, it made it harder to let go of the relationship emotionally until I forgave myself, for betraying myself.

As I continued to walk through my own healthy boundaries, and go back to her time after time, knowing what I did, I damaged my own integrity.

The only way to fully heal this wound, is to forgive ourselves for the way we have betrayed our own selves!!

Full self forgiveness then will lead to the ability to fully forgive the other person as well.

But as long as we continue to point the finger, as long as we hold the grudge against someone else... the longer we delay looking at how we betray ourselves by not living up to our own standards, or by not paying attention to the intuitive red flags that pop up in business or love, the longer it will be to heal.

Slow down. Forgive yourself for past relationship failures, let go of the self betrayal, and watch yourself heal.

Love, Peace, David Essel

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