Thursday, October 22, 2009

On Betrayal

Betrayal ... it sounds like such a mundane word. It should mean something to do with putting something on a tray but instead, it comes from the Latin 'tradere' to hand over, to help the enemy. So, someone who betrays another is, in fact, a traitor. I've been betrayed in my life and this is what happens in a nutshell. A friend I thought I could trust is a traitor to me for betraying a confidence or lying to me or commiting other disloyal acts and then the process of dealing with the loss of the friendship begins. It hurts, there is grieving and anger and I vow that this will never happen again. But, who am I kidding. Short of building a moat around my house, getting rid of all forms of communication and never going out, I am going to interact with people, I am going to have new people coming into my life and I am going to get hurt again .... eventually. So, the real question becomes 'How do I vet these new people to ensure I won't get hurt?' The short answer is that I can't. But I am learning. I am learning a lot about human nature but, more importantly, I am learning more about myself. The biggest part of what I am learning is that I can survive these betrayals ... large and small. I'm learning to trust myself enough to know that even when a friend is no longer a friend I will survive and move on. I have learned that I am not a product of the wrongs that are done to me but that how I choose to respond (or not) to a given situation is the thing that will bring me the most strength. I have learned that the bigger the hurt inflicted on a fellow human being, the more damaged the inflictor of said pain probably is ... and that is their problem, not mine. It seems like a lot to learn this late in life. Sometimes it seems too much and very depressing; however, I can then remind myself that my oldest and best friends are still here, that if I lived the majority of my life not experiencing such things then I've been lucky indeed and, finally, the best revenge for any hurt is a life well lived. And so, I carry on with the parts of my life that are joy filled and I say goodbye to the negative hurtful individuals and hope that they can find a way to exist in life without the kind of anger that makes them hurt others to feel better about themselves. I know I am going to be just fine.

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