Everyone has been betrayed at some point in their lives. Betrayal is a break in trust. A disappointment. We’ve all had them on varying levels. Some examples could be anything from finding out who Santa Claus really is, having a life partner cheat, having a political regime not perform the way you expected after voting for them, or even just within yourself, eating something you swore you wouldn’t. (Transparency here – I am a totally unrepentant chocoholic).
Betrayals vary from mild to catastrophic. The one that changed my life was the latter.
I am a champion starter overer. I was raised in the islands where we got blown out of our home about every 7 years and it became natural to pick up the pieces and see what you could make of them. Even Mother Nature can betray you every now and then.
Raised with the promise from my parents I would have financial security my whole life, I was devastated at the age of 45 when my mother passed away from brain cancer and, in the space of one breath, my future, my identity, my hopes and dreams were all dashed because she disinherited me and left me homeless and alone.
Through a process I used and now teach, I took what I had to work with and created a life I love; a life that calls me to be of service to others, to be my best self and show others how to do the same thing.
What is Betrayal?
Betrayal is a break in trust. A disappointment. Nothing more, nothing less. Betrayal is when expectations are not met by someone or something you trusted to deliver. Most of the time, betrayal is associated with a sense of loss. Those sometime overwhelming feelings are natural but can put a serious damper on enjoyment of life, I can tell you. And it leads to many, MANY stories about the why and hows that can rival the best movie scripts.
In 1997 I came up with the premise that we start our lives on autopilot, just existing and cruising along while other people make our choices for us. Until one day, we begin thinking for ourselves.
That’s where “Oughta Pilots” are born. The programming from the original autopilot is still in place, but now it’s more in the form of “You know you should do it this way, behave that way” or even, hearing your parent/teacher or significant other’s voice when faced with a choice telling you what they think you should do (or actually, what you think they think you should do in each case. I created the term because we sometimes cruise along unconsciously doing what we should or ought to do instead of choosing and engaging with each moment.
Oughta Pilots live in our “because” and show up in our “story”. When you have an experience of betrayal, you ask yourself why something happened, how it happened and in the midst of emotional meltdowns circle around to the facts of the experience. The emotional charge propels the drama and feelings of loss that intensify until you have created a “story” that steals away your ability to enjoy anything remotely similar to what happened because you’re waiting for it to happen again.
For example, in my situation, my mother disinherited me. My story said being disinherited happened because my mother didn’t love me, even though I “tried so hard to be what she thought I should be” and because she didn’t love me, of course she disinherited me causing me to lose my shelter, my future and my identity which further enforced the why — she didn’t love me, which happened because (pick an earlier scenario to also prove the hypothesis). and around and around until we can’t distinguish the right side from the left which creates our story. And there are layers within layers which get uncovered like peeling an onion.
Betrayal Is A Gift?
Let me throw something novel at you. What if you look at yourself as you are. The betrayals you have experienced are only one component of who you are in this moment. We are all the sum of the experiences in our lives. You have loved and been loved, You’ve been hurt. You’ve gone from emotional highs to soul sucking lows. But all of that, all of that, has made you who you are.
Freeing yourself from the heaviness of dragging that baggage around with you is really a small part of choosing to live a Created Life. It’s a good part and let me tell you why. It’s like parachute jumping into muddy ground and then dragging that muck filled parachute with you as you walk to your destination. Releasing the straps holding you to that weight is freeing and allows you to move faster, but you couldn’t have gotten where you landed without it.
If I hadn’t had my life thrown into a blender just when I was settling in to a predictable future, I never would have experienced what it is to live in the now, choosing instead of deciding, undoing the straps to the muck-filled parachute holding me back and letting me fly. I tell my clients if they want to live in past experiences, I can’t help them. All we have is now. There is no someday.