Over the course of a lifetime most of us experience some form of betrayal and broken trust. Betrayals and broken trust come in small and large packages. Feelings are hurt, needs are unmet, hopes are dashed. When this happens it's perfectly natural to become self-protective. We often cloak ourselves in anger, which anesthetize us from underlying feelings of hurt and sadness. We pull away from the person or situation that betrayed us in order to prevent more hurt. Sometimes we live in resentment and retribution. But staying in a place of resentment, anger, hurt, retribution and sadness is unhealthy. It drains us of our own positive personal energies and it can defocus and distract us from creating the lives we want. So, how do we heal when dealing with such difficult situations and complicated feelings?
I thought about these issues after listening to news reports of war and greed and after listening to clients, friends and family talk about their past and current struggles with betrayal and trust. I thought about the betrayals I have experienced over the course of my life. And, I wondered how our world would change if our capacity for reconciliation was expressed as easily as we express other feelings, such as anger.
Ode Magazine, May 2008, ran an article on reconciliation that has three powerful stories of moving through feelings of betrayal and mistrust.. I was particularly drawn to the third story, which comes out of Desmond Tutu's Reconciliation Project. These stories affected me deeply. It takes such courage to step into this process. Take a look and see what you think.