Sitting deep in betrayal myself, I understand: It’s so hard not to feel heavy with guilt and shame for trusting hearts that betrayed our trust. We feel like fools for believing when we could not have truly known the depths of their deceit. If we had known, we would have avoided it, choosing any path other than the one that would break us.
Dear hurting hearts, it’s not your fault they broke you. It’s not your fault that your trust, given openly, was broken. Forgive yourself for not knowing better. Forgive yourself for loving so much that you could not see and did not know. Let go of the sense of shame and worthlessness that haunts you on those sleepless nights when you replay every moment from the first to the last to see if there were signs that you simply did not see. Or misinterpreted. Or overlooked. You will see them all now, even ones that never existed, because you need to believe you had enough control to prevent it. Because if you had enough control then, you’ll have enough control now that it will never happen again.
But you don’t. I don’t. We can’t guarantee that no one else will take our trust and crumble it up and throw it away like so much garbage. There are no assurances that once we are repaired we won’t be broken again, perhaps by different careless hands than before. Perhaps by the same. Our egos look to find the pattern that we missed so we can maintain the slightest illusion of control in relationships when really there is none. Let go of the shame, the blame, the constant searching your heart of where you went wrong.
It’s not your fault. You’re not to blame. But you are- and I am- responsible now. We’re the ones left dealing with the aftermath of broken, betrayed hearts who may be a little slower to trust next time. We may not have caused this wreckage, but we certainly have to clean it up. Our rebuilding process may be slow. It may be tiring. It may remind us again and again of how we were hurt as we pick up those pieces and try to reassemble our lives. But we still have to do it. We know now that no one else will ever do it for us.
While we’re picking up those pieces, there’s no need to look back for those signs of duplicity that may or may not have been there all along. Instead, we can look back on our choices. We can decide what we want for our lives- and what we don’t. We get unpack the baggage of those old, broken relationships and stop carrying them with us. We can decide that we’ll mend our hearts so that they can go out and love and be loved again. Even if that means that they’ll be broken again.
At the end of the day, all we can do is place our love and trust into the world. Some people will honor that with unfailing honesty and courage. And some won’t. That’s on them. That’s their journey. And it will hurt like hell when we are betrayed by someone we trust. It will feel like the world we know is coming apart. And it is. It is coming apart. We are coming apart. But then we come back together. We create a new world for ourselves, absent of the one who betrayed our trust and broke our hearts. We know, in the end, that we deserve so much better than someone who could not meet our unflinching trust with even the smallest amount of honesty. We stop taking the blame for another’s poor choices, and we move on knowing that we did the best we could.
Dear healing hearts, you are not fools. It’s not your fault that they hurt you. But it’s your responsibility now. It’s mine, too. It’s time to pick up the pieces and build a spectacular new life with the wreckage of the old.