Have you ever felt betrayed by someone?
It’s happened to me a few times, personally and professionally. Funny how it often happens with the people we trust the most — the people we least expect.
I was angry. I was hurt. How could people I love and trust so much betray me in such a way? Many thoughts raced through my mind: Do I confront them? Do I expose them? How do I handle this?
Everyone reacts to betrayal differently. At its heart, though, getting through such a difficult time depends on whether you choose to overcome it in a positive or negative way. I understand it might seem strange to think that one can deal with the wholly negative experience of betrayal in a positive fashion, but I assure you it's possible. I know because I did it, and so can you. Here are five beliefs that anchored my recovery.
1. Confront your betrayer.
Everyone has a particular point of view. What seems like a clear betrayal to one person might be seen as a skewed perspective to another. That’s why it's incredibly important to confront the other person involved. How does the individual perceive his or her true intentions?
Give the person a chance to explain. It’s not worth keeping frustration balled up inside if there's a chance the “betrayal” might be a misunderstanding that got out of hand. Holding on to resentment and negative energies toward one person inevitably will spill over into the other relationships in your life — professional and personal.
2. Do not go to a lower-floor vibration.
The way I see it, we’re all on different floors of a building. Those who continuously work toward being their best selves are on a higher floor and posses higher-floor vibration. Those who focus on what isn’t working and wallow in unhappy situations exist on lower floors with a lower-floor vibration.
I've worked hard for my higher-floor vibration, and I work even harder to maintain it. I wouldn't expose those who have betrayed me nor wish them ill will. Such actions simply come from a mindset that belongs on a lower-floor vibration.
If you maintain an upper-floor vibration, people look to you, wonder what you are doing, get curious and start to raise their own vibrations. If, on the other hand, you lower your vibration to match theirs, you're not doing yourself (or anyone around you) any favors. Choose to go with your highest vibration, always. You'll feel better and proud of yourself, especially in the long run.
Related: 9 Practices for Achieving Emotional Maturity
3. Put your energy into bringing yourself closer to where you want to be.
I believe we awake each morning with a certain supply of energy watts for the day. To put a number to it, let’s say we each get 100 watts. Where will you spend yours? Do you want to put your energy into settling scores, or would you rather create the life and business you truly desire?
Each watt spent on negative thoughts or actions toward people who betrayed me would take watts away from the positive work I really want to do. I choose to direct my energy in ways that make my life more fulfilling. I refuse to give a single watt more energy to the negative events in my past. You can do the same.
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4. What goes around comes around.
What you give out, you get back. It's true in life and in business.
Choose to take actions aligned with your values and purpose. Be true to your highest self and make decisions from there. Always. Just because others choose to be dishonest or do hurtful things, it does not give you a reason to do the same.
Put good karma out into the world. Give the energy you want to receive. A betrayer's actions are part of his or her karma, and all that negativity will catch up in time.
5. Embrace the betrayal.
I know this is a tough one, but you must make peace with the betrayal. You need to look at what happened and ask, “What did I learn from this?”
The betrayal happened for a reason: so you could learn some hard lessons and move forward. If you have trouble getting rid of your frustrations, try writing them out on a piece of paper and burning them. Whatever your course of action, you need to start letting your negative feelings go — but not before learning from them.
Related: 10 Harsh Lessons That Will Make You More Successful
Don’t let these painful lessons serve no purpose. Embrace your hurt and be grateful for the knowledge it brings to guide you to a higher path in life.