Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Coping with hurt, pain and betrayal

One of the very popular themes in films and stories is of people who cling on to others in relationships, continually taking lies, battering and betrayal. It has been portrayed as being almost heroic and an act of ‘love’ where the heroine continues to love and understand her man till, one day, his eyes open and he realises what a gem he has.

I am not against that line of thinking.

I am also not against the line of thinking where people divorce at the drop of a hat, walking away when a loved one ‘messes up’. The ability to be in calm control of emotions and break up with someone who we think is not ‘worthy’ of our love or relationship has also been lauded.

Like I said, I am not against that line of thinking either. It’s just that I don’t toe these lines all the way.

My point of view is that many times in life, there are no hard and fast rules and each scenario is unique and intricate in its own way. Each relationship implies unique individuals, unique relationships, unique backgrounds, unique thought processes…and I can go on.

But Jesus, sitting down on Mount Olives sadly but firmly takes a decision on a relationship that has been hurting. He says “How I would have longed to gather you as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but YOU (emphasis mine) would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate…” Matt 23:37

I wish I had an easy answer for people who have been hurt or betrayed by people they love. I wish I could say the right words and it would all just go away. However, it’s no easy task. At the very point where people are hurting, there is a need to understand that TIME has a way of sorting out things and in the meantime, the one who feels hurt or betrayed will need to guard their hearts from bitterness. People tend to gravitate towards their dominant thoughts – even when it’s thought of things or people you hate.

Let me use the example of someone I will name Charley. He was completely devastated when he found out his fiancée had been cheated on him several times. Loving her dearly, he was hurt and every time he talked or thought about it, even years later, the pain would be fresh. Charley ended up cheating on his next fiancée and quickly went on a downward spiral before he found much-needed help.

This could be just one individual case, but I know of so many people who have been cheated on who go on a sex spree, people who have been robbed who dupe others and it goes on and on. You tend to become what you hate deeply.

So how does one deal with hurt and betrayal?

By using the hidden capacity TOO MANY have neglected. Every time you are hurt, or you are angry, or you are in a crazy scenario where there is violence or fear, there is a place somewhere in you that gives you a strange ability to stand on the side and watch it all unfold as though you are not the one in the picture. It is for this reason people who are offended explode when they can almost feel it is the expected behaviour.

For example, Tom is walking down a crowded road. A teenager loses control of his bicycle and bumps into him. Tom is STARTLED and looks around at the kid on the floor. People turn around to stare…


In that split second, there are so many options for Tom based on several variables. Depending on the socio-cultural influences and/or vibes he is picking up from faces,
Tom may:
-yell at the teenager though HE doesn’t feel angry
-help the teenager to his feet and let him off easy
-melodramatically walk away like nothing happened while EVERYONE watches this version of Clint Eastwood riding into the sunset
-allow HIS anger churn by subconsciously JUSTIFYING why he should act that way
-have split reactions because he is extremely self-conscious and is trying to think of what the CROWD expects while trying to focus on how to relate with the boy

There are more possibilities and you can think of more, but they are executed in a split second. It’s definitely different when you find out your partner is sleeping with a third party, or your close friend duped you, or someone you care for has withdrawn for you and has given no reason.

You can ALWAYS freeze frame and the more you do it, the easier it gets.
When bitterness is thrown far from your heart, and you extend your hands to someone again and again, if there is no SINCERE reciprocal gesture, it is ALRIGHT to walk away.

It’s ok to walk away from someone who spurns your friendship and treats it lightly.
Its ok to walk away from a partner who is not trying to fight to stay faithful
In some other scenarios, sometimes what you need is space and time, to grieve, to recuperate, to heal…and to love – AGAIN, for at the end of the day, what is life, without love?

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