“How could I ever trust someone if I have been betrayed?” This is a question we all ask ourselves at some point in our lives. Either consciously or subconsciously. And from what I’ve observed, there are a lot of different layers to this question.
What I can see so far is that trust, betrayal and woundedness are not always that apparent.
Some time ago I went deeper into exploring that wound within me, and I came to the painful realization, that I have strong trust issues with men. I was actually opening myself up a little, only to wait for the guy to confirm that I shouldn’t have trusted him in the first place. This in turn gave me the position to blame the other. To somehow get my power back.
And I feel that this is a big societal and ancestral wound. Men not learning to create safe environments for women, triggering the wound of constantly feeling unsafe and on high alert, and women setting traps for men, so they feel the wound of not being good enough.
With some men, I felt unsafe very early on, with others, I opened up more and more, only to feel a stronger sense of betrayal. So the first step was to feel that current pain, and I did. Then I needed to allow my system to integrate and heal. But I’m sure there will be more layers to it coming up and revealing themselves.
With societal and ancestral woundedness, it’s harder to go back to the original betrayal. But we can simply take it one layer at a time, whenever they are triggered. For me, this goes from my last relationship, to previous ones, to my relationship with my brother and father (duh!) and further down the ancestral line.
Having to compete for attention (=love), instead of it just being enough for all of us. But not really able to blame them, because they did the best they could with what they knew then. And as I said, it’s been a vicious cycle for generations.
the cycle of healing
Through that last process of going deeper into my woundedness, I could identify some steps for healing. Most of them do apply also to other (emotional) wounds, but the examples focus on betrayal and building trust.
feeling the pain
This is the hard part. To actually acknowledge and feel the pain that this betrayal (or the one in the past) has caused us. Observing the body, where the pain is located. Allowing it to consume us.
It is important to note, that emotional pain is always connected with physical pain in our bodies. And feeling all of this is something that a lot of us have unlearned or haven’t been shown how to do properly. So we might not actually know how to do this step (and even how to acknowledge it). But this is where the help of a psychotherapist or sometimes also a life coach can do wonders, if you feel like you can’t do it on your own.
going back to the original betrayal
If we feel betrayed by someone, it is important to reflect if that person is actually the originator, or if it is a pattern that I am subconsciously repeating, so that I can identify, look at, and heal a betrayal that happend a long time ago. I don’t mean, that the recent betrayal didn’t leave a wound. It’s rather the question if we are in an environment where we are bound to hurt over and over again.
Like a sharp object in our path, that we constantly stub our toes on. It can both be an old wound that we tore open, or a new one. But if we don’t observe our environment, and either remove that object, or consciously step over it, we will run into the same problem again and again.
building yourself back up
This part is in some ways the easiest. You’ve gone through the frustrating process of finding the root betrayal, you felt the pain in your whole body. And now, it’s all about creating a safe environment so the body and psyche can do its thing. surround yourself with people that make you feel good. With people that you may still trust. Do things that feel good to you. This can range from having long warm baths to preparing yourself an awesome meal that you put together with a lot of love and care or focus on a part of your life that brings you joy in this moment. I also always suggest spending time in nature. Observing the plants, the animals, the rock people, the mosses, the fungi … they can teach us so much about resilience.
With time, you can even start to dream and envision a life how you would like it instead of what you experienced in the past. Reflect on all the red flags that you need to avoid, and paint a picture in your head of what kind of environment you would need to open up and trust again.
creating new pathways
After all of those steps, and possibly some time to integrate all of it, we can start to step into new (positive) experiences that will overwrite the ones we had in the past. This could be finding a partner (or maybe even more than one) who is also aware of this ancestral wound between the genders, and who is willing to slowly build that trust up together. On both sides. So that one by one, we can show others how to do it, too.
Aren’t there already examples out there?
You might wonder, why I feelt the need to explore this on my own, instead of look for people who already did it and could show me how? Well, to be honest, there is, but they all have very different approaches. And somehow those just didn’t resonate with me.
And since I’m an explorer by nature, I need to figure out my own personal healing path. Digging even deeper than a lot of others did.
Why would anyone go through all the hardships of stumbling and falling and getting up over and over again? Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply not open up to people?
Well, no, because there is a deep satisfaction that comes when healing our inner woundedness. Of getting closer and closer to our core. And figure out, who we truly are as humans. And how we can evolve and transform BECAUSE of our wounds.