There was a time when I cared what ‘everyone’ thought about me. I tried very hard to please people; to be good; to be liked. What that got me was a whole lot of heartache: Cheating. Lying. Backstabbing. Betrayal.
In my effort to gain acceptance, I lost everything. I was rejected.
And it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Now, of course, I can only say this with that 20/20 hindsight thing. As C.S. Lewis has said, we don’t know we are maturing during the process, but only after it has happened (I’m paraphrasing, bear with me). This might be because the “during the process” is distractingly painful. It’s also hard work.
The time I spent in solitude, grappling with themes of loyalty, integrity, friendship and love; questioning God, fairness and justice, led me to a quiet place of peaceful independence. Note: not giving-you- the-middle-finger independence, not looking-out-for-number-one independence. Rather, a healthy detachment from the approval of others independence.
In a word: Freedom.
The relationships I lost were a result of truth unfolding. A person cannot betray unless the seeds of betrayal are already planted in their heart. A person cannot live out that which is untrue for them.
Seeing another’s truth is freedom. It may be a painful (at first) freedom, but it is freedom, nonetheless.
And not only was their truth liberating, my truth was liberating, as well. When I realized that the opinion of others had somehow been more valuable to me than the condition or safety of my heart; more valuable than the opinion of God, I took my first step toward healing. It wasn’t until then, in the rubble and ashes of my life, that I saw the first sprout- the first sign- of new life.
In short, I had to be completely broken to be completely set free. And that is a very beautiful thing.
So if the Son has set you free, you are free indeed. (John 8:36)
Photo credit: starry_eyedkid
pain of betrayal, finding myself, when friends betray, starting over, acceptance after loss, acceptance and pain
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
The Therapist's Therapy Blog