Positively Speaking: Recovering from betrayal

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By Toby Moore

For Capital Region Independent Media

Columnist Toby Moore

Betrayal comes to us all. 

Sometimes in life, we meet people who seem to provide exactly what we are looking for. It could be a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a spouse, a business partner, a new best friend, a politician, or someone offering an unbelievable opportunity. 

Sometimes these new relationships feel like a blessing, but sometimes, they aren’t. Sadly, things aren’t always as they seem and can turn out differently than expected.

Maybe they break your heart, deceive you, embezzle money from you, and lead you to think things would be perfect, only to find out it was all lies.

When you realize what happened, your response might be rage and despair, living daily with the awful feeling that you’ve been taken advantage of. The heartbreak continues for days, months or years.

It’s natural to feel that way after being hurt. I’d love to tell you that you can use your mental powers to fight negative emotions and emerge happy and whole, with a smile on your face the next day.

To some extent, that can be possible, but it also takes time to process these events, and everyone processes grief differently. It takes time to heal and let go. 

After this type of experience, it’s hard to recover. Your life is forever altered; it feels impossible to return to who you were. You find that you’re just going through the motions of life with no passion or excitement for the future.

Thoughts will come that everyone is out to get you, people are inherently evil, or all men or women are the same. Nobody is worthy of your trust anymore. You feel like you’re drowning. 

There was a study done years ago where a scientist placed a rat inside a pool of water to see how long it could swim. The rat stopped swimming after about 15 minutes; it then gave up and began to sink under the water.

The scientist rescued the rat and let it recover. Not long after, the rat was placed into the water again; the scientist observed something interesting. This time it could tread water for 60 hours before it showed signs of drowning.

There was no obvious answer for why the rat hung on so long the second time. The study concluded that the rat must have had hope. It hoped that although it was in a desperate situation, it expected to be rescued and held on. 

There must have been times when someone surprisingly came to your rescue. Someone helped you without expecting anything in return. They helped you because they could, and they gave you hope.

Even though the passage of time can allow you to heal, if you focus on the pain long enough, no matter how many years have passed, you will feel it again.

If you continue to focus on it, talk about it and dwell on it, you may begin to lose hope all over again. That’s when you start to drown; that’s the moment you begin to sink under the waves of despair.

Not all business partners are the same; not all spouses are the same. People are different. At a young age, not everyone knows what they want.

When people do bad things, we only have a couple of options. We can turn bitter and live with a victim mentality. Or we can move on, learning the lessons that accompanied a painful experience and becoming wiser for the future.

You can choose to give up on relationships. You can give up on business and your dreams; you can choose to give up on people altogether.

Who are you hurting when you live bitter and jaded? When you hold on to the anger, it feels like a form of revenge. But is it?

When you decide to live like that, you keep yourself from rising higher. When you stay in a negative thought pattern, your brain produces chemicals that make you feel bad. You aren’t able to recognize new opportunities; you aren’t able to stay above water.

Let it go, try again, trust again. Live with hope in your heart and keep swimming. You never know — today could be the day everything turns in your favor.

Toby Moore is a columnist, the star of Emmy-Nominated “A Separate Peace,” and the CEO of Cubestream Inc.

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