I have made many mistakes in my life, but the most consequential mistakes I’ve made have always involved betraying in some way what I know to be true.
These are the mistakes that have delivered essential lessons in discernment, self-respect, dignity and integrity.
Precious, humbling teachings of what happens when we don’t honor the deepest truth of what we know.
Particularly when self-betrayal has occurred for love, or for intimacy, or for financial security, or for some sense of belonging in community, that’s when it seems the teaching carries the greatest weight.
Perhaps this is because life is always conspiring to point its finger back at us—as the greatest source of love, prosperity, fulfillment, and belonging we could ever wish for?!
There is a vital truth of freedom our hearts yearn for us to remember.
When we self-betray in a way that reflects some essentially mistaken perception, then seeing our self-betrayal has the potential to serve our deepest freedom.
I am a skilled and practiced intuitive. I live in close intimacy with the clear voice of truth within me, the one who sees and hears and knows what’s true.
When I have betrayed the truth, because of a fear that to honor it might cause me to lose whatever I’m attached to—whether that be a form of relationship, or work, or money, or image, or whatever—this is a form of self-betrayal that has had ever-increasing consequences.
If we fail a test, there is always a consequence. And if we fail the same test repeatedly, it seems the consequences get stronger and stronger.
I think this is especially true for those of us who commit to a path of truth.
When we name our devotion to the truth, the stakes are immediately raised, and the price of self-betrayal gets higher and higher.
Sometimes the consequences aren’t evident right away. Sometimes they take time, and maturity, to reveal themselves.
Sometimes they are immediate—like a terrible hangover, or an infection after untrue sex, or like getting overwhelmed or resentful after saying yes, when we really meant fuck no.
Some of the consequences of self-betrayal are layered and insidious and have to be carefully and skillfully unwoven. Consequences such as vital injuries to our self-respect, self-worth and self-trust.
I hope you know I’m not talking about a punishing God. I’m talking about Life, as our own self, generously teaching and ruthlessly mirroring to us exactly what it is we need to learn, in order to awaken and welcome us home to the truest self-respect, freedom, and integrity.
In my experience, the school of life is inherently gracious with us in bringing us the lessons and tests that can best serve our evolution.
That’s one of the reasons why it’s very useful to consciously learn our lessons.
The opportunity is to see and own our mistakes, to track our own blind-spots and see them for what they are, to receive the gifts they brought to us, with self-compassion and self-forgiveness, and then to integrate the medicine, so we can graduate from that particular schooling, and move on to the next.
Telling the truth about the unique ways we have habitually betrayed ourselves, in the name of safety, security, love, popularity, power, you name it… is one of the most powerful ways to deepen in our marriage to Truth.
This holy marriage asks for everything, yes, it’s true. And it gives us everything we truly want in return.