It is Holy Week, the week before Easter, the week when Jesus enters the city on a donkey, washes his followers’ feet, breaks bread with them at the last supper, is betrayed by a loved one before being tortured, sentenced to death, crucified and entombed before finally rising again.
Whilst Holy Week is based in the Christian tradition, its key points are salient for us all. The week contains humility, community, betrayal, love, loss and more however here we will explore what we can learn from betrayal.
As in all things there are many aspects of each value, here, in betrayal, we open to when we have been betrayed, when we have betrayed others and when we have betrayed ourselves.
It is easy to know when we have been betrayed as we feel it, often viscerally in our gut and in the physical pain it can cause. For example, imagine how it would feel to find your significant other in bed with your best friend, heart -wrenching, vomit-inducing, shock, pain, anger, worthlessness all factoring into the whole experience colouring it vividly and anchoring the memory in pain. A pain it can be hard to step away from let alone forgive.
It is less easy to determine when we have betrayed another as there is no sese of pain for ourselves, just, perhaps, a niggling sense of `not-quite-rightness` about our words or actions. These can be more subtle, like talking about someone behind their back, not being honest to another because `we don’t like unpleasantness`!
Occasionally we may betray another in full awareness yet chose to continue to do so which indicates a much deeper and more powerful driver to protect some other more vulnerable part of ourselves. It might be from fear of what honesty would bring up. It might be worth exploring what honest might reveal and see if it is greater than the fear.
The hardest betrayal of all is when we betray our highest calling, the deepest part of us, our soul. When we betray our Truth in conversation or perhaps when we fail to stand up for our core beliefs from fear of some reprisal etc.
Only we know about this betrayal, it is when we agree with another view even when we disagree. It is when we keep quiet so as to `not rock the boat`. It is when we lie to ourselves about how wonderful and God-sent we are and denigrate ourselves. We betray ourselves every time we believe the voice of the ego, that is based in fear itself, and deny the voice from the soul.
The Gift of Holy Week is our chance to spend some time revisiting within, exploring where we are and praying for release, forgiveness, transformation, and courage to be and speak the Truth.
Be gentle with yourself.