If you find yourself in the position of being the wronged party, sit down with these two seven-step programs in front of you. With a pen and paper, write down all the ways you are following the healing program and then the ways in which you are sticking with victimization one. Be candid and objective. It is healing in itself to write down how you are really doing, because the key to psychological healing is self-awareness.
The two lists—and choices—may be in stark contrast, but real life is blurry around the edges. One day you are on the right track; the next day you are a train wreck. The key is to keep being kind to yourself. You know you are being kind when you begin to feel kind toward the one who betrayed you. I know that sounds impossible when your pain is acute, but you can't be kind to yourself unless that feeling of ease, acceptance, tolerance and nonjudgment extends beyond your self-interest. Otherwise, kindness is simply a mask for egotism. The idea of "I'm getting better; I hope he rots in hell" is an unresolvable contradiction.
In the end, when you reach that state of being healed, you will see how fortunate you are. As horrible as betrayal is, forgiveness belongs to those who know how to love in the first place, and you are one of them.
Author Deepak Chopra's most recent book is Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life's Greatest Challenges.
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