When you wrote about feeling so used and betrayed, I was reminded of a way I’ve moved through various thrashings I’ve experienced in the relationship world. My default used to be to examine the other person, especially tempting if their behavior is blatantly harmful.

At some point I learned to begin with me, to explore the warning signs I missed, look for the red flags that I blew past — to inquire ‘what was I not willing to pay attention to in myself that set the events in motion’?

This isn’t a process of ‘blaming’ myself (as opposed to blaming the other person), rather it is a way for me to take responsibility for how I disregarded myself (my own knowingness) and opened myself up to be wounded. Then once the wounding has happened, how to move from feeling assaulted, to feeling how I used and betrayed myself.

My ego loves to be the victim, to sing the song about how I’m unappreciated (yada, yada, yada) — when all is said and done (and felt), I inevitably return to the awareness that one more time I was simply unwilling to take responsibility for caring for myself on a deep level.

Perhaps when the sting of the nettle has subsided, you can explore in writing (and prayer and sharing) where you dismissed your awareness, feel your feelings and heal. You’ll be in my prayers.