Betrayal In Four Acts #1
“Affairs are an act of betrayal, and they are also an expression of longing and loss. At the heart of an affair, you will often find a longing and a yearning for an emotional connection, for novelty, for freedom, for autonomy, for sexual intensity, a wish to recapture lost parts of ourselves or an attempt to bring back vitality in the face of loss and tragedy.” - Esther Perel Rethinking Infidelity
This article is ostensibly about betrayal. It is also about the way in which ideas and their analogues, words, influence the feelings and perceptions of our life. More succinctly this piece touches on the courage and curiosity required to delve deeply into the power of choice versus the trap of obligation and guilt.
Processing Error - Act 1
I have felt betrayed, like most people, in small and large ways throughout my life. For me, admitting betrayal immediately triggers feelings of shame and guilt. These feelings stem from believing, despite a great deal of evidence to the contrary, happiness is what tips the scales in favor of a passionate, meaningful life.
Somewhere along the way I got my wires crossed. I was taught sacrificing to the greater good of relationships and community and family would make for a “beautiful life.” I was also taught history was important and good partners stick around through the tough times. Therefore, I mistakenly put value in things like the quantity of shared experiences and the duration of a relationship, rather than in the reality of connection. The result, at times, has been a mind numbing commitment to staying committed and ridding out the “challenges”…being part of the team.
Through the process, I literally became an instrument out of tune. The desires of my ego-mind to follow the script of society were in conflict with my fundamental instincts. The fear based script, generated to pacify my ego, was quite literally keeping my primal instinct captive. I wanted to take flight and soar but I was essentially tethered to beliefs just strong enough to keep me grounded.
The script I wrote was a particular matrix of my personal history combined with socialization. The story centered around the “appearance” of thriving at the expense of real connection with time as the backdrop. I locked into the idea that “normal” people maintain long-term relationships…I think of it now as love at all costs. I found myself trapped within a cage of my own devising…trying desperately to not be unhappy. Ultimately I kept tripping over the same feeling…betrayal.