“Let everything happen to you – beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke
“Wait, I don’t understand,” I argued, “How am I being investigated for fraud?!” I felt panic lodge itself in my throat as the bank teller signaled to the red computer screen. “It appears your loan is being handled by the federal government. You’ll have to speak with them directly, there’s nothing I can do.” Beside me, my fiance groaned. “How the hell could you let this happen,” he spat between clenched teeth, “She’s your friend!”
I understood his anger, I did. Evelyn was my long time client and friend. But how could I have predicted that she would have forged my signature to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars from the government?
“There has to be a mistake, John. Calm down,” I answered nervously. “Really?” he barked, “Are you really that naive? She used us. I told you we shouldn’t have trusted her!” I stared at the bank teller then, fear overwhelming my body. I had never felt so afraid
Betrayal is bittersweet. I did not know it then, but Evelyn was instrumental to my growth and evolution. I was being forced to give up the life I knew in place of a life I did not recognize. I did not realize that my great undoing would also be my rebirth.
The months following my visit to the bank were extraordinarily painful. I felt vulnerable, broken open, shattered, and terrified. It hurt to be used like this, to have my life and integrity so ostracized, and to be left as a pariah. How could she? I blamed her for my unraveling. How could she?
Betrayal is one of the most painful teachers I have encountered. It rips you open and leaves you frail and confused. Yet, as you begin to gather the pieces of the life that was, you create space for the life that can be. You learn to be there for yourself, to cradle yourself, and to encourage yourself. You begin to take responsibility for you.
Having experienced what many would consider tragic, I realized how triumphant I was inside. When you have been deprived of the freedom you once knew, when you have lost everything you’ve known as truths, when your life has literally been uprooted, dismantled, and shaken, you realize there are only two things you can control: your spirit and your thoughts. You are responsible for you. You create and recreate all things. By becoming self-aware of this, our emotions no longer dictate our thoughts. Once our thoughts are no longer so chaotic, we stop attracting the same challenging, negative realities. We are freed of our limiting patterns and aware enough to create change in our lives.
Today, I stand boldly in my truths. I know I am enough for myself, I have proven that. Looking back, I am grateful to Evelyn for the lessons she provided. Was it difficult? Without question. But it changed the course of my life and made me a stronger, kinder, more giving woman. I would not change that for the world.