Re-membering Like a thief in the night, betrayal has come and it's all out war. Time stands still in the wake of denial, as the bombs hit the floor. Disheveled and dismembered, our sundered bones are flung here and there as a high pitched hum rings in our ears. All is an echo of what once was. Harmony is silenced, completely silenced, broken, paralyzed by the nuclear lie that your life matters more. But, you are me. We are we. And the betrayal affects us all. We, like the sea-pen roaming the ocean floor, polyp attached to polyp, each with a purpose, not one less, all attached to the core. Some say forgive and forget but we know that the forgotten prolongs captivity. Remembering is the secret to this redemption we all long for. So come one, come all, bring your missing, dead, and broken pieces. It is this 'Re-membering' that will heal our wounded souls. May we re-member so that our collective melody, harmony and deep bass lines can all be restored.
Betrayal is one of the most relationally debilitating experiences one can have. It evokes feelings of rage and engages that dark part of the soul that longs for revenge, power and control. When one is betrayed, they are wounded and without the proper antidote their wounds can fester into victim stance, whereby one believes he or she is always morally right, is not responsible or accountable for their actions, and is entitled to sympathy from others. Looking through an habitual lens of victim stance leads to perpetration, for a victim is consumed with regaining lost power and will eventually take it from others in some manner. Thus, the one betrayed becomes the betrayer.
So, what is the proper antidote?
In his book, Sin, Fr. Hugh Connolly talks about the idea of “re-membering” as a process which calls to mind the deepest convictions and possibilities of people, encourages them to heal forms of dis-memberment and to work toward a better, more integrated society. In order for re-membering to happen a sincere sense of humility is an essential for both betrayer and betrayed. That is, to see past what others do to us, we must be willing to “look in the mirror” so to speak.
For the betrayed, although it is counter intuitive, resting in this humility empowers the victim, as it keeps them from falling into the trap of becoming the betrayer.
For the betrayer, confession, admission and acknowledgements of responsibility and ultimately of personal depravity are necessary purgative, purifying and ultimately healing acts.
When both parties take these positions, a healing tone is set and the cycle of discord can be broken thus allowing for re-membering, reconciliation and restoration.