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The Betrayal Wound

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

Note: A helpful first step in the process of working on yourself is to identify your emotional trauma wounds and ego mask. If you haven't yet identified your emotional trauma a.ka. soul wounds, you can use this quiz to help you.

In this article we will cover the betrayal wound and:

  • Find out what mask your ego puts on to avoid the pain associated with this wound and how it manifests through your behavior (withdrawn, dependent, masochist, controlling or harsh).

  • Learn to identify what activates your wound.

  • Learn how to begin healing.

The Wound of Betrayal

According to Bourbeau, betrayal becomes a core soul wound when experienced between 2 and 4 years of age, in a relationship with a parent of the opposite sex. This is usually due to the parent’s inability to provide a trusting bond that fulfills our needs at this crucial stage of psychological development.

If we lose trust in a parent (due to physical absence, emotional inattentiveness, unfulfilled promises, lies, or their inability/unwillingness to protect us from harm) during our very early childhood, we form limiting beliefs that later manifest as self-sabotaging behaviors.

The ego’s reaction is to put on a controlling mask, which manifests itself through:

  • A strong desire to impose our will and point of view on others.

  • An inability to connect with our own sensitivity.

  • The feeling that we need to prove our own strength.

  • An addiction to self-improvement books, courses and seminars, with little progress.

  • Striving for honors, titles, the need to be special, and wanting to be important.

  • Attaching importance to reputation.

  • We do not tolerate lying from others but we lie when we think it's necessary.

  • We have very high expectations of others.

  • Strong impulse to plan everything.

  • Inflexible when thrown into unexpected situations.

  • Distrusting of the opposite sex.

  • It's hard for us to confide in others.

  • We can tend to jump to conclusions too quickly.

  • Proud of our ability to reason and take action immediately. (Which can backfire).

  • We re-enact patterns of suddenly ending relationships, often cutting contact abruptly.

  • We're very impatient!

Biggest Anxieties: Dissociation. Separation. Denial.

How do wounds get activated?

Every day we go from one wound to another depending on the circumstances and people around us.

  • The wound can be activated by somebody’s attitude or behavior towards us.

  • It could also be activated by our attitude towards someone else.

  • We can also activate it ourselves by our attitude towards ourselves.

Where do emotional wounds come from?

On a soul level we come into this lifetime to evolve through the experiences that transform us and teach us the meaning of love itself. When we refuse to accept our experiences for what they are (opportunities to discover who we really are) and instead insist on assessing them endless, we experience guilt, fear, regret and we perpetuate self-defeating behaviors that doe not serve the best version of who we are. It is our soul's mission to learn to fully accept our experiences as they are. In essence, we allow ourselves to experience our emotions without getting stuck in them. We learn to stay centered in knowing we are always learning from our own experiences. Everything we experience without acceptance accumulates in our body, our energy and our emotions. Until we start addressing these stuck emotions, many of us will continue to get stuck in self-defeating behavior patterns that do not align with our vision of success and abundance.

According to soul wound expert Lise Bourbeau, and past-life regression guru Dr. Michael Newton, before we are born into this lifetime, we choose what karma or “spiritual luggage” we want to work on or settle in this incarnation. The vast majority of us are not consciously aware of this from birth, it is only with time that you slowly begin to realize what your life plan is and what you should regulate in it (with the help of your intuition to guide you on your path).

We all come into the world and experience emotional wounds that we must learn to work through, and learn from.

There are 5 core soul wounds and each of us has at least one, usually two, and sometimes we have ALL of them.

Our emotional wounds HURT!

So what does our thinking mind tell us to do to alleviate the pain caused by our wounds being triggered or activated?

It tells us to put on a protective "mask" (set of behaviors) every time it perceives a potential threat to our well-being. These threats can be real, or simply perceived - either way, our mask goes on.

This is because the ego (our thinking, intellectual mind) tries to avoid unpleasant situations at all costs. The ego tries to convince us that we have no wound. It tells us that denial will make our pain disappear and that we won’t feel it. Unfortunately, every time we put on our ego mask, we hide something from ourselves. Deep down inside we feel a sense of betrayal because at our core, we know we are not being faithful to the needs of our soul. Our soul knows it does not serve us to play it safe, instead it urges us to experience emotions, to grow and learn from those emotions, and to embrace our love for humanity.

To help ourselves, we aim to listen to our intuition, as the voice of our soul.

It always tries to direct us towards the people and situations that we need to grow and develop in accordance with our soul's plan for this lifetime.

When we're born, we have no resistance to accepting all the pros, cons, weaknesses, personalities, and desires that cross our path. Our soul understands we are here to be in the NOW and to come back to love over and over again. More often than not, we find ourselves looking to meet the expectations of our parents/caregivers, friends, and society in general and our soul's mission remains forgotten or ignored as we pursue success and acceptance from the external world. We inevitably face challenges that act as a catalyst for our perspectives to expand and our soul to evolve. Life's challenges can be very painful.

Feeling rejected, abandoned, humiliated, betrayed or violated at ANY age is painful for us - especially so when we are young and at our most vulnerable.

Very commonly, a part of our personality splits off as we learn to put on a mask in an effort to become what adults/society would like to see. Most of us remain at this stage, which then burdens us with behavioral tendencies that no longer serve our best interest.

What drives our behavior? Beliefs. All of us carry beliefs that define who (or what) we SHOULD be. This prevents us from being who we really LIKE being (our true selves). The truth is that beliefs are nothing more than thoughts that we keep thinking over and over, and they do not have to rule our lives in a negative way. We have the ability, and (if we're committed to self-improvement) the obligation, to change outdated beliefs and replace them with beliefs that support us.

How can we heal our wounds?

We first must become aware of the wound and observe our behavior without judgement.

Repeating a phrase like, "Even though I have this betrayal wound, I choose to deeply and completely love and accept myself," creates space for energetic shifting in a powerful way. The key is to acknowledge the wound without immediately needing to change it, and then simply offering ourselves loving compassion as we recognize our emotional trauma.

This type of healing affirmation is also known as a set-up statement, and commonly used when applying "emotional acupressure" a.k.a. Emotional Freedom Technique (E.F.T.) or tapping for short.

Observing our wounds, and the way they make us feel, instead of letting our ego mask kick in and dominate, helps us grow and evolve. Our goal is to accept the fact that our fear is guided by our ego, and that this affects our perception of reality and causes us to act in specific ways in certain situations. Healing occurs as we begin to observe the sensations and/or emotions that come up for us when we become triggered or activated, instead of letting them take over. We remind ourselves it is okay to have any reaction/emotion that is coming up for us and that we are the observers not the thoughts/emotions themselves. Emotions are like waves. They eventually pass through us, as long as we let them. Remind yourself that to feel pain is to be human. The only thing unhealthy about our emotions is not acknowledging them, which causes them to bottle up and fester inside of us.

Healing the Betrayal Wound

Once we are ready to heal the wound of betrayal, it is up to us to recognize, and celebrate, all our achievements, even if no one else appreciates our unique gifts, talent and abilities. We heal as we release attachment to getting results and release our desire to be in the spotlight.

Ideally, we set time aside each day, to celebrate ourselves with some self-care. It is important for us to resist the urge to seek approval from others (for example by posting on social media), and celebrate for our own sake. Our challenge lies in resisting the urge to seek the spotlight, for the sake of attention itself. We heal as we remind ourselves that achieving success or getting attention is not the same as giving or receiving love. We can give and receive love regardless of whether our unique gift and talents are recognized by others, or not. As we accept this fact, our perspective shifts in a healthy way. This opens us up to the deepest experience of healing possible.

We recognize our wound in the moments we remember that we do not accept in others what we do not want to see in ourselves. At the deepest level, it's because we fear change. This is what drives our desire to try to change the people around us. We begin healing when we accept that nobody in our life is going to meet our expectations, especially if we are coming from a lack of self-love.

A powerful step towards our soul's evolution is to forgive the people who have betrayed us. This is especially true for our earliest caregivers. Remember forgiveness does not mean what happened to you was right, but it does give you freedom to move forward with your life feeling lighter.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” - Buddha

We heal and transform when we forgive the people who betrayed us, and honor ourselves for cultivating our soul's purpose by living through the experience.


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