While researching my current book and listening to the stories of my clients who try so hard to get back on track after serious betrayal or breach of trust, I find myself searching for answers that can both soothe the aching heart and protect them from further pangs of disloyalty.

At the risk of oversimplifying a complicated topic, much of it comes down to this: It hurts more to dwell on the betrayal than it does to focus on the way you hope it will be in the future.

Good people do hurtful things. Sometimes they regret it. Sometimes, they do not. Either way, we have an obligation to ourselves to move past the temptation to wonder why and any urge to retaliate, or understand the motivation, or make sense out of something that doesn’t make sense. The very best use of your energy is to liberate yourself from the pain, rise above the bad decision of others that you may care about, and focus instead on where you want to be.

My clinical director constantly reminds us to “be our best selves”

That’s not always easy. Especially in the face of defeat or misunderstood intentions.

But remember this: The difficulty you experience in trying to be your best self illuminates the distance between who you are at this moment and who you hope to be. Never forget that it is worth the effort to be your best self. No matter how hard it is, or what you have to resist in order to stay there.

Integrity always triumphs.

copyright 2013  Karen Kleiman, MSW

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