Finding Heart in the Dark

Love and the Mystery of Betrayal

Sandra-90Several years ago, when my long-time partner left me a few weeks before our wedding, I was blindsided in the extreme. This was a man I  had loved and trusted, who I believed with all my heart was devoted to me, too. In time, as I learned how wrong I had been—that I had essentially been living a lie—my loss of faith in this person and in myself drew me into a physical, emotional and spiritual crisis.

The extent of my unraveling took me completely by surprise. I had been a strong and high-functioning professional when the existential angst set in, along with sleeplessness, anxiousness and rage. Intrusive, distressing replays of the shock, a sign of PTSD I hardly recognized, haunted my days and nights, not simply for months, but for years.

I’ve spent the past few years recovering from the shock, picking up the pieces of my shattered life and immersing myself in trying to understand the mysteries of abandonment and betrayal. I did a lot of meditating and inquiry, reading, research and talking to others, caring for myself and struggling with what was occurring as I fell apart. In the process, I learned a lot about betrayal — what some call “the most underrated trauma,” “the most difficult of all woundings,” “an irreparable devaluation,” even “the greatest evil.”

When I realized that sharing my struggles and insights might be useful to other people, it offered a sliver of purpose to what otherwise felt like a bottomless pit of meaningless suffering. So, I started to write Love and the Mystery of Betrayalto chronicle what it was like to live through something like this. In time I realized I was blowing the whistle on a culture that turns a blind eye to the devastation that can result from the betrayal of intimate trust.

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Along the way, I designed and now offer this site as a resource for kindred spirits looking to make their way through this emotionally dark, but spiritually promising, passage. It is my wish that you may come to realize, as I have, that we are held in the hands of light—even as we go through this “valley of the shadow” that tests our faith in the goodness of life to the core.

If you are going through a similar trial, my heart goes out to you. It is my wish that you come to trust these terrible, dark times and let them lead you deeper into your heart than you have ever gone before. May you come to sense how mystery trumps meaninglessness; love tenderizes pain; and brokenness reveals the intimate wonder of existence.