Suffering from spiritual betrayal

I’m listening to Marci Schimoff’s Love For No Reason, and it’s hitting a sore spot for me. She defines four levels of love to be:

  1. No love
  2. Love for bad reason
  3. Love for good reason
  4. Love for no reason

I’m mostly at the “No love” level, and that’s not a great place to be.

While I’m listening, there’s a lot of information that I’ve heard a gazillion times before and already “knew”. But it got me thinking: Why is it that I haven’t been able to hear it before.

There are many reasons for that, but one of them, I realized, is Spiritual Betrayal.

Spiritual Betrayal is when you’ve put your faith in someone or something representing the spiritual to you, such as a priest, a yoga, spiritual, school, or other teacher, or simply God or Life – and he or she or it then lets you down.

She fails to protect you, to keep you safe.

You feel betrayed.

And now you have a deep mistrust of anything spiritual. You find yourself opening up to the spiritual, then pulling back. Then opening up again, ever so cautiously, then pulling back.

It happens to us all. And if it happens early and severely enough, it will probably leave you scarred.

But it is not the truth.

The truth is that spirituality is not a guarantee of safety on earth. I mean, just look at what happened to Jesus.

Rather, it is a way to help see the meaning in what happens.

A way to help you understand how the traumatic experience you had, whatever it is, in the end helped open your heart and be a more loving and compassionate person. In the end, the events, however traumatic, will serve you, and other people, if you are willing to let them.

Rosemary Trible says it like this:

It’s as if I’m a clay pot that’s been cracked, and God’s light shines out most brightly through my broken places. That light is a kind of love that allows me to enter into the suffering of others.

I love this. It makes the pain so much more bearable, and any fear of what might happen can slowly start to melt away.