The gift of betrayal

“The gift of betrayal” seems almost like an oxymoron. Our alternative article title “betrayers, liars and cheaters are your best friends” seemed equally hard to swallow. So to start, I thought I’d share my perspective and why I wanted to write about the gift of betrayal.

The gift of betrayal in poetry

The Gift of Betrayal was triggered by a friend’s Facebook post.

.. We live in a world of hypocrisy, where people greet you with a smile whilst holding a knife in your back, where people hide their true intentions to “survive,”   and this life is nothing more than a very elaborate play, we live in.

This world of hypocrisy, is where the coward pretends to be brave, the jerk pretends to be smart, and the person smiling the most is actually the devoid of any kind emotion. In this world, love is not love, love is fear, and fear is admiration.

At a young age, people are taught to pretend and cheat so much that the pursuit of their own dreams is alien, and where in one day, an expression of affection becomes an offence, and the most cruel of mistreatment is considered the most common of the gifts…..”

The above was translated into English and edited slightly.  In my years in helping people become successful and in business, these sentiments are quite common.

These sentiments are so common that you will see them in the performance levels of dance, business people, entrepreneurs, creative people and in fact people from all walks of life. A huge proportion of these betrayed people,  find it difficult to reach their potential due to the impact of these betrayals on their psyche.

We see a similar insight in this quote from poet and writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Hypocrisy Hypocrisy Everywhere is Hypocrisy. Where are my true friends.
Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy. Everywhere is hypocrisy. Where are my true friends?

Because the subject of betrayal is so sensitive, I want to put my article writing aside. Instead, I’d like to write you a letter about how the travel towards awesomeness entails being betrayed, lied about, being generally screwed over, and why this betrayal is really a very special gift.

An open letter to the betrayed

Gift of Betrayal

I can’t and will never understand your tears, your frustration, your agony, your gut wrenching sadness and your anger as a result of the mistreatment, lies, and abuse you may have suffered from another person’s actions.

I can only say, how sad I am that you have had to go through it, but…., and this may sound cruel,…. you needed to go through that part of your life journey.

If it helps, understand that I am no stranger to betrayal and abuse by colleagues and close relatives.

A teaching colleague ran off with someone I was deeply in love with. A close relative ran off with about a million pounds in assets. A colleague spread lies about me for positional gain. A rumour was spread about me so that I was asked to leave a dance group.

These are just a few things that have happened to me in the past.

More recently someone who calls me a friend, took £50,000 of my investment and time, together with the investment of others, for his own personal gain.

He has hidden his betrayal to myself and other investors with the words “the business was simply unsustainable”. He does not realise many of us know, how he used company funds for his personal life style, his unsustainably high salary or the properties he indirectly acquired.

betrayal, success, poison
Image credit: Gecko and Fly

He has no knowledge that I know…neither do many others have any clue of my insights into their behaviour…..and I would probably never reveal my knowledge but you know something?! They are all a gift.

Yes every so called friend who has ever hurt you or betrayed you, or me in any way is a gift.

Please understand, that this is not some positive mumbo jumbo or some attempt at making fertiliser out of shit.  If those events and many others had not occurred in my life, I would never be able to do and achieve the accomplishments I have today.

Understand that these “bad” people have been sent to you as a gift. How you choose to accept these gifts is entirely your choice.

If you can look beyond the anguish. If you can somehow find your way out of the emotional and financial maelstrom, then over time you will be able to see just how much of a gift these people have been to you.

I know your immediate response to this is  “You don’t understand…”, “they were my best friend…”, “my situation is different…”, “I gave them everything…”, “I loved them and they were the apple of my eye…”  I know this because I’ve been there.

Losing my girlfriend, being put into debt by a blood relative, being used by hypocritical people, may seem like I have the worst life ever, to people who’ve never been hurt…. but I don’t view it like that anymore.

I don’t have this view anymore because I’ve seen the long term results in my life. The worst that can happen to you as a result is not the betrayal, but the unforgiveness.

Watch out for unforgiveness

betrayal, advice
Image credit: Gecko and Fly

Yes it is hurtful – but if you can get past the hurt as I eventually did – you will see the doors now open to you as a result of those betrayals. It took me over a decade to forgive my close relative.  In other situations, I would rage for months about the betrayals and other hurtful things.

I hope you can learn to forgive faster than me because the worst damage betrayal can do is cause bitterness to grow like a cancer in your body.  That cancer will eat away at your emotional and ultimately your physical well-being.

Learn to value and appreciate everyone who has ever betrayed you. Understand also that probably you and I have accidentally betrayed others.

Every single person who has ever hurt you has opened doors of opportunity that were previously shut to you.  I sincerely hope that you can find those opportunities and more than that, I hope you can shake yourself from the pain and jump through those doors.

Awesome attractions

Your awesomeness will attract good and bad people. You cannot be awesome, kind, and genuine and not attract both good and bad people. Over time you will become good at filtering out who is who.

Understand that I could have sanitised and written this letter like an article.  I could have written to you as if I was sharing the troubles and tribulations reported by others to me.

The lack of sanitisation may even cause me to suffer a few further repercussions, especially if my publisher publishes part 2 of my letter to you. This extra part of my letter highlights some of the major betrayals and how they brought me greater gifts than if the betrayals had never occurred.

I did not sanitise this article because I wanted to write this as if you were my best friend.  A best friend that I could share anything with from my heart because I wanted you to know that you aren’t the only one.

Although I may never understand the depths of the betrayal and agony you feel, I can identify with them and that I have at least an inkling of what you are going through. In spite of those betrayals I truly feel that everyone who has ever deliberately and wantonly hurt us for personal gain is a GIFT.

You are a wonderful human being. Please when the time is right. When you’ve finished with the ranting, the crying, and can finally come out of the covers of your bedroom blanket, accept that those people were gifts. Once you see how they are gifts, you will be able to see the doors of opportunity that have been opened to you as a result of their betrayal.


If you found this article helpful, please do share it with others.


For further reading:

The gift of betrayal Part 2 – Authentic stories showing how the betrayal became gifts

The gift of betrayal – A book predominantly aimed at ladies who have been cheated on but has many useful thoughts for anyone who has suffered from betrayal.

The gift of forgiveness – A short article that explains how forgiveness saves you.



Previous articleHow to create your perfect To Do list
Next articleShould you read: Think and Grow Rich : The 21st-Century Edition


  1. Thanks for sharing this with us – really ties in nicely with what I’m reading at the moment. X

  2. Well done, Ben…and thanks for writing this. I for one have never yet met a person who hasn’t been hurt in some way or other. The idea of thinking of hurtful people in your life as “gifts” is one that will take some pondering by many people; the conviction that they are ‘creators of opportunities’ shouild help this pondering, I would think.

    I also think you hit the nail on the head with the concept/reality of FORGIVENESS — it’s SO hard and usually has to be ‘worked on’ for a long time when the hurt experienced is deep — I know this from my own experience. And yes, when we find ourselves somehow unable to forgive someone who has hurt us, knowingly or not, we end up grumpy, bitter folks — I have met all too many of these (including myself while I was trying to ‘work on’ forgiveness), and end up praying for them that they will find the courage to do whatever is necessary in order to live a more balanced life.

    In fact, what you say here, although you do not explicitly use the word, is an exhortation rising out of your own experience to try to live a more balanced life. For me, balance and kindness are two ideals that we spend our entire lives pursuing, a pursuit well worth the effort since it brings personal peace and a more fullsome ability to love and be loved.

    This is so important when you start to ‘feel your age’, as many older folks are hurt over and over again, when people consider tham, even without saying a word, as useless or simply bothersome.

    I’m sure your writing is helping lots of folks, Ben, so don’t ever stop writing. Thanks, Joe

    • Joe, thank you for taking the time to write and add so much to this article with your perspectives.

  3. How wonderful put and thank you for sharing. Forgiveness is often seen as the most difficult thing for one to do but when you know the power forgiveness has ( to enable you ) and the freedom it brings it becomes very easy

    • Thank you for your comment Herina. I agree. Un-forgiveness, is the cause of many emotional and physical illnesses. Unfortunately it takes many, myself included, a while to get over some of the betrayals that have occurred in our lives. One of the situations was so painful, that even though I knew I needed to forgive, it took me over ten years to get past it.

  4. I really enjoyed reading these articles, Ben.

    You got a gift for writing and reaching out to your readers xx

  5. Life’s hard knocks, nothing ventured nothing gained, love and forgive all the old sayings but so true! Easier said than done and writing it down gets it off your chest and no doubt will help a friend.

  6. Wonderful and insightful perspective! Just learning of your experiences helps me get through tough my own tough experiences.

    Gives true and real meaning to “if one door closes… Another one opens!” Thanks Ben!

    • Ky Le, your comment sparked a thought. What if all the doors are open but we are so focussed on the one closing that we don’t notice all the open ones until the closing one is shut.

  7. Thank you for sharing your experiences. While someone in your shoes might have defined themselves as a victim of unfortunate circumstances and blame everyone else for these events, you chose to transmutate your raw experiences into wisdom and insightful learnings that be the growth of yourself and those with whom you make this sharing.

    Thank you for this act of kindness and generosity. True gold does not fear the refiner’s fire. It maintains it’s glorious lustre, unchanging in its authenticity, while cleansed of all impurities, allowing you to refine and redefine yourself.

    It’s so clarifying! Only a brave and strong soul will bear these challenges knowing they themselves are being forged into something extraordinary. SHIVAI! (reminder: athe declaration of: “I am going for what I know is me, and my truth that nothing can stop me.”

    • Alexander thank you for this perspective – I’d never thought of the gift of betrayal in such spiritual terms as it took me such a long time to forgive several people while I was going through this journey.

Comments are closed.