Setting the Scene A:  Your only remaining parent has just passed away. You’d like to grieve in whatever manner seems fitting for you. Truth be told, grief is not in the forefront of your mind. Instead, you’re consumed by anger, hurt, and disbelief—your sibling has attempted to steal your part of the inheritance.

photo for Betrayed

Setting the Scene B:  Your only remaining parent is in ill health. You’d like to continue to be present as a loving caregiver.  This is a role you’ve held as the youngest child for some time. Sadly, it is difficult to be present when you’re consumed by outrage, betrayal, and numbness—your sibling has convinced your parent that the totality of the inheritance must be handed down to the eldest child.

Cast of Characters:  These two scenes are not fiction. The sequence of events recently happened to two of my friends within a one-week period. This betrayal occurring with two good friends at the same time seems uncanny.  The fact that two betrayals happened at the same time suggests that this is not randomness, bad luck, or karma. You’ve likely experienced this scenario in your own family.

Dialogue:  I suggest this is soul work. I am not an expert on secrets of the heart. Yet I can offer an alternative perspective. Taking a CalmUp® Journey provides a place to find new meaning. The raw emotions of betrayal conjure up stories that allow us to stop and take notice of what is happening in our lives. What needs attention? Turning to the stories of Greek Gods, the Bible, and fairy tales furthers our understanding, allowing us to experience the depth of our pain. We can then move forward with greater wisdom.

Denouement: My friends shared that their pain was not about materialism. Both of them took time to honor their hearts and uncover personal lessons. Rather than run from their outrage, they looked head-on at their family stories and opened to creative transformations.


  1. What stories or recollections from your own family come to mind when you think of betrayal?
  2. Consider three ways to examine your family stories. For instance, could you call an elderly relative, read through family letters, or look at old photos?
  3. Think about a personal experience of betrayal. How did you move through your pain?