Healing from Betrayal

Jan 24, 12:32 AM

by Katharine Koeppen, RA

"I feel sooooo betrayed," groused a client last week. After a long bout of unemployment, she'd gotten a part time job, only to quit after experiencing 2 months of dishonest behaviour on the part of her employer.

It's fascinating how the very issues that occupy your clients often surface in your own life as a healer. I, too, am experiencing some very turbulent emotions due to a betrayal. I've turned to my cache of essential oils to heal my own feelings of hurt, sorrow, grief and anger.

There are a number of different essential oils that can be employed in soothing hurt feelings, and the choice depends on the circumstances surrounding the betrayal.

For starters, I know of no other essential oil that touches a wounded heart more deeply than rose otto (Rosa damascena). Rose is helpful for grief, sadness, sorrow disappointment, feelings of rejection, depression and heartache. It is indicated if the betrayal involved a close family member or loved one, or if sexual abuse was present. The ethereal rose encourages forgiveness, both of self and others. This intense floral encourages us to rise above the situation and ask the Divine to help us feel compassion for the betrayer. Rose asks that we carefully and lovingly nurture ourselves during the recovery peiod.

Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum or J. sambac) absolute can be used to heal from deep emotional pain resulting from deception in a romantic relatonship. It is a powerul alternative to rose oil.

Cheery bergamot (Citrus bergamia) helps soothe depression and stem anger. If our reaction to a betrayal results in mood swings or a rollercoaster of confused emotions, bergamot helps even out our disposition. It elevates the heart and keeps it open, just at time when we are most likely to shut down in sorrow and mistrust. Bergamot lends courage to a heart that no longer wants to engage in spontaneous action for fear of being hurt again. 

Another essential oil that can be used to impart courage is bay laurel (Laurus nobilis). Laurel helps build self confidence and asks that we continue to work at realizing our highest potential in relationship, even if we've had an upsetting setback. This spicy aromatic can be helpful if the betrayal involved a professional or business relationship.

If we believe that the betrayal was part of working out a karmic situation, frankincense (Boswellia carterii) can help us let go of past life trauma. This balsamic oil can be employed in cases of spiritual abuse or deception. It is used in psychoaromatherapy to help release obsessive attachments, and is exremely grounding for those who are suffering from intense loss.

Sometimes there is a life pattern involving repeated situations of betrayal, and the emotional wounds from this repetition run deep. We are fearful of reliving the same event with a different perpetrator, and hit a stage of emotional impasse. In this case, it is wise to include myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) in an aromatherapy blend. Myrrh helps us break destructive patterns and transcend them. It also encourages us to develop compassion and embrace forgiveness, no matter how profoundly we feel loss, loneliness, bitterness and rejection.

Lastly, if we feel the need to temporarily withdraw from the world, sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) allows us to banish loneliness and sorrow and use this time for emotional purification. This spicy floral warms the heart and diffuses feelings of anger, bitterness and frustration. It promotes self-nurturing behaviour.

If you are dealing with a betrayal, pick two or three essential oils which best describe your particular situation to create a healing synergy. Apply your blend over the heart and upper chest and back, using daily for several months. Undiluted, the blend may be added to a bath, preferably at night since most of the oils mentioned are relaxing or sedative. You may wish to employ your synergy while journaling about your experience, during therapy sessions, or while engaging in prayer or meditation. Whatever methods you choose, these beautiful oils will gradually open and soothe your heart, repairing the cracks and enabling you to joyfully embrace life once again.

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