Sara Payne: the Ultimate Betrayal?

July 29, 2011,
Claire Montanaro

The revelation yesterday that Sara Payne was a target on the notorious News of the World phone-hacking list has been described by some as “the ultimate betrayal”.

Betrayal is a hard word that carries much weight and the feeling of being betrayed without justification is one of the hardest challenges to deal with, because it addresses issues of self-worth, honour, trust in others and judgment by others. Betrayal causes pain and is always negative – or is it?

Many years ago I shared some information about a potentially serious medical condition I had with one friend whom I trusted absolutely, and asked her with great emphasis not to reveal it to anyone. She agreed at once and I was grateful to be able to talk to her about it as matters progressed. It was devastating later to discover that she had not kept her word but had been passing on the information I gave her in confidence to my family and certain others, and that something that was very private and difficult for me was the subject of discussion and speculation.

At first I was upset and then I became angry, to such a degree that, having been a people-pleaser for all my life until then, I spoke my truth forcefully. There were denials but they could not last, and because of this betrayal of trust I separated from those involved for some time.

Eventually I was able to see that what had caused me great heartache and had turned my life upside down had been, in fact, the greatest gift. It forced me to be myself, to say what I felt, to express myself clearly, and it gave me discernment about aspects of myself to which I had been blind. It liberated me from a belief system based on dutifulness and gave me independence from a societal group which had (with my full agreement) locked me into their expectations for me. It was a lesson in honouring myself which I learned well and for which I give thanks still.

The situation for Sara Payne today is harrowing: a frenzy of public judgment reviving memories of a tragic time and contributing to her shock at a likely breach of an unquestioned trust and friendship cemented over many years. For her and all the many sympathetic observers it must indeed seem like the ultimate betrayal. We cannot know why Sara’s life has been as it has been but there is a reason, as there is for everything that happens in your life, too, and mine. It may be her noble soul, like that of her little girl, Sarah, has chosen to help us with our learnings through her experiences and example, making us reflect, perhaps, on what integrity and trust, friendship and betrayal, really mean.


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I am a spiritual teacher, channel and writer with a special interest in esoteric philosophy and the world in transition, who loves nature and wildlife.  My aim is to help your human and soul journey through spiritual wisdom, spiritual connection and the raising of consciousness.


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