When we hear the word “unfaithful,” the first thing that often pops into our minds is “someone who cheated.” It’s not typically associated with the loss of one’s spirituality. To be faithful means to adhere to your words and actions…or in the spiritual/religious sense, believe in the unknown. To be unfaithful is not just a way to sever trust but a way to completely destroy a foundation (e.g., marriage, relationship) that you built with promises, and perhaps even love.
Hearing the word “unfaithful” is like a heavy dark cloud. Using it to describe someone with whom you were once intimate or had a relationship is often 100 times more shameful. ‘How could she/he do that to me? Who do they think they are?’ we wonder incredulously. The reality, however, is that most of us have been cheated on…not once, not twice, but several times. Emotionally or physically…does it really matter? Because when it comes down to it, extracting ourselves from a relationship in which one person has been unfaithful in any way is about as painful as it gets. And if we invested our hearts, even more so. But what truly breaks us is not that our heart can’t recover from the acts of unfaithful people, but rather the potential that we might lose our faith in love altogether.
I was recently inspired by the words of Chani Nicholas who wrote, “Pilgrimages are long and arduous and meant to break us down physically, priming us for a spiritual experience. When we are too tired to be defensive, something akin to wonder has a way of sneaking in. Extreme situations are sometimes our only route to a bended knee.”
Could it be? Could feeling the anger and sadness and shame that accompanies betrayal actually bring us to our knees and make us more faithful in love? I choose to believe that it can. I choose to believe that unfaithful people are just people who are struggling to know themselves. We can–and should–take the necessary steps to no longer concern ourselves with their choices or energy. We can decide, once and for all, to focus on our own faith…faith in love, the unknown, and ourselves.