Healing from Betrayal Trauma: A Guided Meditation on Self-Compassion

My name is Karen Baker, and I'm the graduate counseling intern at Crossroad Counseling and Associates, where I am supervised by Rick Reynolds.

In this video, I will lead you through a short, guided meditation. Experiencing a betrayal is a profoundly traumatic experience. Your whole self can become completely dysregulated and flooded at a moment's notice. If you can't follow along now, bookmark this video to listen to at a later time when you need help coming back to the present moment and feeling more grounded.

I invite you to take a moment to pause this video and adjust your space.

Find a comfortable seated position in which you can relax and where you can move your body a bit if necessary.

I invite you to close your eyes and tune into your breath. Notice its natural cadence and depth of your breath.

Feel the air flowing in and out of your nostrils, down your airways, and filling your lungs.

Notice the heat from your breath as you exhale.

If you're feeling jittery or restless, invite your body to settle into this moment. And remember, if your mind wanders, that's okay. You're human.

And if distressing or intrusive thoughts arise, lovingly invite those thoughts to step aside for the next few moments. If you get distracted at any point in time, that's okay. Just pick up right where you are.

Allow whatever you find to be there with you.

Take a deep inhale through your nose, filling up the bottom of your belly, chest and shoulders. Pause. Exhale slowly through your nose, depleting first your belly, and then your chest, and then let your shoulders fall.

Inhale through your nose, expanding the bottom of your belly, chest, and shoulders. Imagine your breath flowing through you like a wave. Then exhale slowly through your nose, depleting your belly first, chest, and shoulders.

Again, inhale through your nose, filling your belly, your chest, and your shoulders. Hold. Exhale slowly, lengthening your exhale, dropping your belly, then your chest, and then your shoulders.

Once more, inhale through your nose, filling the bottom of your belly, chest, and shoulders. Pause. Then, exhale slowly through your nose, depleting your belly first, then your chest. Allow your shoulders to fall and hold your exhale out.

Now, allow your breath to return to its natural cadence.

And think of a loving presence. It could be a loved family member or a friend, someone who is living, or who has passed away.

It could be a spiritual figure, or a teacher, or even be a childhood pet. Pets are often great teachers of unconditional love. You can also imagine a guide, mentor, loved one, or someone from fiction like Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia, or Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings.

But think of someone who brings you a sense of peace, love, safety, and being cared for. Someone who accepts you exactly as you are in this present moment. And imagine this loving being sitting across from you in a space where you feel safe. Imagine the details on their face and the love and care they have for you in their eyes.

How does it feel in their presence? What is it like to be wholly accepted and embraced for the person you are right now? How is it to feel seen? To feel worthy? To feel cared for?

As you sense a little bit of this feeling, notice how you experience it.

Is it warm? Is there a sense of light to it or energy? Does this loving feeling have a color or texture? Is it soft?

Whatever comes up for you, allow it to be there. And notice your body as you relax into this sensation. And does this loving being have a message for you? What words would you want this being to say to you? If they could speak?

It could be:

“I love you, no matter what.”

“You are worthy.”

“You are doing your best.”

“You are enough.”

“I am always loving you.”

“I am with you in your heart.”

And now place one hand on your heart and one on your belly. Feel that sense of love and acceptance, sweep into your body, into every muscle and cell of your being, all the way to your spirit. Allow this loving sensation to fill your entire being.

I invite you to repeat this loving message to yourself softly or in your mind five times, like a mantra. Imagine this loving being putting one or both arms around you, embracing you, and wiping your tears.

I invite you to wrap your arms around yourself, imagining the love from this unconditionally loving being surrounding you, loving every aspect of you.

If you struggle to embrace every aspect of yourself, see if you can embrace or accept that struggle. See if you can accept the feeling. You can't accept all of your feelings right now. Keep hugging yourself, floating in this presence of unconditional love and acceptance that exists for you no matter what.

Now, take a deep inhale, filling the bottom of your belly, then your chest, and then your shoulders. Pause. Then exhale slowly through your nose, depleting your belly first, then your chest. Allow your shoulders to fall.

Once more, inhale, filling up the bottom of your belly, then your chest, and then your shoulders.

Then exhale, stick out your tongue, and say, “haaaah”, exhaling all of the air out of your chest, belly, and shoulders.

Allow your breath to return to its natural cadence, and slowly start to wiggle your fingers and toes. Roll out your wrists. Roll out your neck, and your shoulders.

Notice the floor, the chair, or the bed beneath you. Notice the temperature in the room. Notice the feeling of your clothes. Stay here for as long as you need to, marinating in this feeling of acceptance and unconditional love.

Whenever you’re ready, I invite you to flutter your eyes open and slowly note the room that you are in. And when you're ready to move on from this meditation, remember that this love is accessible to us. Sometimes, we simply forget to look.

Remember that you can always return to this meditation and use it in times of dysregulation.

Be well, keep breathing, and I'll see you in the next video.

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I would highly recommend giving this a try.
-D, Texas