Ever been betrayed? There’s a little bit of Judas in us all…..

“It is not an enemy who taunts me—I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend”. Psalm 55:12

One of the darkest times in my life was in the mid-1980s. I’d gone through a bitter divorce and my personal life was in shambles. About a week after the ink was dry on my divorce papers, I received a letter from my best friend explaining he was (and had been) involved with my ex-wife. The letter explained that he hoped it didn’t complicate our friendship, and he hoped we could all sit down over coffee and discuss what had happened. He ended it with some bullshit about not wanting to lose my friendship. Two things came from that letter… my relationship with him would never be repaired and I had a Jesus moment. Like Jesus, I had discovered my own personal Judas. I’ll tell you more about this guy later…

It took a long time for me to get past that betrayal. I can thank Oprah for helping with it…. One day she had Deepak Chopra on and the topic was “When a friend betrays you”… Hello! That’s a topic I tuned in for and learned from it. Deepak is one of my heroes! As he explains it…. betrayal is as toxic to us as Agent Orange… we may or may not fully recover from it.

Nothing grows in a toxic environment. An organism will destroy its own ability to grow. I have discovered over the years that those who undermine and betray are the ones that left me doubting myself, my calling, and worried that I didn’t have what it took to accomplish the task at hand. After dealing personally with a friend’s betrayal, it has led me to some conclusions that I think may help. When betrayal happens, it creates a sense of mistrust, broken hearts, and a cocooning of the human spirit. We have a tendency to close up and not trust with abandonment after betrayal.

Inside the family, betrayal has set up the greatest failure statistics of marriage and child-rearing recorded since time began. Inside the corporate world, it serves to reveal selfish desires. On social media, betrayal can cause undo harm to good reputations, and make heroes out of idiots.

Betrayal is a strong feeling that can be difficult to process. Why? Because the trauma of the betrayal creates fear, shame, secrets, and intensity. These feelings may even mix with love and longing for the person by whom we feel betrayed.

Remember that country song that said “My wife ran off with my best friend and I sure do miss him!”
The song is 100% correct. Many times, people don’t know how to deal with the emotional pain of betrayal because our culture doesn’t encourage reflection and genuine expression of our feelings. We become skillful at distracting ourselves by keeping busy with work in an attempt to shield ourselves from feeling the pain. Or for some, we self-medicate to ease the anxiety, stress, and hurt. How many people end up at the bar drinking to a “somebody done me wrong song”?

The point is you can forgive, or let them go…. but you have to do something … pick one and stick with it!

Forgiving someone after a betrayal is a huge step that must be thoroughly thought out, as well as choosing to let them go. You need to make sure you’re fully committed to your decision because if you’re not it will be a major mistake for you.

To forgive you must fully come to terms with what happened and ultimately forget about it. If you choose to dwell on the betrayal then forgiveness will be impossible. Consider forgiveness to be one of the last and major steps of moving forward with the situation and your life. That is unless you’re unlucky enough to have betrayal rears its ugly head once more.

Maybe you’ve thought it out and this betrayal in particular can’t be forgiven or forgotten. No matter what anyone else says, your decision is totally acceptable. This choice is yours and only yours, but now you have to keep to yourself and move along. Always make sure that you don’t let your decision take control over your life negatively.

For years, I didn’t forgive him. The very mention of his name sent me into a rage. But one day… I let it go. His relationship with my ex ended in disaster… he settled for a woman from a nail salon and he ended up making pies in Mexico for a hotel… even that didn’t work out. I googled him after I heard all this… there he was a bloated guy sitting on a sofa at his 60th birthday party looking like the complete waste of humanity I’d hoped he’d become so long ago… and just as Christ said on the cross… “It is finished”.

Suddenly… it was finished. All of my hatred, hurt and rage from his betrayal left me… Karma stepped in and did what I could not… Thanks Karma!

This is my journey… this is my life
Rob Cantrell

Here’s the real issue with the gay lifestyle….

Somebody needs to say it and it might as well be me!

Anyone that knows me will tell you what you see is exactly what you get… I’ve lived too long and way too hard to make other people comfortable by censoring my life. That simply isn’t going to happen. I learned in the first few decades on this planet that it is impossible to fit in other people’s “boxes”… they can’t do it… and I’m not gonna try. This is me… this is Rob and this is how it is always going to be.

If you have followed me on Facebook for more than 2 minutes and looked at the photos I post, you’ll quickly see what matters to me in life. I’m sober, happy and living a life perfect for me. It’s a journey and

I want the entire world to see it!

But I have an important message ……

If you never read another word I write… please read these! There is no such thing as a “gay lifestyle”! Let me repeat this so even those of you talking on the phone can grasp it …. There is no such thing as a gay lifestyle!

Let’s look just at the term ‘lifestyle’ – what comes to mind when someone is talking about a lifestyle? I think of terms like a healthy lifestyle, a sedentary lifestyle, an active lifestyle, or an extravagant lifestyle – just to name a few. Now what do these examples have in common? They are all based on choices. You can choose to be healthy. You can choose to be sedentary. You can choose to be active. You can choose to live extravagantly.

There is also no such thing as a “Gay Agenda”, at least not in the sense that it has been brought up by those who are suspicious of the gay community as a whole. If there is a gay agenda, it is to have equal rights, to have a job without fear of being fired, just because of one’s sexual orientation, to serve our country without fear of being court-martialed for whom we choose to love, and most importantly, to marry and have the same benefits under the law as heterosexuals do.

The gay community has no desire to recruit children. There is a difference between someone who is gay and a pedophile. Pedophiles are sick bastards that need to be shot in the head on the evening news! You don’t want to get me started on pedophiles. If anything, if we have children of our own, most likely we prefer they grow up straight because from our own personal experience, we know how difficult it is growing up gay, though we do hope that will not always be the case. The gay community as a whole does want children who discover they are gay; to know they are not alone, no matter where they come from. We want them to know that they are not abnormal and they do not have to hate themselves because of their sexual preferences, no matter what those around them might say.

It cannot be beyond comprehension that gay people also have jobs and careers, play and watch sports, socialize, walk our dogs, take exams, celebrate holidays, save for a house, pay the bills, eat, sleep and drink. That gay people live everyday lives too. What is there to misunderstand? Where is this naivety coming from? Too much TV? We can thank television and film for attempts at bringing LGBT lives into mainstream media, though entertaining as they were, they’ve clearly left the unenlightened under a misguided, exaggerated illusion. It’s not all Broke Back Mountain and that fat gay guy on Modern Family. I don’t know any gay people like that in my world!

I note that the dictionary defines heterosexuality as “sexual feeling or behavior directed toward a person or persons of the opposite sex.” The same dictionary defines homosexuality as “sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one’s own sex.” I see little difference apart from a gender reference, which both specify equally. There was no mention of this “gay lifestyle.” Clearly some need to get their head out of their asses and even their mind out of the gutter, for that matter… and keep up with the real world. Being gay has no more to do with sex than being heterosexual does. There is nothing unique to the gay community in that regard, we’re just like everyone else.

It’s no great secret: some people are gay. What difference does that make to anybody? What impact does it have on anyone else’s life? These narrow and harmful views are motivated by fear, not understanding. They’re driven by intolerance, not empathy. Nevertheless, they are beliefs held strongly by some, but it would appear they’re on shaky ground. It’s time for a change, and change is coming. And it’s not gay people that need to change. Gay people are not the problem. Being gay isn’t a problem. How those who are gay are perceived and, indeed, treated — that’s the problem. Education will correct these misconceptions and that’s why I feel it’s important that I share with the 40,000 people that actually read this blog. It’s important that those in need of this knowledge become aware that not only are some gay people world-class athletes but indeed, some are doctors, teachers, nurses, politicians, actors, veterinarians, judges, shopkeepers, singers, police officers, astronauts and even substance abuse counselors. The list goes on. We, too, have passion, we, too earn livelihoods, some of us are very career-orientated, and some of us excel in our chosen fields. Again, there’s nothing unique to the gay community in that regard, we’re just like everyone else.

I could not care less if you support or oppose same-sex marriage. I think marriage itself should be outlawed! Nothing good ever came out of mine but a bunch of wonderful kids! The rest of marriage totally sucked for me!

Being gay is not the most important thing in a gay person’s life, but it is important that the world around us, if not accepting of us, at least respects us and allows us the same rights and privileges that everyone else takes for granted.

You be you… I’ll be me and that is exactly how it should be!

This is my journey… this is my life!

Rob Cantrell


Why don’t you love me?

It hurts when you have someone in your heart but will never have them in your arms….

Many years ago, my son went to a well-established prep school in Jacksonville, Florida. The year was just starting and I had an appointment to meet the teacher. I also had an opportunity to volunteer for every function … from field trips to science fairs. It had the potential to be a great experience for my father/son relationship. It turned out to be a nightmare.

The teacher was picking up signals I wasn’t sending. She called continuously, scheduled meetings continuously and planned outing for the two of us. I knew she had an attraction to me, and I loved the attention, so I let it continue. One afternoon as I was picking up my son she asked if we could speak… so as usual I agreed. In her classroom she took my hand and announced she was divorcing her husband. She said, “I love him like I love all mankind… but I’m not in love with him”…”this will allow us to finally be together”.

STOP! Let me see if I’ve got this right… the husband loves her but she doesn’t love him…. and she loves me but I don’t love her. There is a lot of love misdirected in this story. Long and the short of it…. she divorced him… I ran from her and everyone ended up single. Love sucks….img_0036

I read an article recently by Paul Hudson, a guy that knows the agony of love gone wrong. He seems to understand my story and what happens to us when a love so right turns out to be so wrong… maybe you can see yourself in some of this…

People who don’t love you can be found in many places. Pick the person in a brand new relationship; they can’t see more than five inches past the face of their new love, let alone far enough to see you pining away in the corner. Pick the girl you’ve been friends with for ages, the one who refers to you as a brother and will never see you as anything else. Pick the boy who flirts with everyone, sleeps with everyone, the one who doesn’t know what he’s looking for and never seems satisfied. He’ll do just fine, too.

This has to be more than a crush, more than just a fleeting attraction. Thinking they look cute when they smile, or letting your imagination momentarily wander when they touch your skin isn’t enough. You must love them with every fiber of your being, from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep, day after heartbroken day. Memorize the rhythm of their voice, the subtle gestures of their hands and each expression of their face, so when you’re asleep and dreaming of a world in which you’re together, it seems real. Feel your soul fracture each morning when you wake up and realize it isn’t. Let the agony, the obsession, consume you. Nothing hurts like loving someone who doesn’t love you back.

Perhaps you think I’m crazy for suggesting anyone let themselves fall into this pit of despair, that I’m an emotional sadist. I assure you I’m not, because eventually something happens to every single person who loves someone who doesn’t love them back: they manage to stop being in love.

img_0029While it takes varying amounts of time, everyone finds their breaking point, that moment when enough becomes enough. It could be the third night you cry yourself to sleep, the fifth time they cancel plans with you to be with someone else, or the eighth night in a row you spend getting drunk alone. It can take months, or even years. But here’s what you’ll have once you get there:

After surviving that kind of ache, you’ll be so much stronger, so much more certain of yourself. You’ll see that all pain (physical, emotional, and metal) is a temporary state of being, not a permanent one. There is always a reason to go on, always a reason to fight for yourself.

Here’s the best part about getting over someone who doesn’t love you: You realize that nobody healed your heartache, that you were able to fix yourself all on your own. And once you’ve proven to yourself that you can recover from that, you won’t be afraid to go looking for love again.

Until you fall in love, you don’t know what it means to live. Well, to beimg_0022 more exact, until you fall in love and have your heart broken, you don’t know what it means to live. Furthermore, until you have your heart broken, you won’t understand what it means to truly love.

As human beings, we learn best from loss. We come to understand the importance and value of both people and things, by losing them. Sure, we can imagine how it must feel to lose a person we love, but until we actually lose, or are at risk of losing, this person, we never fully understand how important he or she is to us.

We learn by losing. We learn when we are beaten by others, when our best efforts aren’t good enough, when we don’t make the cut, and when we fail. Success is no teacher. In fact, success can often do more harm than good — especially when it wasn’t worked for or earned.

But loss… when you lose something, you instantly become aware of the now vacant space in your life that was once filled with something beautiful — even if that something beautiful was only the dream of having that which you now know you won’t have. And it hurts.

Love can teach you just about everything you need to know about life. For example, it can teach you that sometimes no matter how much you love a person, that person simply won’t love you back.

It can teach you that there are many levels to loving and that each and every person loves a little differently. It can also teach you that sometimes you have no choice but to love someone who will never love you as much as you love him or her.

We often talk about unconditional love, as if it were a real thing. The truth is that there is no such thing as unconditional love; we all love conditionally. However, having someone love you back is not one of those necessary conditions.

In fact, we often fall in love and continue to love those who don’t love us back as passionately. We all love that which we can’t have, and if we find someone that doesn’t want us it only makes us more desperate to have that someone.

That’s a bitch, ain’t it? You fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you back and knowing he or she is trying to push you away only makes you want to latch on tighter. img_0011The more that person tells you he or she doesn’t want you, the more your imagination concocts ways of making that person fall for you.

I speak from experience… as people, we are capable of chasing the person we are in love with for years and years on end to no avail. Every time we are turned down, we fall in love a little deeper. Or so we think.

Most of us have a difficult time distinguishing between romantic love and love itself. Romantic love is more a sort of obsession than it is anything else, and it’s romantic love that makes us want that which we can’t have.

Romantic love is what turns our imaginations on high and makes it impossible to start thinking about that one special person. The best part of it all is that we love being in love romantically, no matter how much it hurts.

Being in love with someone who will never love you as much as you love him or her shakes you to your core, but you love it. Don’t get me wrong, it hurts. It hurts a whole lot. At the same time, it makes you feel more alive. It makes you feel more “in the moment.”

It opens you up to a side of life and a side of yourself that you didn’t previously know existed. It’s the sort of pain that you never forget, but at the same time look back at with a sort of fondness and sense of nostalgia.

There’s a fine line between pain and pleasure. Romantic love walks that line. I hate crossing lines.

This is my journey… this is my life.

Rob Cantrell

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