Moving beyond betrayal

by Rita Nguyen

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of when my world blew into small, dull pieces and it’s made me reflect on the past year.  The road to today was not easy but as I sit here and take stock, I must admit that I’m in a much better place now.  My life is vastly richer and full of shiny, new opportunities. I have (mostly) culled out the people that no longer add value and am focused on relationships that enrich my life.

And yet, as I stand on the very edge of launching a new venture, I found myself constantly fighting anxiety with taking the next, critical step.  I wrote previously about how I would be opening myself up to pain and failure again but I’ve come to realize that this isn’t what’s holding me back.  A few months ago, a good friend (and highly experienced entrepreneur and VC) told me, “I don’t know how you did it, this wasn’t simply about you failing but overcoming betrayal on a massive scale”.  And he’s right. Frankly, I wasn’t around long enough to have a chance to fail.

A year later and I’ve realized that I’m finally not angry anymore.  It’s so tiring to be angry all the time.  But here’s a truth that stays with me:

“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”
― William Blake

The hardest parts of last year was coming to terms with the actions of those I considered friends and who I provided opportunities to, treated with dignity and respect and invited along on my journey. That they were part of something that was so incredibly ugly and cruel still astonishes me.  But my very awesome and loyal co-founder forwarded me this quote:

“Karma: No need for revenge. Just sit back & wait. Those who hurt you will eventually screw up themselves and if you’re lucky, God will let you watch”

So now, this is what I try to keep in mind as I firmly shut the door to last year and move ahead with my life:

“It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.”
― Confucius

I can say with real honesty that the haters haven’t won – I haven’t lost faith in humanity (or investors).  As a matter of fact, I’ll be bringing on new advisors and investors this month as I gear up for the next journey, which promises to be much more fulfilling and rewarding. Time to stop looking in the rearview mirror…the road ahead is going to require all my considerable focus and energy.