Have you ever had a time when someone broke your trust?
How did you handle that?
I am willing to bet that it wasn’t handled well.
You may have yelled, stormed off, stop speaking to them, or even hit them.
Whatever your response was I know what you were feeling.
You were feeling betrayed.
It hurt that someone you trusted did that to you. Your whole world broke that day.
Now, you are reading this blog hoping for some guidance on how to find healing for that hurt.
So I have a question for you.
Would you like to find a way to repair your broken trust?
Recently, I had a conversation with someone I care about. We were talking about offense, pain, broken trust, and straight up jacked up behavior.
Then she made a comment that blew me away.
She said that there was an incident 17 years ago that she never got over. Being the curious person that I am I pressed for some details.
Years ago there was a moment when I walked out on her. I wasn’t leaving the relationship. There was no mention of abandoning her.
I had decided to leave for a few hours. The biggest mistake I made was that I did not mention when I would return. I walked out and drove away.
I know, I was a jerk that day.
What I discovered was that her parents abandoned her when she was a child.
She never got over that.
So get this picture,
when I walked out for those few hours it set her off.It triggered a dark place in her soul.She felt like she was being abandoned all over again.
I was a hothead and she was in pain. I should have stayed that night, but I did not want fall into a rage. That would not have been right. So I left to cool off.
17 years later she is still holding onto this one incident.
I cannot begin to fathom what that is like. To hold onto such pain for so long. Continuing to remind yourself over and over of the same incident for 17 years.
My actions degraded her trust further and cause a lot of undue stress and pain.
I realized a few things.
1. The longer you hold onto an incident the harder it will be to release it.
2. If we don’t release the incident and offer forgiveness then we will become bitter and empty.
3. If bitterness and emptiness rule your life then you have no hope to trust again.
I don’t know about you,
So, let me ask you this question.
Who hurt you so much that you are still holding onto the incident?
My sense is that you have been holding on to this issue for a long time.
The incident could have happened 5 years, 15 years, 25 years ago.
But you are still holding onto it.
It still guides your relationships, your decisions, and how much you hold back.
Instead of showing the world the beauty of your soul you hide.You may be afraid someone will hurt you again.
It’s time to start to find healing.
Here is a truth:
What makes it harder is that you are adding pain on top of pain. Which means that trust is getting smaller and smaller.
When you lack trust it:
1. You are very guarded.
No one will gain access to your heart, your feelings, or your life. You were burnt once and not you guard yourself so that it cannot happen again.
2. You are controlling.
Controlling the situation is the best defense for someone who doesn’t trust anyone. Citing, “If I am in control then no one will be able to hurt me again.”
3. You are suspicious of everyone.
Every person you come into contact with is a person who could hurt you. When they speak you are wondering if they are trying to deceive you. You cannot be sure so you will watch them for long periods of time trying to find out their true purpose.
This list is by no means exhaustive. As a matter of fact, I could write the next few dozen posts on our response to broken trust.
doesn’t it tire you out?
Thinking about how much energy it takes not trusting anyone makes me tired.
The lack of trust makes us feel:
No connection equals no relationship. If I cannot trust you then I cannot connect to you.
Isolation occurs when we erect walls that denies entry into our lives.
I realize that we all struggle to trust. We have been holding onto pain for so long that it feels like it is a part of us.
All because of that one issue, or series of incidents, that happened so long ago.
It’s time to let go and move on.
Time to trust again.
So the question is: How do I learn to trust again?
1. Take Baby Steps
You will not wake up tomorrow morning trusting everyone. It will take time.
If I take small steps today to trust then I will be trusting again in no time.
I have a saying. I am not sure where it comes from, but it so fits in this particular step.
What we do is decide we want to trust again. That is a huge lofty goal. I love that people have those huge goals.
The only issue is that we leave it in the lofty stages and do not pull it into the practical.
What does taking BABY STEPS look like?
a. I am going to forgive the person who hurt me of a smaller issue.
It is possible that the person who hurt you was unfaithful to your relationship, but you still love them. You want to forgive them, but you feel the issue is too great.
Take a Baby step: Forgive them for the little things first.Forgive them for not taking out the trash or cleaning up after themselves.
You have to work up to it.
Jesus once said, Keep forgiving until it sticks (My paraphrase).
b. I am going to trust them with 1 thing but not everything.
This is a key to rebuilding trust.
If you stop trusting someone and do not want to give them another chance then it’s time to move on.
Stop wasting your time and theirs if you refuse to work it out. I get that hurt it there. I never want to undermine the prevalence of deep hurt.
If you want to move past your hurt then you are going to have to take baby steps.
A Baby Step here may be that you find 1 thing and give it to the person to allow them to rebuild your trust. It could be that you allow them to clean a certain part of the house. You may allow them to manage the budget. You may give them an important task.
When they prove faithful in the small then put more on them.
Whatever it is for you the one thing I know:
Start small and work up to the big.
2. Realize your future is different than your past.
We tend to judge our future based on our past.
That is such a tough thing.
We are saying that everyone in my future is already screwed, because of what that person did in my yesterday.
It is ok to be a little guarded at first, but it is not ok to judge people based on other people.
Everyone must have the opportunity to screw up for themselves.
We have to be graceful enough to allow them to express who they are.
If they are not trustworthy then they will show you that.
Then you have a decision to make:
a. Take Baby Steps (refer to the first point).
b. Consider removing them from your life (If a doesn’t work).
You are the one who allows what is in your life. If it isn’t healthy and of value then learn to guard your heart by removing it.
3. Take a look at yourself
I wrote a blog post that is so applicable here. It’s called: Am I the problem? Click the link and take a look at it.
It will challenge your thinking about problems and causes.
One thing I do want to say is this:
If you are carrying hurt the emptiness and pain you feel is originating from you and not those around you.
Yes, it started from others.
But, when it wasn’t healed it festered and now it directs your decisions.
Don’t you think it’s time to find healing?
Here is what I want you to do next.
1. Subscribe to this blog.
It would be an honor to continue this journey with you. This post is only 1 post in a series that I am doing for the next several weeks. I would love to walk with you and help you on your journey towards health.
2. Comment below.
It would love to have you join the conversation. I love hearing different perspectives, tips I did not cover, and how I can add more value to you. I reply to every comment 🙂