I used to be the kind of person who was very trusting. "I will trust you until you give me a really good reason not to trust you" was the sort of philosopy I lived by. Further, I'd probably forgive you for breaking that trust multiple times before I decided that I probably needed to be very wary about any future dealings with you.
But, when you operate that way, you open yourself up to get hurt a lot. And I did.
As I have grown over the last few years, I find myself to be a lot stronger person. Slightly less bothered by criticism, more confident in myself, less moved by manipulation. These are all things I find to be good and healthy and wanted. But, they have been accompanied by a lot less trust in others.
Instead of trusting until I know otherwise, I find that I have more of a tendency to NOT trust until someone's proven they ARE trustworthy. One offense and my walls of protection are thrown up so high, no one can see over them.
I understand this. I look at this and I understand that it's as simple as self-protection. But it's no way to live.
but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy."
Some of those walls have to come down. Sometimes you look at people with whom you've built walls to protect yourself, and say "I'm not quite done having a relationship with you yet." So, you begin tearing down your walls only to find that they have built walls against you, too. And there you both sit, separated by mountains of rubble that seem impossible to climb over, impossible to get rid of. Impossible to start over.
But, it's not. It's not impossible. It's just really hard. Every brick you throw away is a risk, another opportunity to be hurt. You can throw it away, but a part of you whispers, "But what if you need it again??"
Who do you listen to? The voice in your head that says "Put those bricks back right this instant, young lady!" or the one in your heart that says "Just try. One brick at a time. Just try."
No one can hurt you when you build yourself an isolated little tower. But, no one can love you, either.