You've been hurt. You've hid in your castle tower. You've come down. You've opened the gate. You're at least ready to try... ready to try trusting again.
As a confession, I'm walking this out now and I'm still figuring it out. I'm not an expert. And what I write today isn't what I would have written three months ago. It probably isn't what I would write if I was writing this three months down the road, either. But, it's what I have.
Rebuilding Trust With Old Relationships
Sometimes you choose to heal relationships with people who have broken you.. or that you have broken. This is a choice. But it isn't an easy thing to walk out. They say that trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair. It takes work and commitment and a whole lot of time.
I think it starts with some honest communication. You can't just sweep the things that happened under the rug and say "Oh, it was no big deal." It was a big deal and pretending that it wasn't doesn't change that. Avoiding the big deal just puts a blanket over it. It's still there in the middle of the room and sometimes you have to be willing to talk about those things, and these conversations are hard. They're uncomfortable... and on both sides. You both feel singled out, put on the spot, and maybe even like a big fat jerk for even needing to still talk about it. But, if reconciliation is the goal, I think you need to start here. You need to be honest and fair and have respect for each other, but you need to be willing to talk about the hard things.
You also have to choose to forgive, and this can be difficult. I think that sometimes there is a part of us that clings to hurts for far too long. We can't keep a record of all the wrongs done to us by someone. We can't build a positive future if we're still hanging onto a negative past. So, we have to choose to let things go. We have to choose to not keep bringing them up. To be honest, I struggle with this. When I'm having the worst time forgiving, I often find that it's because I haven't really let go of the things that I thought I let go of. I'm still harboring them. I'm still remembering them. I'm still punishing for them.
Mostly, I think you have to accept that rebuilding trust is something that takes a long time. It's not a thing that happens overnight and it's a lot of baby steps. I have to remind myself of this all the time. I'm kind of an "all or nothing" sort of girl. And after we've done the hard talk and after I've made the choice to pursue rebuilding, I want it done! I want it all to be magically fixed and just get on with it already. But, it really doesn't work that way. It takes work first. It takes a whole lot of patience. But mostly, it takes time and belief. But, I think that what you get in the end is worth the effort and the tears and the time.
Placing Trust in New People
This is a whole different thing. I don't have quite as much to say about it, but I think it's important, too. You have to remember that not all people are the same. I know you've been hurt before. I know it makes you scared of trusting anyone again. I get that.
But, understand that not everyone is like the person that hurt you. The fact that you were hurt before doesn't determine what you endure in the future. It's frightening to risk it. I know. If you risk nothing, then nothing can be taken from you, right? But, if you risk nothing, nothing is exactly what you will receive when it comes to love and friendship and support, too.
I don't know how to tell you what to do to make it easier. This kind of trust is a choice, too. Choosing to step over your fears to embrace the "what-ifs" is scary. But, not everyone is here to hurt you. There are so many who would love to love you, and are just waiting for you to let them in.
This Week's Series on Forgiveness and Trust
Sunday............. The Challenge of Forgiveness
Monday............ Trust is Like a Vase
Tuesday............ Safe in the Castle Tower