How hard is it to learn to trust?!?
Of course this all depends on who we are trying to trust. For most of us, we have experienced the wounding of betrayal. Many of us have felt the loss of trust in a relationship. It may have been an accidental failure on the part of another or perhaps outright intentional betrayal. Learning how to navigate the heart and not become cynical and hardened to others is an incredible art!
Have you learned this? What do you do? How do you forgive?
It's incredibly important to remember the truth, to recall what has been true of the individual in times past. It is important to know, is the offender one who repeatedly hurts you and shows no remorse? Or have they hurt you but continue to show steps forward and sincere care for your heart? Consider the track record and make your 'going forward' decisions based on that track record.
People often fall into patterns and do not change - this is not cynicism. This is just the simple reality of the way people behave. Am I saying people do not change? No. Yet many do not. Many will not do the hard work of becoming healthier. Many are distracted with the issues of their lives, their families, and their work. Not to mention all the myriad of distractions people engage in. People can and do change IF they want to and if they are continually learning and pursuing growth.
Like with so many things, being hurt and finding ways to restore trust requires an intentional process.
So as you move ahead after being wounded, I have given here a few questions for you to answer:
Does this person repeatedly hurt me with no remorse?
Does this person have growth as a signifier in their life journey?
Have I seen trust be a valuable thing in my relationship with this person? (In other words, have they proven, in times past, their trustworthiness? Or do I seem to consistently experience trust being broken with this person?)
What is true, about me... about them... ?
Have I proven to be trustworthy? Am I reaping the fruit of what I have sown?
What does God say in this exact situation?
What will my steps be going forward? Do I find a healthy way to respond and simultaneously let the closeness of the relationship become more shallow or do I need to walk away completely? (Can I just say... the need to walk away completely is VERY RARE! Unless there is real abuse taking place)
Can I, and will I forgive? (Understanding the consequences and harm to myself if I choose not to forgive)
How will I forgive?
What do I really need to say to this person? (It is important to express when you have been hurt. It is not to take revenge or to somehow make them pay. They need to know so they also can choose what they will do going forward, and how they will respond to you in the moment)
How will I talk to this person? What tone, what things need said and what things can I just let lie?
Work it through, dear soul. Let your heart lead you. Learn the art.
Be intentional about walking in love!!! No matter what, no matter how hard, be willing to be the stronger! It will serve you well. And refuse to become cynical! I know, none of this is easy. All of it is important. You are loved, so you can love.
And reach out if you need to!