I strongly believe that in life and in love, our vulnerability is one of our greatest virtues, even though it often times viewed otherwise – the vulnerability is one of the biggest strengths. Yes, we might believe that we put way too much on the line by allowing ourselves to show our vulnerability; in fact, the opposite is true. When we are busy building a wall around us to protect our hearts from our fears, we miss out BIG TIME… we miss out on so much indeed!
What’s also true is when someone breaks our trust, betrays us in the most unthinkable ways, we might find ourselves in a mild disbelief staring blankly into space… Back in 2003, in my first unpublished book, I noted that trust is a precious brick of gold, sometimes too heavy to place in someones shaking hands… to me, it appeared to be true over the years – I’d give that ‘golden brick of trust’ waiting for it be dropped prematurely, and as all self-fulfilling prophecies = it would come true. And here’s where I was wrong for so many years…
Yes, people break our trust, it’s something we can’t control or predict; yet when we stubbornly pick the mindset that something may be taken away from us (physically and/or emotionally), or that we have to put ourselves in total control of everything that happens around us, we endure unspeakable levels of stress, anxiety, and fear on a daily basis!
It’s ridiculously exhausting to live this way! It also turns us into cynical, suspicious, and unable to follow our hearts people because we are too scared of what life might throw next in our face.
The fears listed above are human and become too ‘normal’ that, unless we turn our self-aware mode on, they can pervade our daily interactions. Not only is it about trusting others, but also life circumstances and opportunities that appear on the horizon. When we pull the barriers up, all of a sudden our lives become smaller.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ― Ernest Hemingway
Trust Interrupted: One Choice You Need to Make After Betrayal
It took me many years to learn to seem friendly but keep virtually everyone at an arm’s length distance; and those few ones who got too close I’d push away, sometimes completely cutting out of my life with no warning.
I found it hard to trust to anyone and at some point, I became emotionally distant, like an island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean far far away from it all that could potentially harm me… keeping my mind and heart shut and well guarded.
Trust interrupted. Taking the knife out… The pain rushes in straight after the thud of that golden brick of trust being dropped – you remember it vividly… your heart is racing, ready to jump off the cliff of the Cape of Good Hope… and then, there’s no more ‘good’ hope left – there’s only you at the end of that cliff staring into that endless ocean: blue on blue – I stared at that endless raging ocean feeling so small, and stupid, and vulnerable and ’naked’ – exposed all of a sudden. When you trust someone, thinking they’ve got your back, it gives you a feeling as if you are wearing an armor that protects you.
Something tells me that no one likes to feel naked and exposed; learning to be vulnerable again after you’ve experienced an astonishing pain of betrayal can feel like an impossible challenge.
Hemingway noted that “the best way to know if you can trust someone is… to trust them” – even though it might feel like sitting and staring at a ticking bomb – ready to go off perhaps in ten minutes, or in a decade, or… never.
For most of my life, I’ve struggled with allowing people in my world. I didn’t want them to know the real me simply because it felt as though I would get burned every time I let someone in.
Surely, it’s a heart-stopping roller-coasting experience to trust someone again, but without trust – our heart is closed and guarded as the best-kept secret… Secret – that’s it. If we choose to keep our heart as a secret without letting anyone in – oh, boy, we’d miss every opportunity to live and feel alive while we still could…
Courage, Dear Heart, Courage…
Let’s face it, we all come to the point in our life where we need to make the decision to let go of our old stories and survival mechanisms if we truly want to grow and create space for something better.
What used to serve us as great protection sometimes turns into something that harms us and stifles the capacity for our lives to be open to the possibilities, love, joy, creativity, and peace.
No matter who you are, no matter how much I still got on this Earth – I won’t say NO to life. I won’t say NO to life even if it means getting more scars on my heart. So be it, am ready to accept what comes, forgive what was, and hope for the best when I hand you over that golden brick of my trust to keep… for now.
* Havingtimers, how challenging do you think it would be to let all the guards down that kept you safe and sound and in some cases, perhaps alive, for so long? Please, please, share your lessons in the comments section below, thank you.