Trusting (Yourself) AgainFeb 13, 2023
So often, when I speak with clients about their loss of trust, their attention goes outward. They recall times of betrayal, moments of rejection, and a myriad of memories that justify their choice to build a wall around their heart. They share very valid stories of heartbreak and how carrying around those wounds have lead them to a place where they have to question if people can be trusted. They crave the connection, but fear what it might do to them. And so, they move about through life, half invested but always leery.
And that’s how we do it, right? We get our hearts broken and look to the person that’s holding the sledgehammer. We look at them and say, “You! You are the reason that I cannot let anyone else love me!” Through the many years and many miles of life, being hurt over and over again, we accumulate the proof that people aren’t trustworthy. We barricade our tender hearts and keep people at a distance, never running the risk of being exposed and getting hurt again.
I’ve been there! I get it. I was the queen of castle walls. Impenetrable and solid, cold and calculated. No one was getting in. I was really good at playing the part of someone that wanted connection, but it was all an act to stay safe. I masked my pain and pretended – mostly to myself – that I wanted authentic relationships. But the honest truth was I was afraid. I had made so many bad decisions in my life, trusting too many of the wrong people and ignoring all the red flags that I just couldn’t allow myself to let the walls fall down. It didn’t matter how much I desired love and openness, my trauma had the doors locked and had swallowed the key.
Living this way perpetuates a sense of emotional and spiritual disconnection and being perceived as elusive and cold. We get so busy protecting ourselves that others can’t get to know us. We are far too distant for them to even have a chance. Inevitably they leave and we feel rejected, strengthening the core wounded story that no one is worthy of us dropping the walls. Round and round, the story cycles. We present ourselves as open, but energetically we’re really guarded. People don’t stand a chance. They may try, but our fear of getting hurt is greater than our desire for connection. And so they leave and we say we can’t trust them.
Perhaps though, we might be focusing on the wrong area when it comes to trust. What if it’s not about trusting people at all? Dare I even say, you shouldn’t just trust anyone? You should watch everyone, but trust yourself. And yes, how can we do that when our level of broken trust permeates even to the core of our own spirit. We’ve betrayed ourselves far more times than anyone else has…combined!
We’ve had intuitive hits of someone not being right for us. We’ve had spiritual nudges that we shouldn’t say yes to someone’s request. We’ve known in our gut that we needed to leave that party, that job, that situation. But we didn’t. We made other people happy instead. We chose to not rock the boat, stay in the bad situation so that others wouldn’t be upset. We didn’t want to disappoint them. We wanted to please and appease. And it cost us.
Every micro betrayal we commit against ourselves is like a tiny fragment of our self-worth falling to the side. Every time we know what is best for us but choose to comfort someone else, those pieces begin to stack up. We don’t realize we’re doing it at first. It just seems like something we should do, to be pleasant, to be kind. The people pleaser in the making, the doormat in training. But by allowing these small slivers to fall off for years and years, before you know it you have lost trust in yourself.
There is a subconscious awareness that you will not have your own back in times when you need it. This awareness knows that you will choose the comfort of pleasing others over the discomfort of doing what is best for you. It now knows YOU are not trustworthy to make decisions that will support the wholeness that you are. So it goes to Plan B. Divert that awareness onto the rest of the world and say people can’t be trusted. This creates a protective system that disallows you true connection, enjoyment of authentic relationships, and keeps you numb through vulnerable times.
The system is protecting you because you can no longer do that yourself. So how do you come back from that? Forgiving yourself for all the times you betrayed yourself by making others happy when you were not. Forgiving yourself for pleasing and appeasing, when you wanted to leave. There is a path back to the whole self. It begins with forgiveness, collecting the pieces that fell away, and calling them back home. It’s time to come home.
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