So many of us are feeling unsafe, untrusting and unsure about our health, our work and our lives. To help regain a sense of trust, please enjoy this excerpt from Trust Again: Overcoming Betrayal and Regaining Health, Confidence and Happiness.
Trust is the very foundation on which our relationships are built, and that’s why that shattering of trust leaves us on shaky and unstable ground. Also, that shattering of trust doesn’t just happen when others have betrayed us. It can happen when we betray ourselves. We can believe our bodies have betrayed us, as in the case of a diagnosis or disease. We can experience self-betrayal when we repeatedly stay quiet when we know we should speak up, when we break promises we’ve made to ourselves, when we negate or abandon our needs, or when we make decisions that cause self-harm.
We’re going to examine the full life cycle of trust—how trust is built, maintained, and shattered. This understanding is the first step to healing—once and for all.
Trust is sacred and fragile, and earning someone’s trust is an honor and a sacred gift. To me, building trust is similar to building a nest. Each twig and branch being used to build that nest is an integral part of its foundation and structure, just as each exchange with someone is an opportunity to build trust. Each time we question something and expectations are met, trust continues to be built just as each twig being used to build the nest is another opportunity to build a safe and secure home for its inhabitants. Over time, with many twigs carefully placed, that nest is built, which represents a sense of safety and security. It’s the same thing with trust. Over time, and with many opportunities for trust to be built, we can slowly feel safe, rest easy, and trust because we’re supported within that nest of security. Over time, we slowly and confidently believe we’re safe because of how the person we grew to trust showed up in countless situations, giving us many opportunities to feel secure. They demonstrated that they’re trustworthy, and we have nothing to fear. If the rest of the world is confusing and chaotic, we can trust that all is well within our “nest” of safety.
That’s why it’s always a shock when we’re met by something we didn’t expect.
We felt safe and secure. We were vulnerable; we let our guard down and truly believed that there was a mutual understanding around what was agreed on (spoken or unspoken) within the relationship. When we’re betrayed, that trust, safety, and feeling of security that we grew to count on is shattered in one life-altering moment. That “nest” is completely and totally shattered.
So, now picture what would happen if a nest were shattered. Any living being within that nest would lose any sense of safety and security they may have had. What are the only options? Scramble to find a way to somehow survive the experience or else perish.
When we discover a betrayal, it takes only that brief moment to feel as if the rug has been completely pulled from under us, sending us into a scary and unfamiliar space and giving us those same options. Survive the experience or else allow it to destroy us.
The good news? You can heal from all of it. You can regain your sense of safety, security and everything else that was shattered when trust was broken. We’re taking it all on during the 5-day Trust Again Challenge. You deserve to heal. Hope to see you there.
Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute