Another excerpt from my latest book to tease you into reading further:
Trust is a difficult beast to master. For me, encumbered as I am with my baggage, it’s nearly impossible. While it is one of the cornerstones to a healthy relationship, it’s also the building block that’s most easily broken (and often the weakest to begin with).
Building trust is often exhausting and it may also be extremely painful to earn, and yet it can be shattered all too easily by ill-timed, unfounded or malicious gossip, misunderstandings, or purposeful attempts to cause strife in our lives. Sometimes for no other reason than for the sake of inducing drama for someone else’s personal entertainment. Marriages and friendships can be endangered from outside influences that should never be given a chance to gain a foothold.
As we spend time together as friends or spouses, we fight the vulnerabilities, the insecurities and the doubts that plague us in all other aspects of our lives. We learn to communicate (usually and hopefully) and bare our souls to one another–to trust that we can be free with each other without fear of harm or judgment. That trust is generally rewarded and reinforced over time when our forthrightness and honesty don’t bite us in the proverbial butts. When secrets are kept, weaknesses aren’t exploited and vulnerabilities not shared with outsiders.
We often put forth magnificent amounts of effort at coming to that understanding and proving our commitment to one another (some people more than others). Some people trust far too easily and are often burned in the process; some become hardened while still others refuse to be deterred by their experiences. Regardless of how easily we trust, it isn’t something to be taken lightly. And yet we seem all to willing to throw all that hard work away when something or someone comes along to play upon those vulnerabilities we thought we had overcome. Something or someone throws a specter of doubt into our overactive imaginations so that we can toss it around in our brains like a kitten with a ball of yarn, till we’re so entangled we can’t see beyond the mess. Are our relationships really so tenuous that a careless word, a misunderstood inference, or a purposeful misdirection from an outsider can destroy the trust and confidence that we’ve spent all that effort, years and tears to build? Are we willing to throw away friendships and endanger marriages because of misunderstandings? Because of personal baggage, biases and fears that we project onto others?
For the answer to those questions and more, read Love…Like You Mean It available in multiple formats at the top of my blog page.