How to Trust (Especially When You've Been Hurt)

Most of us have felt like our trust has been compromised at some point in our lives. Needless to say, these experiences can be very painful. Perhaps we're still scared to trust again? We ask, "Who can I trust? And how do I know I can trust him or her?" 

But trust is one of those things that we can't just skip over. It's a crucial ingredient in our relationships - some call it the foundation.

Without it, we can't experience deep connection and love.  In this article I'm going to talk about what trust is, why it's a choice, and how to cultivate it within yourself so you can feel more of it in your relationships.

Let's start off with the undeniable truth: We all have reasons not to trust.

What I mean by this is: we've all felt hurt, disappointed, rejected, scared, and abandoned before. We've all suffered in some way (actually, we've all suffered in similar ways), and we've all felt pain in relationships.

And because of this, we're all trying to avoid feeling pain again.

Usually the way we avoid being hurt in relationships is by holding-off on trusting until we know we are safe. Trusting becomes a mechanism of protection - if the person "earns our trust" then we will gladly give it to them. And this is the problem. Because there aren't ever any guarantees.

Asking someone to "earn our trust" means we're asking them not to make any mistakes and to not bring up uncomfortable feelings in us. And in relationships... this is an impossible task.

Unfortunately guarantees are not found in relationships. In fact, what you probably can guarantee is that you will feel hurt sometimes by the people you love.

I wish I could tell you otherwise but the truth is that disappointment, rejection, fear, and abandonment are all part of the deal in this life. We feel these feelings not because we're with untrustworthy people, but because we're humans with wounds.

Trust is not about finding the perfect, trustworthy person.

It's about signing-up to work through your feelings when the hurt arises.

When we understand trust in this way, it actually becomes easier to do.

We shift from trying to avoid being hurt (which is impossible), to recognizing that we can resolve and overcome anything that comes our way. This is what faith (the BIG trust) is all about.

The thing is, when we use past experiences as reasons not to trust, we're only hurting ourselves! Walling ourselves off from each other perpetuates the problem - this does not keep us safe; it keeps us lonely.

So if you are scared to trust, what can you do? Simple. You can make an informed decision and go for it.

That's right. jump in and have faith.

When you decide to trust someone it means that you believe in that person's integrity. Trusting is knowing that ultimately this person's intentions are good. And it also means that you know that they're going to make mistakes.

When we trust ourselves first and foremost, it allows us to deal with the mistakes of others with grace and ease.

If you know that no matter what you're going to be okay, then trusting another person becomes much easier to do.

Trust isn't about not feeling negative emotions. It's about knowing that you can handle anything that comes your way.

I understand that sometimes you're scared; I know that you've been hurt. I've been there too. But I want to you know that whatever happens in your relationships, you're going to be okay (I really mean that).

Trust that. Believe that. Know that.

When you do, you'll be able to offer trust to others, and that trust will serve as the foundation for love to firmly build upon.

Please leave comment below telling us the ways you are going to cultivate more trust in yourself. I look forward to hearing from you!