Trust is a very fragile egg. It takes so much time to nurture and cultivate and just seconds to destroy. And, like an egg, it is not so easily repaired. It will still have cracks and scars as a reminder of its trauma. With time and care, one can slowly add spackle to the cracks. Then, one can began the process of sanding those cracks ever so gently so as to not break the egg again. Eventually the cracks will be smoothed over but the evidence will still be present in the coloring. At this point, if you’re lucky, you’ll finally be allowed to paint the egg back to its former glory. Keep in mind though, the egg, though pristine on the outside, is still fragile on the inside. Break it again and the process begins again only this time there are even more cracks to repair…
Trust is broken for many reasons. The most popular reason is infidelity. But there are others- a recovering addict who has victimized his family has to rebuild trust. A loved one who has stolen has to show that valuables are safe around them. A parent who has not been consistent and loving to their children has to prove they can be reliable and make a child feel safe and loved again. An employee can lose the trust of his colleagues and employer by not doing his job, thereby proving to be unreliable.
The person who breaks a trust is the person who has to fix it. Again, it is not the other person’s responsibility to repair a trust. It takes time, integrity, maturity, and love. What it doesn’t take are words (often empty), anger, denial, and poor expectations. A person can be forgiven but that doesn’t mean they will ever regain the trust they lost. That usually depends on the depth of the betrayal and the forgiver’s capacity to allow you near that fragile egg again –i.e. trust. If you’ve destroyed a trust and are so blessed to be allowed a second chance this is what you need to know.
- You broke, you fix it
- Be patient, it’s going to take longer to regain than the first time
- It’s not for you to determine how long. It’ll take however long it takes
- You’ll have to prove your integrity time and time again
- Rebuilding trust is not for the faint hearted. You’re either all in or all out
- As your forgiver gives you an inch, nurture it as though your life depends on it
- Don’t give up, you may be closer to regaining trust than you think
Make no mistake there is a lot of work involved on the part of the person who broke it. Success depends on what that person feels he/she lost when they broke the trust in the first place. Was the person loyal and loving to you? Did they bend over backwards to help you when you needed them? Were you able to acknowledge any sacrifices they made for you? If they answer is yes to any of those questions, then chances are, you destroyed the trust of someone who was valuable to you. That will tell you, the person who broke the egg, how willing you are to take the time to fix it.
©2014 Kim R. Woods
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