Like most children, when I was a little girl, I trusted that my parents would take care of me and that all was well in my world.  It isn’t something that children even think about, they just open their hearts and place their trust in others – their parents, their siblings, their teachers and their friends.  Thankfully, I’m one of the lucky ones whose trust was unbroken as a young child.

Although this post is not about dogs (for a change!), I love this photo as it beautifully illustrates the trust between my sweet Daisy and one of her kitties, Salem.  Animals have so much to teach us about so many things - including trusting one another!

Although this post is not about dogs (for a change!), I love this photo as it beautifully illustrates the trust between my sweet Daisy and one of her kitties, Salem. Like young children, most animals seem to have that innate ability to trust with an open heart!

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to trust – the elusive, intangible that is often an unspoken promise.  In many aspects the glue that holds a relationship together.  Whether it be a friendship, a marriage or even a business relationship.  I’ve been going back in my mind, trying to pinpoint at what age I first experienced the pain of placing my trust in another, only to have it broken.  And we use the term ‘broken’ when referring to trust as it can be shattered into tiny fragments, destroying a once healthy relationship.  When we place our trust in someone and they disappoint or betray us, it’s almost impossible for that relationship to be made whole again.

I honestly can’t remember the first time my trust was broken.  But I do know that I’ve experienced the pain many times over the years.   I’ve been told by those closest to me that I’m ‘too trusting’ – but how can you have a deep connection with anyone while guarding your heart and holding back the trust?  I don’t believe in hedging my bets when it comes to relationships – I’m an ‘all in’ kind of gal.  I also don’t believe that trust needs to be earned, I believe it’s something that is given freely with an open heart. And yes, this often results in having my trust broken.  Sometimes it’s a slow erosion, little seemingly inconsequential events that eventually lead to broken trust and the end of a relationship.  Other times, there is a major deal breaker such as infidelity that has broken my trust in another.

Which leads me to the point of this blog.  I recently experienced a very painful ‘break up’ of sorts – not with my husband but with a trusted friend and business associate.  Over the past five years, this person was someone that I trusted above all others in many times of crisis. I don’t want to go into detail, as this is not a ‘smear’, but suffice it to say that we had what I thought was a symbiotic relationship, both personally and professionally.  I went out of my way to show my appreciation and gratitude for everything this person brought to my life, and yes, I trusted them completely.

Things began to shift in the past few months.   At first I overlooked the unreturned phone calls and texts, making excuses for the other person – they were busy, lots going on in their life, etc.  But as this progressed, I began to get angry – and yes hurt.  I was busy, too and quite honestly, I was no longer getting what I needed from this relationship – mostly on a professional level, but also personally.  When you mix business with friendship, the lines sometimes get blurred and this is where things get sticky.  And so I had two choices, walk away or confront. If you know me, you know that I will avoid confrontation at all costs, but this was an important relationship to me and I decided to take the chance and ask point blank, “what the heck is going on?”  I reached out several times via email – only to be put off repeatedly.  As time went on, I vacillated between confusion – “what did I do to cause this person to turn their back on me?”, anger, “how dare they, I have been a loyal and faithful client and friend!”, and ultimately to a deep sadness.

And finally, I reached out one more time – hoping that I was just being overly sensitive and there was a perfectly logical explanation for what was a simple misunderstanding. Turns out there was no misunderstanding.  For no apparent reason, this person no longer wished to continue our relationship – professionally or personally.  Although these were not the exact words, the intent of the message was crystal clear.  I have been summarily dismissed and my trust has been shattered.

At this point, I have several choices – push for further explanation, the ever popular ‘don’t get mad, get even’ or simply walk away.  Often in these situations, our first instinct is to want to inflict emotional pain on the other person, so they will feel as badly as we do.  And trust me, this was tempting.  As I cried tears of frustration and sorrow mixed with anger, my husband gave me the best advice of all – do nothing, it’s OVER.  At first I thought that was the typical male response, just ignore the feelings – but then after calming down and much soul searching, I realized he was right.  There is nothing I can do or say in this situation that is going to change the outcome.  Lashing out at the other person will not make me feel better.  I know in my heart that I have been a good friend and client, and that is the best I can do.  I gave my trust freely and it was broken, but this will not break me nor cause me to guard my heart in the future.  I’m not quite evolved enough to truly wish this person well, but I can say Namaste (loosely translated meaning ‘the soul within me bows to the soul within you’) and walk away with grace and dignity.

Many blessings,

Melissa