Today I want to talk about trust because trust is one of the biggest areas affected when it comes to betrayal. I look at trust as a brick wall. This brick wall can take 10, 20, 30, 40 years to be built and to be constructed, and it can be taken down in a matter of moments. How does trust get to be rebuilt again? Brick by brick by brick, slowly, consistently and just over time, it cannot be rushed. When people say, “Trust is sacred, don’t mess with trust,” it’s because it is so hard to rebuild, especially with that same person after you’ve been betrayed.
We look at it and say, “Okay, well,” after a betrayal experience, “I don’t trust my betrayer. I don’t even trust myself, because how did I not see this, know this, feel this?” It leaves us with this sense of insecurity. We don’t feel safe because first of all, when it comes to the other people, if the people we trusted the most prove untrustworthy, who do we trust? When the ones we’d run to, when other people are causing harm are in fact the ones causing the harm, where do we go? The combination of not being able to trust or not feeling safe enough to trust the person who hurt us and not even feeling safe and comfortable with our own judgment puts us in a really weird place.
I get this question all the time, “Can I ever trust again,” and, “How can I ever trust again?” The answer is, you can. It takes work, it takes time, but you can. I have this really simple– Now when I mean simple it doesn’t mean easy, it just means simple, recipe of how to rebuild trust, and it’s a few steps. The way that I’ve seen it work well is in this order and in this process. The first stage is learning to trust in the simplest things. The simplest things, like the sun will rise every day, the sun will set every day. What you do is you choose something that you just know for sure will happen, and in knowing that that will happen and then it does, you can learn to trust that.
Maybe you have a dog and you say, “When I pet my dog, my dog will wag his or her tail.” Then they do. It’s something that is just so simple and small that you could at least say, “Okay you know what? I wasn’t sure, but then I saw it and it’s true and it’s real.” That’s the first step. Then, from there, you could start learning. The next step I like to implement is now learning to trust in ourselves again. Now, here’s the thing, what my study showed was every single woman in my study, in order for us to get it all done and the first stage that I saw with everybody in the study, was we had this really strong leaning on, like imagine four legs of a table. If the four legs of the table are mental, physical, emotional and spiritual, what I saw with everybody was we were really good at the mental and the physical, and really not paying much attention to the emotional and the spiritual.
What that means is it’s like we have this big, long to-do list and our bodies are taking us around to do it, but what I also saw was we turn down our intuition and that really makes sense because in order for us to get everything done– This is no judgment, no blame, this is just what I saw consistently. In order for us to get everything done, being the worker, or the wife, or the mom, or the caretaker, or whatever you’re doing in your community, whatever it is, you have this exhaustive amount of things to do. In order to get it all done, we have to sort of turn down the feeling, turn up the doing. In doing that we turn down our intuition.
We need to learn how to turn that back up again, because I remember one of my mentors saying, “Your gut is about 10,000 times stronger and more perceptive than your mind.” What happens is, our gut gives us a message and then our mind talks us out of it. What we need to do is trust the messages of our gut. When we’re so busy or when we don’t want to see something, we’re not ready to see something, we turn it down. What we need to do is learn again how to trust in ourselves. It could mean something as simple as saying you’re going to do something and doing it.
“I will go to the supermarket today,” and then you go to the supermarket today. You’re like, “Wow, you know what? I can really trust myself.” Or, “I’m going to do that workout today,” and then you do. Or, “You know what? I am not going to reach for that bag of chips,” and then you don’t. Whatever it is, you just give yourself some sort of measure, whatever it means to you. I’m just giving some silly examples, but some measure of you say something and you do it. When you do that consistently, you start rebuilding trust in yourself.
Now, remember, the first one is learning to trust again in the simplest of things, as in the sun will rise each day, for example, right? The next one, you need to learn to trust in yourself again, saying you’ll do something and then following ahead and doing it. The next one is learning how to strengthen your intuition so you regain that sense of safety. That’s what I was talking about a little bit earlier where you’re turning up your intuition, that gut feeling you get, that initial response you get, that initial feeling you get. You turn that up, you trust it, you believe in it.
When you practice that over time, what’s going to happen is, it’s like a muscle, it’s going to get stronger and you’re going to begin to rely on it. That’s a really good thing because trusting your gut is your inner wisdom, the highest and best version of yourself, it will never steer you wrong. Think about all the experiences you had in your life where you said, “Ugh, if I only listened to my gut, if I only trusted my gut.” It’s talking to us all the time, we just don’t pay attention, we don’t trust it, we don’t listen.
We said the first one was learning to trust in the simplest things like the sun will rise. The next one is going to be learning to trust in yourself again, which is saying you’re going to do something and then doing it. The next one, learning how to strengthen your intuition, you just tune into the messages that your gut is telling you, that initial response, that initial reaction, and then don’t talk yourself out of it. It’s the mind that’s going to talk yourself out of it. Your gut was right, your mind talked you out of it. Trust in the message of your highest inner wisdom, because that’s what your gut is.
The last part of this is slowly and carefully learning to trust in others again. Think about it. Once you’ve learned to trust in the simplest things, like, I keep using this example, the sun will rise, you start believing in it, you start getting your sense of safety right there. Learning to trust in yourself again. “You know what? I trust myself that when I say something, I’m going to do it. I have a sense of safety and security, just me, in my own body, with my own being.” From there, now you’re fine-tuning it, you’re strengthening yourself, “I’m going to strengthen my intuition,” which I also call a BS meter. [chuckles]
You’re strengthening that BS meter, you get a sense someone is creepy or something doesn’t feel right or that’s a bad move, trust that, trust it. Then, from there, because you’ve rebuilt that sense of safety because you’ve built this greater sense of security because now you have this BS meter that you’ve sharpened and strengthened, you can slowly use that to learn how to trust in others again. Now, when it comes to learning to trust in others again, this is a slow process, and don’t rush it. Listen, don’t feel badly, you may never give that trust blindly again, and that’s okay. Even for the person who betrayed you, you may never 150 million percent trust that person again, and that’s okay.
Be easy on yourself. Of course, you learned so much from this and all of it was to teach you certain incredible lessons that you now have, but you may be a little bit weary and that’s okay, you’re protecting yourself. To not trust, if it doesn’t feel right to trust that person again, you’ll know. You need to feel a sense of safety and security, and if you don’t, it’s not even an option. I’m talking about rebuilding when you feel safe and when you feel that person has absolutely changed and has learned their lesson, and there’s remorse and apology and restitution and all that stuff that makes you feel this is worthy of another chance. That’s what I’m talking about.
If you don’t feel that, of course, that’s not in your best interest to do. With other people going forward, when your intuition is strengthened, when you trust yourself, you have that greater sense of safety and security. Will you always be a little bit careful, a little bit cautious? You may be, and that’s okay, but to not trust again is a life half lived. It’s like, “Yes, we’ve learned to keep out the bad guys,” but you don’t want to keep out the good guys too. You want to have those beautiful loving relationships again, and when you’re always so guarded, then you’re not going to get what you want and what you deserve.
As long as you’ve learned the lesson that you were meant to learn, maybe to reset those boundaries, maybe that you are so wonderful and loving, and deserving, and lovable, all of these things, maybe you didn’t get that lesson before, and now you say, “You know what? I will never accept X, Y, Z. I’ve learned so much more.” Lesson learned, and that’s a beautiful lesson.
Just to recap all of this, can you ever trust again? Of course, you can, but it is a process and don’t rush it at all. It starts with learning how to trust in the very simplest of things, learning how to trust in yourself, again, strengthening your intuition so you gain that sense of safety and security, and then slowly and carefully using what you’ve learned and through that sense of security that you now feel to learn to trust in others again.
If you enjoy these podcasts, please tell a friend, because we want as many people as we can to rebuild and feel safe, and secure, and whole, and back in control after an experience with betrayal. I’ll talk to you soon.