Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Loving After

Social media sites are filled with memes and quotes promoting that we only trust ourselves. The logic behind it is that if we don't trust others then we can't be hurt by others. While it's understandable to interpret hurt as a side effect of trust, it is not a wise lifestyle choice. Trusting only self can reduce the likelihood of being hurt by others, but it is a guarantee of a life that is greatly reduced.

We have all been hurt by someone we love yet we are still charged with loving after. Loving after hurt is difficult. Trusting after disappointment is a challenge. We fear those emotions and make it our business to ensure we don't feel them again. Walls come up. Boundaries are set. We do whatever we can to prevent replicating the same scenario. We convince ourselves that we were hurt because we trusted, because we opened up, and because we loved. We conclude that we can prevent future hurt by not trusting, not opening up, and not loving.

One major problem with disconnecting from others is related to how much we trust ourselves. When we are hurt by someone we trust we start the blame game and ultimately, point a finger back at ourselves. This determination not to trust others does not address the negative feelings we develop toward ourselves after having trusted and being betrayed. We tell ourselves lies and since we have sentenced ourselves to isolation, we don't have anyone to build us out of this self-defeatist, detrimental thought pattern. We repeat negative self talk, and the one person we depend on, the one we trust solely, self, cannot be trusted.

We were designed for connection. We rely on relationships for growth, support, and love. Without human connection we remain stagnant, feed ourselves untruths, and become distanced from our purpose. Loved ones bring our lives joy and pick us up when we falter. Loved ones push us when we would rather lie down and sulk. Loved ones remind us of ourselves, especially all of the wonderful qualities that we dismiss or fail to acknowledge. Loved ones help us sift through harmful self talk and rebuild what has been broken. The key is for us is to select the loved ones committed to making the journey of loving after hurt and disappointment one of support, encouragement, and yes, trust.

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