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When my trust was repeatedly violated throughout the years, I was scared.
The opposite of trust is fear. It’s funny how a deep sense of comfort and security can turn into fear in an instant. I was scared of life, people, relationships, and time. I was terrified of anything or anyone that might sabotage my emotional safety.
As a result, I built barriers and walls to avoid pain, but it all came at a cost. Trust issues not only harbor fear, but also suspicion, confusion, worry, anxiety, and stress. When I decided to resolve my trust issues, I knew I couldn’t continue living like this. I had to know where my fear was coming from and develop ways to repattern my brain.
To heal our trust issues, we need to know the cause. We need to travel in time and revisit the place and time where it all started.
Understanding the root cause of the problem can help us to know how to solve it.
Here are four main reasons we have difficulty trusting people and life:
1. Betrayal or rejection. Trust issues might come from experiencing infidelity in romantic relationships or friendships. Social rejection in the school or workplace environment can also make us become skeptical of others. This may impact the quality of the connections we develop with people and may result in a fear of commitment or opening up to others.
Take your time getting to know new people and give yourself permission to take courageous leaps in love and friendships. Open up about the events in your past that may have caused you to lose confidence in others. You never know who might inspire you, listen to you, and thoroughly help you to recover.
2. Bullying. If you are a victim of bullying, then chances are you might have grappled with trust issues without even knowing it. We might choose a life of solitude and not feel comfortable sharing our emotions and thoughts with others. Especially if we were beaten or frightened, we might grow up feeling unlovable or unworthy.
To stop feeling helpless or lonely, acknowledge that you can’t change what happened—but you can change how you feel about it today. Your trauma doesn’t define you.
3. Abandonment. If you have ever experienced abandonment, you might find it hard to trust that people won’t ever leave you. We might become codependent, needy, clingy, or manipulative just so we wouldn’t lose the ones we love. Furthermore, we doubt other people’s feelings and might not believe that they truly care about us.
To heal this intense wound, we must stop neglecting ourselves and focus more on self-care and self-love. When we trust and love ourselves, we learn how to trust our intuition and better observe others’ behaviors and intentions.
4. A negative experience. Any negative experience—such as loss, death, or accident—can impact our trust levels. We might not trust life, God, the universe, timing, or even our own purpose and existence. We might find it difficult to shake off negative feelings and thoughts, which eventually make us feel stressed and drained.
Know that negative or painful experiences do not shape our entire existence. Today is a good day; tomorrow might be better. All you have to do is trust this very moment and what it’s bringing you.