Should I trust someone who has hurt me before or keeps letting me down?

Imagine you’re in a dark room. You hear familiar footsteps outside that make you shudder. You remember the last time that person came in and wouldn’t stop stomping on you.

Sure enough, they enter, you get crushed, and then the pain reminds you of your unseen assailant long after they leave.

In that scenario, you are your own heart.

Trust and forgiveness aren’t the same thing.

Forgiving is a choice. It frees you from anxiety, malice, and any number of destructive thought patterns that can chain you to the one who hurt you long after they’re gone.

Trust can’t be a choice, just as belief can’t be a choice. You believe whatever you’re convinced is true; and trust can only be earned.

I think it’s when we confuse trust and forgiveness (for noble reasons) that we feel we shouldn’t shudder at the sound of those familiar footsteps.

Always forgive if you can. It sets you free. But also keep the door to your heart closed as much as possible until trust has been (re)earned.


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