Years to Build, Moments to Destroy (“T” is for…)

The Pyramids? A bridge? Maybe a castle?

All of these things can take men many years to complete. An earthquake, tornado or act of terrorism can destroy, but what I am talking about today is more personal.

Trust.

Image courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

How does one rebuild trust once it has been dashed?

Is it the job of the victim to somehow twist their mind around what was done to them to find some excuse, some ‘hole’ in the perpetrators logic not at first seen when the trust was broken?

No.

That is the stuff of forgiveness. That is a gift the victim gives to himself, whether or not the perpetrator earns or deserves it. Forgiveness, however, does not rebuild trust.

If nothing is said, nothing done to repair the broken trust by the perpetrator, there is no way to rebuild that lost trust. The victim might come to see that the broken trust was in fact the problem or shortcoming of the perpetrator, but that does nothing to move along the path toward reestablished trust.

Image courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

To regain trust, the victim must be shone that the perpetrator sees the error of his ways. The victim may be shown regret, remorse and sorrow for being wronged, but these attempts at apology can be unsubstantial words unless accompanied by change.

Change on the part of the perpetrator may or may not be possible. The perpetrator may be so broken that he is incapable of the change needed to prove his trustworthiness. Or he may not care deeply enough to put in the internal and external work required to prove that he has changed. He must become self aware enough to understand the consequences of the actions or in-actions that broke the sacred trust. He must care enough about the victim and his own reputation in the victims eyes to change.

The perpetrator must then have the metal to  put into action a well thought out plan of how he can prove to the victim that he has truly changed. It is in this way that day by day, step by step, the victim can see that the perpetrator has truly changed. Any apology is hollow without following this path of integrity toward permanent change.

Image courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Has anyone in your life been able to rebuilt trust with you?

How long did it take?

Are you always more cautious with that perpetrator?

Is there someone with whom you need to rebuild trust?

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Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.

 

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