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“For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.”
― Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
This quote hit home as I was thinking about how hard it is to trust when we have experienced betrayal on even a small scale. I want to emphasize the fact that it is not the details of the betrayal itself as much as it is the betrayal of the trust itself.
In Maine we lived on a small island connected to the mainland by a bridge. I recall a cool summer day wading near the tide pools with my children. We were discussing an upcoming school field trip to study life in tide pools. As I think back on that moment, I find myself drawing parallels.
Tide pools are formed in intertidal areas when ocean water gets trapped in slopes and cracks on the shore as a result of the receding tide. Any creatures trapped at low tide must adapt and fight to survive.
Life, like the ocean, ebbs and flows. At our highest points, when there is faith in a relationship, trust lives and flows freely. As faith wanes and betrayal occurs, trust gets trapped in the tide pools. As the hours pass, trust struggles to survive.
The ability to nurture trust becomes more challenging as time progresses. Trust becomes smaller, clinging to the rocks deep below the surface in an effort to survive the increasingly stressful conditions. It is survival of the fittest. Similar to a sea urchin, trust may develop spikes to ward off anyone who would get too close or it may retreat deep into crevices below the surface.
Even when renewing waters return, trust may not survive. It then becomes a process of regeneration.
- Have you experienced a betrayal of trust? If so, did it affect your ability to trust again?
- Do you consider yourselves a trustworthy friend? Have you ever betrayed the trust of another even if they never knew? Would others see you as trustworthy?
- How do you recover and allow yourself to trust and be vulnerable again?