Have you ever seen a house or building being demolished? It takes very little time to do. But to build a home or a building requires so much: a lot of money, labor, materials, building permits, inspections and time. The finished product can take three months or three years depending on the size of the structure. Either way, it’s much easier to destroy than to build.
Some people have the hardest time understanding that building trust does not happen overnight, nor does it mean that once you have it, you’ll have it forever. Trust is something that is earned, and day in and day out you have to keep building it, because once you lie or don’t keep your word, it’s gone!
Being raised with a drug addicted brother, I learned to distrust at an early age. I started babysitting at the age of 13 and would keep my money in my favorite teddy bear bank on my dresser. One of my favorite things to do would be to count how much money I had earned. I had worked hard for that money, and I was proud of myself for earning it all myself. I started noticing a few months later that I didn’t have as much money as I thought I had in my teddy bear bank. Was I miscounting the money? Had I spent it and forgotten that I had? No. My brother was dipping into my bank and taking what he wanted to pay for cigarettes and drugs. Years later, even though my brother is still working on becoming free from addiction, and even though he seems to be doing better than he’s ever done, there have been times where I hide my purse when he comes over. I still hide controlled substances (prescription drugs) when he comes around. Do I like doing this? No. But it’s what I’ve learned to do to protect myself from someone that I love, but can’t completely trust.
Every family has someone with whom they have a “trust” issue: for one of my neighbor’s it was an unfaithful spouse. For another, a wayward teenager. For another neighbor, a dishonest businessman who robbed them of their life’s savings. The trust issue affects us all. But like that big building that you’ve seen demolished, it took maybe one minute to demolish, but it took about three years to build. In my relationships with people, I have learned who I can trust and who I cannot trust. That is learned through time. Some relationships are nurtured because of trust, others become neglected because of a lack of trust.
Fair warning to you liars and deceivers out there: once you’re found out (and you will be found out eventually), you’ll appreciate the time when you had that trust. And now that you’ve lost it, you’re going to have to be very, very patient as those who love you let you earn it back. And that’s if you’re lucky. I promise you, it’s just better not to lose it.