"Trust me," said the spider to the fly... and boy did that prove to be a big mistake! There seems to be something in human nature that makes us want to trust other human beings, so that we can share our true selves with them without fear of being laughed at, hurt, or destroyed. Yet trust is such a fragile thing, so easily shattered. Once damaged, it's difficult and sometimes impossible to repair.
It didn't take the fly long to discover he'd made an error in judgement. In some situations it can take much longer, even years. I once married a man who said he didn't trust anyone, but told me that if I gave him time he would learn to trust me. Seven years of marriage later I still hadn't earned his trust despite being the best wife I knew how to be. I realize then that the task was impossible, his heart was closed to trusting, no amount of evidence to the contrary would every gain anyone admittance. I've found that to be true more often than I wish. Yet I am determined by nature, and if I think the person is worth the effort, I will stick around and chip away at that granite wall, hoping to slowly break down the barriers to communication and sharing. Trust is a precious gift, it enables us to be real!
Although it is certainly possible to be easily misled by bad guys and master manipulators, I think we lose out on a lot of life... and love... if we close ourselves off to other people and become inaccessible. We can't, or at least shouldn't let the experiences of our past overshadow our present and steal our potential joy. What's important is to evaluate the character of the person who is attempting to elicit your trust. Are they fair? Are they honest? Are they kind? Do they speak badly of others? Are they often angry or expressing contempt? Do they have a genuine interest in helping others, or are they self-serving?
As it is written, "Do not bestow pearls upon the swine"... be they your words, your thoughts, your feelings, or your stories. At the same time, if you keep them hidden away from everyone, who can share in their beauty and delight with you in their value? It always comes down to a matter of choice... choose wisely and move slowly, then love and live freely!
Trust is a two way street. I cannot feel safe about sharing myself with you if you don't trust enough to do the same with me. It is give and take, safe in the belief that the person you are entrusting will not turn on you at some point and use what you have shared against you. Yes, we've all had that happen, but it doesn't always happen, and if you choose wisely who to trust, it won't often happen.
Make a pledge to be a trustworthy person. Keep your promises and your word. No matter what might come between you and the other person in the future, promise to never divulge information that could hurt them. Holding the heart of another in trust is a sacred responsibility, treat it as such. Increase your reputation as a person who others can turn to with their darkest fears and deepest hopes. Having a trusting relationship is a wonderfully precious gift. Work at it! Be the kind of person you want others to be.
When trust fails, and at times it will, don't wall yourself away for ever. Get back up, dust yourself off, and try again. Open yourself to trust again, a little wiser and a little stronger. It's worth it.... trust nurtures love, and love is worth the risk!