It only takes getting burned once to instinctively know not to put our hand on a hot stove again. But a healthy respect for fire, and all things hot, should not keep us from learning to trust the power of heat again.
In a similar way, we’re not quick to put ourselves back out there whenever we get burned in our relationships. Naturally, we pull back and put our guard up to protect ourselves from any future hurt.
But like with fire, the wisdom is learning a healthy respect for the risks, not in avoiding the risks altogether.
And this requires us to practice opening our hearts and trusting again.
This is not a blind disregard for our own heart. But it’s not putting up impenetrable walls around our heart either.
We have the responsibility to protect our heart and not just let others continue to sin against us and cause us harm. At the same time, being in relationship with anyone comes with the possibility of being hurt.
It will take time to learn that those we love the most can also hurt us the worse. But it’s only in accepting this potential for being hurt that we get to experience the depths of love and profound joy also available in our relationships with each other.
To be sure, rebuilding trust is not automatic, nor will it happen overnight, even once we’ve committed to doing so.
But we practice opening our hearts and trusting in the basic goodness of the other. Not that they’re perfect and will never cause us harm, but that in their heart of hearts they’re seeking our good as well.
And even when they let us down, we’re discovering a deeper trust in God who will never let us down.
In the end, allow your burned and wounded heart to be healed. And don’t let the fear of being hurt again keep you from trusting in the beauty and goodness still available.