Trust is a big issue when deciding whether to attempt reconciliation. I certainly wrestled with whether or not I could trust my family members.
One day, I had an epiphany. I realized that it was more important to trust myself to respond appropriately to my family members, than it was to trust them. Placing my trust in myself, gave me more control over my life while I was learning whether or not I could trust my family. In other words, could I trust myself to maintain proper boundaries while I navigated the reconciliation process (see Setting Clear, Respectful, Boundaries)?
When I shared the beginnings of my reconciliation process with a few selected individuals, they worried that I would be hurt or mistreated. I assured them that although I didn’t yet trust my family members, I had healed enough to trust myself to safeguard my own well-being. One confidant validated my stance with a wonderful analogy. He said, “Oh, it’s kind of like a martial artist walking through a dangerous neighborhood. Even though danger is present, he knows he is safe because he can depend upon his own abilities.”
“Yeah, it’s like that,” I said with a smile.